Name that Ware December 2007

The ware for December 2007 is shown below. Click on the image for a much larger version.

I’m guessing this ware shouldn’t be too hard. However, if anyone happens to know where I can get a datasheet for the MT8303 chip on the PCB, I’d appreciate a link. I have a high-level sense of what the chip contains but I haven’t been able to find any detailed architectural diagrams or reference manuals for the chip.

I’m also going to try something a little bit new for this competition. I’m going to stick with the original rules of Name That Ware–e.g., prizes awarded based on my personal, subjective opinion of “best analysis” merits–but for now I’m going to up the prize stakes. Now that chumbys are shipping to customers, we have a few misfit chumbys that get sent back. Thankfully, we don’t have enough of these returns to make it worthwhile to implement a rework program, so for now they just sit in inventory, gathering dust. Many of these units are “hacker-functional” e.g., a hacker would be happy to get one, but they do not meet the chumby quality standard for some cosmetic reason, such as a loose screw rattling around on the inside. I figure one of the best things we could do for these misfit chumbys is to find them a home in the hands of someone that can breathe new life into them–someone who can hack them and create something new and interesting out of them. Significantly, the unit would not come with any of the packaging or accessories that are part of the usual chumby experience–they would just be a chumby and a power supply in a brown box.

The key caveat is if you win and choose it as a prize, then you also promise not to resell the unit, since it is technically defective. I’ll be tracking the serialization information for the misfit units so we’ll know where they came from if another customer calls in with a complaint about a defective chumby they bought off of eBay. If you just intend to resell the unit, please claim one of the alternate prizes available. It’s on the honor system, so don’t be the one who ruins it for everyone else. If we start having problems (or if we run out of defective units to give away for some reason, e.g., we start a rework program), I’ll have to stop offering these as prizes!

28 Responses to “Name that Ware December 2007”

  1. Pepe says:

    It’s a digital multimedia album, specifically this…

  2. Julian Calaby says:

    Let’s start with the obvious parts:

    1. 2x speakers at the top
    2. a shield or heatsink (not of any type I’ve ever seen) or volume knob at the top right
    3. Low profile coil at the bottom right
    4. USB port at top left
    5. Large multi-wire cable at bottom middle
    6. 3x thick wires (near “VOLTAGE” marking)
    7. Large tac-switch next to multi-wire cable.
    8. 10 (count ’em) flat mounted tac-switches on other side (around perimeter)
    9. 4 solder pad arrangements which could be right angle tac-switches (like 7) mounted on other side of the board.
    10. ROM at upper left of large chip
    11. RAM below large chip
    12. Large chip
    13. Loads of capacitors
    14. Tape (lots of it)
    15. Glue on some components.
    16. The power connector at the top right of the board.
    17. The “FM-ANT” wire at the top right of the board.

    I’m guessing from 14, 15 and the placement and style of the speaker mounts that this is a fairly cheap device, I’m guessing it’s from deepest darkest China, however it could really be from anywhere. Probably not name brand.

    1 suggests that this is an audio device of some type. (They’re even sealed in their own section, someone was thinking audio!) I’m going to guess that 2 is definitely a volume knob, it’s also fairly close to the speaker connectors. The amount of electrolytic capacitors (13) also guides me towards this conclusion.

    3 reminds me very strongly of the backlight inverter coil in my PalmIIIc, so I’m guessing that this one is for the same purpose. With the wires at 6 taking this to the LCD panel.

    This, combined with 5 make me strongly think that there’s a huge LCD taking up the entirety of the other side of the board. I’m guessing that it’s colour, given the backlight.

    I’m guessing that, given the amount of tac switches (7, 8) around the display, that it is not a touch screen, which makes sense given the lack of any evidence for the a secondary cable from the display.

    7 itself screams (to me) reset switch

    Speaking of the tac switches, the four at the bottom (9) are definitely tac switches, given that they are part of the same net as the others.

    The power connector (16) and the lack of any possible battery pack connectors, makes me think that this is not a portable device, however it appears to be completely self contained.

    I’m guessing that the large chip (12) is a CPU of some type, however googling for MT8303 turns up nothing useful. The rom and ram around it (10, 11) help make a case for this.

    This leaves 4 and 17.

    17 is labeled “FM-ANT” so I’m going out on a limb and guessing that this is a FM radio antena, from somewhere else in the case. I’m guessing that the small chip next to it is a decoder of some type.

    Finally, we have 4, a single, solitary USB port, hard wired almost directly to the CPU.

    I also spy a 74 series chip, (just above the center of the board) but cannot read or identify any of the other chips.

    Conclusions? not many at the moment, I’ve not seen anything even remotely identifying, so I can’t give anything more than what I *think* it does.

