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Old 11-08-2010, 10:41 AM   #1
dagero
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[SOLVED] Kindle 3G 6" Latest gen. memory is 256MB or 2GB?

The SanDisk iNAND seems to be integrated data storage for the Linux OS (flash), but it also seems to be volatile RAM according to the brochure. So, maybe the main memory (256MB) is here.

But then, what does the SAMSUNG K4X2G323PB-8GC3 do? I assume it's a memory chip and although the datasheet is not available, it could be 2GB volatile RAM.

http://www.chipworks.com/en/technica...ent-teardowns/

Last edited by dagero; 11-10-2010 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Title changed to solved.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
The SanDisk iNAND seems to be integrated data storage for the Linux OS (flash)
The flash inside the Kindle is a 4GB Samsung MoviNAND (KLM4G1EEHM) part not Sandisk. It is used to store the firmware and your ebooks/files.

The RAM inside the Kindle is another Samsung part and that consists of 2 Gigabit of SDRAM (K4X2G323PB). 2 Gigabit being 256MB.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:41 AM   #3
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
The flash inside the Kindle is a 4GB Samsung MoviNAND (KLM4G1EEHM) part not Sandisk. It is used to store the firmware and your ebooks/files.

The RAM inside the Kindle is another Samsung part and that consists of 2 Gigabit of SDRAM (K4X2G323PB). 2 Gigabit being 256MB.
Good to know. Thanks.
Amazon seems to change the chips, because mine has clear "SanDisk" logo on it. Maybe because mine is international version? I'll post a picture of the chip later.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
Amazon seems to change the chips, because mine has clear "SanDisk" logo on it. Maybe because mine is international version? I'll post a picture of the chip later.
The Samsung MoviNAND and Sandisk iNAND are generic NAND Flash with a MMC/SD interface as they both follow the JEDEC standards. I've got a K3 Euro and its a Samsung. I've never seen or heard anybody else mention a Sandisk part in their Kindle but I guess Amazon just uses whatever they've got stock of on their production lines.

The RAM you were referring to in your first post is a different part in the iNAND range. You can get iNAND MCPs which have multiple individual chips all in a single package. This wouldn't be very useful in the Kindle because you only want those when you're extremely constrained for space like in a cell phone. The Kindle already has space for regular RAM chips which are cheaper.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:16 AM   #6
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Secure-Digital card slot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
The Samsung MoviNAND and Sandisk iNAND are generic NAND Flash with a MMC/SD interface as they both follow the JEDEC standards.
<snip>
The RAM you were referring to in your first post is a different part in the iNAND range. You can get iNAND MCPs which have multiple individual chips all in a single package.
<snip>.
Cool, I began investigating this because I wanted an SD-card slot in my kindle. Given that the iNAND is just SD-interfaced data storage chip, the SD-card slot could probably replace the chip.

[QUESTION]: Is it necessary to have a write-distribution system in between the processor and the SD-card to level the wear on the SD-card, or is the wear-leveling built into the processor or the SD-card itself?

I have found a datasheet (SanDisk iNAND), similar to the one found in my Kindle, but it's not the same. Pin arrangements look alike. I don't know if the SanDisk iNAND chip is pin-compatible with the Samsung chip you all seem to have. But here it is in any case, if someone wants to give this a shot before I do :) http://www.spezial.com/commercio/dat...DS_-_iNAND.pdf

If I manage to do it, I'll document every step of it. Source code modifications will also be released. Please do the same.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Cool, I began investigating this because I wanted an SD-card slot in my kindle. Given that the iNAND is just SD-interfaced data storage chip, the SD-card slot could probably replace the chip.
Its MMC or SD. No idea what specific MMC interface type it is using. No idea what speed it is using either. If it is one of the fast variants of eMMC then you'll need to find a card that supports the same speeds.

You wouldn't be able to format the MMC card as normal. It'd have to replicate the partitions on the internal flash precisely and it won't support hotswap. Each of your MMC cards would need to have the firmware loaded and the data from your specific Kindle as well which would include the crypto keys and IDs.

I have no idea if there is a chip specific ID and whether it is used for the Kindle BTW. If there is then it won't be possible to change the flash at all not without losing the ability to use Kindle store items.

Quote:
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Is it necessary to have a write-distribution system in between the processor and the SD-card to level the wear on the SD-card, or is the wear-leveling built into the processor or the SD-card itself?
The chip does it as part of the MMC controller built into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
I don't know if the SanDisk iNAND chip is pin-compatible with the Samsung chip you all seem to have.
It will be the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
If I manage to do it, I'll document every step of it. Source code modifications will also be released. Please do the same.
You have the necessary SMD rework equipment to get the existing chip off? You know its a BGA with the package overhanging everything right? Have to ask just in case you don't.

There are lots of unknowns in your project and removing that chip isn't going to be easy without the correct tools. Attempting it without the correct tools or knowledge is just going to mean you're guaranteed dead Kindle. If you do it and it works then lots of pictures and a list of changes

Last edited by Tiersten; 11-11-2010 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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Summary: Yes, many buts and maybes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
Its MMC or SD. No idea what specific MMC interface type it is using. No idea what speed it is using either. If it is one of the fast variants of eMMC then you'll need to find a card that supports the same speeds.
The ARM11 core has two SD/MMC/SDIO interfaces. It would make sense that either the controller is compatible with all of the protocols and not just eMMC. Besides, the SanDisk iNAND chip doesn't mention anything about eMMC, just SD.

