Name that Ware November 2006

The ware for December 2006, is shown below. Click on the photo for a much larger version.

Personally, I was a little bit surprised at the simplicity of this device when I opened it up, but then again, I learn something new every day. That’s the point of opening stuff up!

It will be interesting to see if anyone guesses this exactly right–I’m figuring that many will get in the general ballpark, but they won’t get the most interesting part about this device, which is how it was packaged for sale. I will probably run this month’s competition over a relatively short timespan, both because the answer to this is interesting to discuss, and also because I was very late on posting this.

24 Responses to “Name that Ware November 2006”

  1. Julian Calaby says:

    I know I’ll never get the whole point of this one, so I’ll save my analysis for later.

    However, I do know exactly what it is based on the six major components visible in the small image. (And the fact that I’ve taken a similar device apart too.)

    The closest I could guess is what the device does, and possibly some software for it. I couldn’t name it.

    Thanks again for a wonderful ware bunnie,

    Good luck all!

  2. maZZoo says:


    even without looking up the main device, it’s pretty obvious. There’s the 3.5mm audio jack on the bottom, next to a USB-plug, can be identified by the two thick outer power lines, and the two thin differential USB-datalines.

    And a flash.

    Not too much effort seems to be put on the audio side, there’s no propper shielding or analog amps/filters.

    keep up the funny “name that ware” even if you tend to be late :)


  3. Jex says:

    Yes MP3-Player ….it uses the z80 based all in one multimedia Ic from Action (a chinese company) and 1Gbit NAND Flash Memory from hynix….it seems that many player use this,sony,…

    this is interesting

  4. Christian Vogel says:

    I second the oppinion of mazoo, it’s obviously something like a mp3-player.

    In my oppinion, the the soldering seems to be very sloppy (e.g. the big cap labeled S4 near the battery connection or the two smaller caps below the quartz).

    Also the cut of the PCB is not done nicely (the +5V line from the usb running to the left of the battery is cut into).

    There are quite a lot of unpopulated pads (e.g. left of the battery) which are also not labeled on the silkscreen which could be a hint that we are looking at one variation of a standard circuit which can be slightly modified for a specific purpose, maybe to accomodate different flash-sizes and/or keypads/displays (on the other side of the PCB?). Why did they not bother to remove those pads from the design?

    So judging from the observations above I’d say that it’s a very-low-cost mp3-player as you would expect as a giveaway at a tradeshow or some other promptional item.

    Bunnie, did you receive it while touring china? :-)

  5. echo says:

    Great website Bunnie!!! Stumbled across this website a few weeks ago and have been anxiously awaiting the next round of name that ware. Not only VERY educational, but it’s a breath of fresh air for all the hardware hackers out there! Keep up the good work!

    As for this one..
    No guesses as to which model this is exactly, but from the black plastic casing, and the white keyboard.. most importantly, from the comments bunnie made about ‘packaging’, it would be something like:
    I don’t think this is the right answer because the headphone connector is pointing the wrong way though..

    There’s gotta be circuitry, or at least connectors on the other side. There dosen’t appear to be any UI stuff on this side (aside from the SPDT switch.) I think that’s the ‘hold’ switch.

    I can see a keypad (the white colored silk/smask PCB behind the battery.) No connectors, or even bare wires connected to this keypad. Looking at the schematic of this,it appears that the connector for this kbd should be somewhere next to that bank of 51k resistors.

    There’s also microphone circuitry hooked up. Don’t see any obvious cutouts for it, yet there’s components and even vias. (it’s the 2.2k/.22u on the southeast edge of the ‘2051 chip.) It would make no sense to have this circuitry there and not use it. Especially since there are other DNP’s throught the board. like the missing LDO.

    As for board quality, it’s not the best, but it’s not the worst. It looks to be >2 layer, possibly 4 layer, if they were trying to make this really cheap (assuming no high density parts on the other side) they could really sacrifice signal quality and push 2 layer.

    It still amazes me that we are able to pack all of this into a SOC. I remember back when playing back mp3’s required some 90% of a 486DX/50 and even that was pushing things. Now they’re doing it in a single ~180nm die…

  6. Eliot says:

    Yeah, looks like it’s probably just a cheap iPod Nano clone. Something like this:

  7. Steven says:

    USB socket, head socket, flash, battery, no obvious d2a or the like but probably on the other side of the board. Looks like a cheap chinese/taiwan ripoff of a very popular mp3 player.

    I’ll go with Christian Vogel – Bunnie probably got it whilst on tour :)

    Possibly something like: ?

  8. Cathedrow says:

    Much has already been said, but a quick breakdown on components:
    Hynix HY27UF081: 128Mx8 flash
    ATJ2051H: This chip appears related to the S1mp3 family – a set of unbranded generic MP3 audio players.

    A little digging around the forums shows that this device has a monochrome LCD interface (presumably mounted on the reverse side. Example schematic here: Although the flash memory here is different from the schematic, a lot of the elements are preserved.

    From the physical size, it looks remarkably like an Apple iPod Nano. Build quality and the lack of logos indicate this is no Apple device, so I’m thinking fake nano.

    A quick google of ‘fake nano’ provides:

    We have a match!

  9. Justin says:

    I opened up my fake mp4 player and found that it had samsung 1gb flash memeory inside of it.I guess they were really trying to copy ipod all the way lol..

  10. Fdail says:

    Not bad, it really can occur

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  17. Le prémièrement, le ton de mp3 player est mauvais que AAC et WMA.

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  19. Good to know, thanks for the usefull knowledge.I just love it!

  20. my mp3 player is an ipod shuffle, the sound is great specially if you use Sennheiser headphones~’;

  21. mp3 players these days are usually made in China and are quite disposable””

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