    I’m guessing this is one of:
    * Media player with FM radio and video support (MP4 springs to mind as something which would be stenciled on the case) – but why wouldn’t it be portable?
    * Digital picture frame with FM radio – but why all the audio hardware?
    * Chumby prototype / cheap knockoff – but why wouldn’t their chief hardware engineer know what the main chip does?

    However none of these explain the placement of the speakers or the multitude of buttons.

    At this point, I’m out of ideas.



    Julian Calaby

  3. Pepe says:

    It’s a Digital Photo Frame, Digital Multimedia Album DMA 802

    I posted the link before but it’s awaiting moderation…

    From the link posted before:

    Model DMA 802
    solution MT8303+8 inch INNOLUX LCD panel(digital interface)


    • 8 inch TFT LCD screen
    • LED backlight
    • SD/MMC/MS card supported
    • USB 2.0 port
    • AV input
    • Multilingual OSD
    • Full function remote control
    • Built-in 2×1.5w stereo speakers
    • Jpeg/Audio/Video playback
    • Calendar/clock

  4. Pepe says:

    I couldn’t find a datasheet but I did find a research paper (?) where it’s featured. It’s in chinese so I don’t know if it’s of any use.

    Here’s the link.

  5. kju says:

    The chip in question is probably manufactured by MediaTek, and

  6. Karl says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Chumby knock-off based on the design of another product, like the DMA 802 photo album. Ignoring the electronics for a bit (since they’ve been covered in the first two comments), it looks like there’s some fabric attached to the black plastic, although it’s a bit hard to tell.

  7. Dave Z. says:

    My observations:

    It’s got (stereo) speakers, LCD (flex connector + voltage converter for backlight), SD-RAM, USB connector (but type ‘A’ – the host kind), and a DC power jack.

    It definitely says “photo frame” to me.

    I found the same page as Pepe (, but I don’t think that’s the right one. The case is the wrong shape, and the wrong colors, too. This one doesn’t seem to have an AV input. Plus, the speakers are clearly labeled 1W, though it wouldn’t be the first time a web page lied about specs :-)

    Based on the button layout, case coloration & shape, and speaker screen, which is barely visible on the edge of the black case in the photo, I think Bunnie’s is the Philips AJL308 frame.

  8. Dave Z. says:

    ‘Cause it’s tired and I forgot to say:

    And obviously, the AJL308 is more than just a digital frame – it’s billed as a ‘Philips USA AJL308 Clock Radio with 7″ TFT LCD Color Display and USB/SD Card Slot’. Plus it’s got preloaded nature sounds and relaxation music :-)

    The “alarm clock” feature also explains the presence of the “FM-ANT” pad on the PCB – gotta have your NPR in the morning…

    Sorry I can’t help out with the MT8303 datasheet.


  9. Neon John says:

    This analysis was complicated by not being able to read the small chips. (ya need a light box, Bunny.) Anyway

    Major features:

    * The big multi-function chip, of course
    * The USB “A” connector and controller chip
    * The 64Mb memory chip just below and a little left of the big chip
    * The ribbon cable that fairly obviously goes to an LCD display
    * The FM radio antenna and single chip radio on the upper right
    * The row of pushbuttons along three of the 4 edges, and a few on the bottom. That they’re pushbuttons is evidenced by the square layout and the flat pins visible through the solder.
    * The transformer in the lower right that is obviously an EL backlight driver.
    * The 2 amp fuse in the lower right area above the transformer indicates that the unit draws considerable power, probably mostly for the backlight.
    * The cheap barrel power connector at the upper right, indicates that this is a low end consumer product.
    * The two cheap stereo speakers.
    * The large unpopulated area, upper middle right, indicates that this is a stripped down unit.
    * The silver metal gadget just to the right of the ribbon cable that may be an infrared remote control receiver.
    * What is NOT visible, any kind of memory card slot.

    All that plus figuring you brought this back from China and knowing how the ChiComs love to combine unrelated functions in a single package….

    I’m going to guess that this is a wall-hanging combination picture viewer/video viewer/audio player and FM radio. The pushbuttons are soft keys, probably for menus, radio tuning and volume and picture scrolling.

    The USB “A” connector is out of place but it wouldn’t be the first time that happened. My Archos Jukebox has the same connector and requires an A-A cable.

    I couldn’t quite make out the USB chip numbers so I’m not sure if it can be a host and slave or just a slave. If it can be a host then it probably can download photos directly from digicams.

    The lack of any other major function blocks plus the fact that there is NOTHING on the net about the chip tells me the MT8303 is a custom part that integrates video and audio plus addressing the memory chip.

    The speakers are, of course, for the FM radio and stereo audio music and video sound.

