Monday, November 26, 2007

Kindle Boot logs and hardware speculation

Some interesting conversations taking place over at Kindle Developer's Corner at Mobileread.

Kindle saves its boot logs to a user readable part of the flash memory AND on the SD card in the device. To quote Nate, "It's almost like they are begging you to hack it."

Based on early analysis, it seems that the UI is written in Java (if true, this may explain some of the *slowness* issues ;). Igorsk at Mobileread also tried to identify hardware details.

As far as I can guess from the sources:
The base system is based on a Gumstix board.
The CPU is XScale PXA250.
The I/O chip to talk to the PN-LCD, keyboard, scrollwheel and battery is from Foxconn.
Flash chip is OneNAND from Samsung.
The CDMA modem is AnyData DTG.
USB controller is Philips ISP1761 (it has On-The-Go!).
Eink controller is Apollo (the older one used in PRS-500 etc, I think).
Audio is WM8971.
Give this some time and I bet someone will gain shell access on the Kindle. Can't wait to join the hacking efforts as soon as I get my Kindle on Dec 4th :)


Anonymous said...

This is way late compared to the blog post. But anyhow just a reaction to the java comment.

I've done GUI work on the MAC in java, and I can assure you that it is not slow. Your comment may point towards truth, but if so, then that is a crappy java implementation.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous RE: MAC and Java

There is a VAST difference between running Java on a 2GHz+ CoreDuo or Core2Duo and a XScale (low-power, single core, between 200 and 400 MHz). Java requires additional overhead that may seem trivial on a larger platform, but on a platform this slow it makes a HUGE difference.