I believe Kindle uses first one for the iNAND and second for the keyboard as an SDIO (dmesg).
* http://www.alldatasheet.com/datashee...E/MCIMX35.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
You wouldn't be able to format the MMC card as normal. It'd have to replicate the partitions on the internal flash precisely and it won't support hotswap. Each of your MMC cards would need to have the firmware loaded and the data from your specific Kindle as well which would include the crypto keys and IDs.
Kindle boots -> ARM11 processor boots -> The processor loads the U-boot from it's boot program storage -> U-boot loads linux kernel from SD-card -> Linux-kernel and it's drivers boot. Or maybe the processor has some bootloader X which loads the U-boot from SD-card. But in any case the U-boot configuration is stored somewhere and since the configuration parameters can be saved from within the U-boot, I don't think the U-boot modified the processor's boot program storage data. Maybe. Nothing specific to partitions.

Anyways it's not a problem. The SD-card slot part of the project would be just to keep my mind from worrying about killing the flash with excessive usage. The card isn't meant to be hot-swappable.

I've not read about any encryption keys. Would you mind sharing? What little I've studied the Amazon-provided Linux kernel source code, there is a board ID which can be read and written, but something is encrypted as well?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
I have no idea if there is a chip specific ID and whether it is used for the Kindle BTW. If there is then it won't be possible to change the flash at all not without losing the ability to use Kindle store items.
I'm not aiming for Kindle-provided user space software. My aim is to toss the included SIM-card and replace it with my own data-plan-SIM-card and to have the ability to use SSH with Java terminal application, the screen refresh rate is on the slow side but I'm sure it would be perfect for IRC and many, many more applications


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
The chip does it as part of the MMC controller built into it.
That what I suspected as well, thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
You have the necessary SMD rework equipment to get the existing chip off? You know its a BGA with the package overhanging everything right? Have to ask just in case you don't.
Not a thing. Well, a funnel and a hot air blower.. I'll dump the flash before I do that, as the chip most likely won't survive the process (a surprise). Fortunately I'm not without assistance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiersten View Post
There are lots of unknowns in your project and removing that chip isn't going to be easy without the correct tools. Attempting it without the correct tools or knowledge is just going to mean you're guaranteed dead Kindle. If you do it and it works then lots of pictures and a list of changes
Removing the chip is the easiest part. Hoping for the best with the pinouts is the big unknown. Hoping that there are no proprietary drivers in the user space is hoping (not in that order, of course).

Not a question about the pictures and documentation, I'll share them when this project gets going.

And if all this comes along nicely, I'll be the first person to market Amazon Kindle to everyone I know. I like the device because of it's long battery life, slim size, funny keyboard with the 5-way button and above all: the fact that (if) Amazon really allows the user to change the user space applications and kernel as they wish. After all, I bought it.

Edit: Cannot post pictures of the flash, as I didn't seem to even take them! Damn it. Opening the Kindle without making visible dents was a major pain in the ass, so I'll do it the next time I open it. Here are the details I wrote up from the chip: SanDisk iNAND TM, SDIN4C2-4G, SO225J071, DP0168547SS2 TAIWAN.

Last edited by dagero; 11-11-2010 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
The ARM11 core has two SD/MMC/SDIO interfaces. It would make sense that either the controller is compatible with all of the protocols and not just eMMC. Besides, the SanDisk iNAND chip doesn't mention anything about eMMC, just SD.
It is a iMX353 which has 3 MMC/SD/SDIO interfaces.

The Samsung MoviNAND follows the eMMC standard which just gives you MMC. eMMC doesn't do the extra SD features. Whilst the controller supports SD, you don't know how the bootloader is configuring the controller. It might be doing 8 bit mode which MMC supports but SD doesn't.

Also the CPU runs at 1.8V and the MoviNAND chip can be set for 1.8V IO as well. The SD standard states 3.3V for all cards whilst the MMC standard allows optional 1.8V operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
I believe Kindle uses first one for the iNAND and second for the keyboard as an SDIO
The keyboard is connected to the built in iMX keypad interface not SDIO.

One of the SDIO interfaces is used for the WiFi chip which is built into the main Kindle board. It is an Atheros AR6102G which has a SDIO interface.

The 3G module if you have one is connected via the USB host controller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
Kindle boots -> ARM11 processor boots -> The processor loads the U-boot from it's boot program storage -> U-boot loads linux kernel from SD-card -> Linux-kernel and it's drivers boot. Or maybe the processor has some bootloader X which loads the U-boot from SD-card. But in any case the U-boot configuration is stored somewhere and since the configuration parameters can be saved from within the U-boot, I don't think the U-boot modified the processor's boot program storage data.
There is a bootstrap ROM inside the CPU but that is fixed by Freescale. The strapping pins on the CPU determine how it boots and one of the options is to boot from a MMC/SD card on a SDIO interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
The SD-card slot part of the project would be just to keep my mind from worrying about killing the flash with excessive usage. The card isn't meant to be hot-swappable.
You'd have to do a lot of writes to the whole flash to wear it out as the controller inside the flash package will be doing wear leveling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagero View Post
I've not read about any encryption keys. Would you mind sharing? What little I've studied the Amazon-provided Linux kernel source code, there is a board ID which can be read and written, but something is encrypted as well?
The Kindle has crypto keys to verify that updates are valid. The current DRM scheme relies on a symmetric cipher but I've not looked it really so there may be more complicated parts of that system.

If you get a 1.8V (maybe) MMC card that is exactly the same size or larger and then do a complete copy from the internal flash to the card preserving everything then you should be able to swap it...
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