    On the transformer, I can make out the high current primary winding on the left, the feedback windings in the center and the multi-section high voltage secondary on the right. The size of the wire plus the 2 amp fuse tells me this is a rather high power backlight, probably to be viewable in the day time.

    I can’t make out the part numbers on the two chips to the left of the transformer but from the topology of surrounding parts, they’re probably power FETs in chip packaging. U1P1 is the switcher controller.

    The thin but cheaply made case adds further to my analysis that this thing is not designed to be handled but instead probably hangs on the wall.

    One mode of operation is probably to load the thing up via USB with pictures that play in an endless slide show while the FM radio provides audio entertainment.

    If my analysis is correct, and judging by the size of the thing, I’d love to have one :-) With more than 64Mb, of course.


  10. Dave Z. says:

    It occurs to me that I should’ve written a little more about how I came up with my answer, since that’s part of the contest:

    – Did a survey of the parts in the photo.

    – Did a google search of the MT8303. Found it was made by MediaTek, and found the aforementioned DMA 802 page that lists the chip as a component.

    – Noticed the specs/physical characteristics for the DMA 802 didn’t line up with the device in the photo.

    – Figured the MT8303 was the processor, and a fairly specialized one at that, and that it was unlikely the device in the photo could be anything radically different from the DMA 802.

    – Did a google image search for “digital photo frame mp3 1w” (or something like that) since it probably played mp3’s, and the speakers were labeled 1w.

    – Sifted through images looking for the right button layout (6 in a row across the front, plus four more on each side), feature set (no A/V out that I could see, no battery, etc), and the right case coloration – black on the front, white on the back (the white cover is just barely visible in the photo).

    – Once I found the AJL308 photo, it was clear it lined up with the device in the photo.

    And now it’s time for bed, as evidenced by the typos and the fact that I needed three posts to properly express myself.


  11. Flo says:

    Getting datasheets for the chips used in digital picture frames is almost impossible, as the used chipsets are usually capable of mpeg2/jpg/divx/mp3/wma/other and are used in mass-dvd-player-production – unless you plan to use them commercially and license standards it uses (and can proove it), they just deny requests.

    I tried getting datasheets for the vaddis 966 chipset – through extensive searching i found some reference-dvd-player schematic for it, but that didn’t really help. It was alot easier to find the manufacturer of the vaddis, then it is with the mt8303, anyway – good luck!

  12. Eric B. says:

    Find part of the MT8303 datasheet at Maybe you can find the first part somewhere else.

  13. David Gabler says:

    It does not look like like a Digital picture frame to me. There are speakers and FM, not that normal for a pic frame.

    I Think it is Phillips AJL308 clock radio.

    Check out the manual :

    Page 3 shows the plugs in the correct location. From the angle the picture was taken it hides the SD slot which is right next to the USB port. All the buttons are there even the snooze button hidden in the dark at the top. FM is in the bottom corner near the power.

    product page:

  14. David Gabler says:

    Bugger was so happy I figured it out first but seems Dave Z beat me to it! Oh well.

  15. Richard Hollis says:

    Well, top right has what looks like an FM radio, the wire point called “FM-Ant” is a clue!, I can’t read the chip there but the big white disk could easily be a tuning wheel, although this would seem odd for a digital device, or maybe volume control I guess. Also the dc input connector is here, looking somewhat bodged if you ask me. Next to the ‘tuning’ wheel (to the left) could be an SD card adaptor, from the back, although this seems some way in if you ask me (a little under the black tape). Also next to this are the connectors for the 2 speakers, and the circuitry for what I assume would be an amp. A dual opamp (4558) and the (AD)822 power amp would seem to confirm this. Above this is a small unpopulated area, its not really enough to be an extra feature missing, the only thing I can think of is a 2nd amp, maybe to boast the gain (but why?) or the power (but only op-amp sized!), or maybe that’s a guess too many. Below all this is the area I think contents the main DC psu, although there doesn’t seem to be much of it, I’d guess all the caps between the amp and the lower right part, a fuse, toroidal filter and a polarity protection diode. May not need much as its prob regulated dc.
    In the lower right corner is a large coil, certainly looks like a LCD backlight driver, with the markings “VOLTAGE” on the output (maybe says HIGH or LCD under the label!)
    In the lower left corner, well that def could be an big fat colour LCD driver, google turns up clues but nothing definite, but then it could be a custom asci or something none standard. But next to this looks like a “hynix” memory chip (64Mbit?), and on the left of the lcd driver another mem chip, my guess a little flash module.
    Top left, well there’s the very obvious USB port (although it looks a little high, could it be a dual one, but there’s only one lip visible) and no matter how hard I look I can’t see any via’s or clues to other ports. There is what could be a RTC here, the crystal looks right (the glued down one), but can’t read the chip next to it.
    Around the edge, it looks like a load of push switches, but the tracking looks a little odd, but that maybe down to what looks like just a double sided pcb, so no power/ground plains. Large power button? at the bottom of the pic, next to the lcd ribbon cable. I assume there’s nothing big on the other side, partly due to the low via count, partly as I think there’s a huge great LCD there, and they wanted to keep the depth down so the switches work. The LCD driver must be pretty much ‘out of the box’ ready, i mean no USB driver, no SD, so it must be programmable (or pre-programmed) to just work with the switches etc.
    OK i wanted it to be one of the fancier home weather monitoring station thingies from a first quick glance, but I don’t see any external io apart from usb FM and possible SD card. So I guess I’d have to go picture frame/clock radio. Prob a cheap Chinese all-in-one device (not like a nice all-in-one chumby!), cheap analogue fm radio, badly glued/taped components, RAM and Flash, minimum inputs to fulfil purpose (no CF, extra USB, WiFi etc). I would assume this is a ‘no-brand’ device, but I could be wrong!

