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Old 05-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #1
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Replace CPU in Pocket eDGe - pipe dream?

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about a way to replace the CPU for a Pocket eDGe and still maintain compatibility. I'm specifically interested in replacing it with something that has hardware graphics acceleration support, because that seems to be the thing that kills most compatibility with modern Android apps. Even simple games like Draw Something won't run on the PE, and useful apps like Splashtop also require hardware acceleration.

If this were possible, I suspect that even Netflix would work, although this would require tearing out the existing CPU, and finding another one that would a) fit and b) maintain compatibility.

I realize this is very likely to be impossible; just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone had thoughts about this. I've upgraded CPUs in PCs plenty of times, but I understand that the hardware involved in tablets in general, and the PE specifically, is very different.

Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Unlike a PC, the CPU in the eDGe is soldered in.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Unlike a PC, the CPU in the eDGe is soldered in.
Yes, of course; however, it could certainly be taken out, and another one soldered in its place. It wouldn't be easy, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility. Soldering isn't THAT hard. I'm curious to know whether there are any issues with pin compatibility. I'm not familiar with ARM hardware and whether you could just take one chip out, and solder in a more powerful one in its place. If I could get an ARM7 in there, that would be sweet, although I would imagine it would run in to battery life and heat problems. Nothing that couldn't be managed by SetCPU, I would think, but I doubt you can just take out the Marvell chip and stick in an ARM7 - but then, I wouldn't know.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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It would have to be interchangeable with this:

http://www.marvell.com//application-...pxa_168_pb.pdf
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:50 AM   #5
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It might be doable IF you have €30,000 to €40,000 to spare for the necessary equipment to do the physical work as well as a couple of dozen PEs to play with. That assumes the replacement CPU is pin compatible and signal level compatible as well.

You will need the 24 - or more - PEs because as soon as you manage to get a new CPU installed you will discover what else you will have to replace because that component, or components, will die - some not very gracefully, so you start again. You repeat this procedure until you eventually end up with - maybe - a working unit.

Basically what I'm saying is you would be better off spending that amount of money on getting a specialist company in the far east to design and build you a new motherboard. Then you will most probably need a new case, larger battery and so on.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:57 AM   #6
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Yes, of course; however, it could certainly be taken out, and another one soldered in its place. It wouldn't be easy, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility. Soldering isn't THAT hard.
I was a miniature repair technician in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years. Soldering isn't hard, but it isn't that easy unless you have the proper equipment. Unsoldering / soldering wires and simple flush or clinch mount components like resistors, capacitors etc. can be done with a soldering iron, flux, and a simple hand vacuum pump or soldering wick. However, the CPU is likely a surface mount flat pack which really requires a professional station like a PACE soldering and desoldering station. Most people don't have the luxury or the money to own such a station.

Also, I haven't actually looked at the eDGe main board so it may require micro repair skills as well which need to be done under a microscope to be effective. Attempting such a removal and replacement with a simple soldering iron with imprecise heat control will do more damage than good. However, good luck if you decide to try it.

Last edited by obsessed2; 05-21-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:30 PM   #7
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Odsessed2 you have just pointed out why I gave the price figures I did - we looked into it to see if we could extend the repair side of the business, accounts said no
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:48 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, your posts are informative and helpful. I believe I will leave it to the pros.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
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Thanks guys, your posts are informative and helpful. I believe I will leave it to the pros.
Good call.
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