[I’m a Surface Fanatic. I *love* all the Surface devices, accessories, and the rich ecosystem built around this brand. I also love tearing devices apart. So in the spirit of my last teardown series lets do a teardown of the new brick-shaped Surface Dock.]
- T6 torx screwdriver
- 1/8″ slot screwdriver
Opening your Surface Dock will likely void your warranty. You should take every precaution when tearing apart any consumer electronic device. Even though the Surface Dock operates at 15V, you should be careful to keep metal bits and tools away to not short out anything. If you are not familiar with the safety aspects of working with electronic projects, do not attempt this teardown. Ifixit has a good safety guide for electronic teardowns and repairs.
Part 1 – pull the plug
This is probably the toughest part of the teardown. Surface marketing material notes that the Surface Dock includes a “SurfaceConnect” cable. At first glance it looks like the cable is removable, but tug on it lightly and it doesn’t budge. This is because it is glued in. You need to tug on it really hard to free it. I recommend gripping the strain relief with pliers thicker than what I’m using and prying against the case to get a little leverage. Be careful. Its possible to destroy the end of the cable if you crimp the wires or pull the insulation off.
Here is the connector on the dock side of the SurfaceConnect cable which looks like Molex nanopitch. Note the kapton tape around the housing which snugs the connector into the dock. The glob of glue chipped off, but you can see the residue partially covering the laser-etched text “IAJRADG” on the housing which I presume is a combination of manufacturer and manufacturing date codes.
Part 2 – remove bottom cover
Now that the cable is free, its time to open up the mystery brick. Just like the last generation clamp dock, you need to pull off the bottom cover. This time instead of a plastic sheet with sticky residue, its a rubber sheet with sticky residue. Pull the sheet off to reveal the adhesive:
Poke 4 holes in the corners to reveal four T6 torx screws. Loosen the screws – they should stay put with all the adhesive around the holes:
Gently shake the dock and lift off the bottom cover. You may need to use the flathead screwdriver to pry it free. Flip it over to reveal one of the weights:
Part 3 – remove the circuit board
Use the T6 torx screwdriver to remove the 4 screws holding in the circuit board and the 2 screws holding the SurfaceConnect receptacle shell:
The circuit board is now held in with a little friction at the USB ports but is mostly being held in place at the audio port which protrudes through the chassis and the SurfaceConnect receptacle shell. Gently pry the board on the corner opposite the audio port and the SurfaceConnect receptacle to tilt it and pull it out. It may help to bend the long edges of the plastic chassis slightly to give a little extra clearance for the audio port. If it doesn’t come out easily, don’t force it – you can bend the board and ruin it.
You’ll notice the shell around the main SurfaceConnect receptacle has a magnet on it with a red dot and the whole assembly falls right off:
Here is a close-up of the connector shell:
More weight on the other side:
Part 4 – Examining the circuit board
You can gently pry off the integrated circuit shields with a 1/8″ slot screwdriver to reveal the interesting chips.
Under the top shield:
- STDP4320 – STMicro DisplayPort 1.2a splitter
- SC667353/K66 – NXP/Freescale Kinetis K66 32-BIT MCU
- CX20582 Conexant HD Audio
- PI3PCIE3442ZHE – Pericom PCIE 3.3V PCI Express 3.0 2-lane switch
Under the bottom shields:
- Realtek RTL8153AM Ethernet
- 2 GL3520 Genesys Logic, Inc 4-port USB 3.1 hub controllers running in cascade config similar to:
- GL3520 #1
- USB port 0
- USB port 1
- NXP/Freescale MCU interface
- GL3520 #2
- USB port 2
- USB port 3
- Realtek Ethernet
- Conexant HD Audio
- GL3520 #1
The circuit board part number is “PCB X898350-001”. It is very densely populated compared to the older docking station. The board appears to be 6 or 8 layer and has a gazillion 8-pin ICs everywhere. I suspect these are VRMs and power switches. I didn’t take the time to look to closely at them. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer.
Part 5 – Power delivery analysis – only 60 watts delivered to SB2?
The molex connector soldered to the board appears to be part number 171982-0142. There are 42 pins plus a shell that acts as ground. Each pin can withstand up to 500mA current. In the Microsoft implementation, 8 pins are used for +15V for a maximum of 4 amps or 60 watts power delivery. In order to deliver ~90 watts, an additional 4 power pins are needed (5 to deliver up to 105 watts) but there are no pins left since the rest are used for DP and USB. Molex only specifies a 42-pin or an 80-pin connector. The 80-pin connector appears to be too large to fit in the MS dock form factor which is probably why MS went with the 42-pin model.
The wires in the Lorom cable assembly are 32 gauge which are only capable of ~530mA. On the Microsoft connector side there are 4 power pins – each capable of ~1.6 amps. Two wires are attached to each pin and run to the Molex side.
Thanks to my colleague Jon for providing the Dock and doing most of the initial teardown.
Update: Tono has shared a photo with the weights removed. All you need to do is drill the 8 little plastic “rivets”.
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