  16. roby says:

    ok, first of all lets rotate the photo 180deg. :)
    Now in the bottom left we have a DC connector and a TEA5763, a FM radio IC,from NXP.. there are also some other NXP CMOS IC around the board.
    The top left part is the inverter stage High Voltage for the (double?) lcd backlight lamp and there is the smd HV transformer for that.
    The flat cable in the top right is for the colour lcd.
    The lcd is driven by the MT8303FE a dadicated IC for digital photo frame with MPEG 1/2/4 and SD / MMC / MS support; this IC uses a hynix ram module and a flash module.There is an interesting connector next to it (CON1), maybe for ISP.
    There is a real time clock (U9), maybe a PCF8563, or at least similar device, because the metal can 32khz osc is on pin 1 and 2, pin 4(VSS) seems to be on a ground plane + there is a large electrolytic cap next to the pin 8 (VDD) and R47+R45 are in the right place for the I2c bus pull up.
    I think that Philips AJL308 frame guess is a good answer… but i won’t be surprised if it’s a no brand chinese one due to te kind of tape used and the bad quality screw (the ones you easily ruin the screw head… how do you sai that in english? well.. sorry for my english).
    I regret having missed the opportunity to meet you at 24C3 and get a chumby… maybe next year! :)

  17. David Gabler says:

    No I do not think it is a knock off. Rotate the picture and look below the antenna. There is a mold impression there. You can see some of the letters
    A*L308 The antenna obscures the J (makes sense due to letter shape and antenna position) you can make the foot out on the L. Then the lower half of the 308 are visible.
    Also you can see *ACK CAB The * looks like maybe a B?

    That, the button placement make me think it is not a knockoff but an AJL308

  18. Santak says:

    This looks like a digital photo frame.
    Not sure why the FM ant is there

    MT8303 is a LCD panel digital interface chip

  19. li_gangyi says:

    Should be one of those LCD digital photo frame + Media playback thingies, we have one in our store running the Logitech Harmony demo video loaded through a memory card. The contrast and brightness controls on the thing don’t seem to work too well, kinda makes the image fuzzy or randomly streak… must be a defect of some sort.

    To Bunnie : If you need anything translated from Chinese to English, lemmi know, I know quite a bit of chinese. Singaporean here.

  20. Nate S. says:

    FLO! Please tell me where you got the vaddis chipset info! I am in desperate need of a pin configuration

  21. Myke B says:

    I would like to know if there is a company that will liscense a picture frame that I can them sell under my own company name that meets all the requirements of the Phillips AJL308 clock radio. Maybe a China knockoff company etc.

    Check out the manual :

    I would then like to make some upgrades to the software for my own purposes. Help Please Techmeisters

  22. Andrew says:


    I am looking for a Philips 6FF3FPW digital photo frame but am currently struggling to find one anywhere, or to find anywhere that has a good review. Do you know anywhere you can point me to that will provide one of these please?

    Many thanks

  23. Archos 704 says:

    This is the second time I visit your blog and find an interesting article perfectly matching what I was searching for so I decided to add your feed to my RSS Reader. Thanks for you work.

  24. Michael W says:

    Not a datasheet, but here’s a schematic using the MT8303:

    I found that above link here:

  25. Sigrist says:

    Hello guys!

    I have one of this clock radio and it’s a very nice hardware, but with a terrible software. I was wondering to install linux on it. Do you know if can I boot it from USB or SD card??


  26. hi Thanks for a super article. Bookmarked and will return shortly. cya

  27. tried getting datasheets for the vaddis 966 chipset…through extensive searching i found some reference-dvd-player schematic for it, but that didn’t really help.:(

  28. the clock radios that we have at home are made by General Electric and they are really sturdy -*,