Chumby Digital Picture Frame Teardown


At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Chumby unveiled their latest prototype. It’s a network connected digital picture frame that runs Flash widgets. Just like the current Chumby model, they’re publishing the software and hardware under a license designed to let you hack it. They let us borrow one of their open chassis evaluation kits to teardown and photograph. We’ve got more pictures, full specs, and the schematics below.


The new version has an 800×600 LCD touchpanel. They’re still using an open source Linux backend, but they’ve updated the UI. Chumby widgets are now managed on the device. Before, users had to log into the website and then have their chosen widgets pushed down to the Chumby. The software is designed so that it could be a user’s primary photo management application. It instantly recognizes inserted memory cards and lets users drag and drop photos into the widget playlist. The device integrates seamlessly with PhotoBucket letting you easily upload new galleries. You can send these to other Chumby users (Chums) as well.


Keep in mind that this is just an evaluation kit, so it’s mounted in a generic wooden photo frame.


Click here for a bigger version

On the left side are stereo speakers connected to the onboard amplifier. The large orange ribbon at the bottom contains all of the display electronics. The lower connector on the right edge powers the backlight. The upper four wire ribbon is for the touchscreen. The cutout at the top is for the USB WiFi card. The coincell holder is battery backup for the real time clock. There are two control panel buttons along the top.


The board includes several headers to make debugging easier. The pins in the lower left provide a serial console (detail). The larger grouping is the CPU JTAG. Next to that is an MMC port for the initial boot image. The cryptoprocessor also has a JTAG connector.


Flipping the board over you can see the optional video camera daughter card.


The silkscreen next to the RAM on the front side says this board version is Stormwind v8.0 revC.


Click here for a bigger version

The front side of the board is where most of the interesting bits are. The reset and user buttons are located in the upper left. Next to that is an SD card socket and a CF card socket. The power jack and microphone are on the upper right corner along with the amplifier circuitry. Below the CF is a TSOP socket holding a Hynix HY27UF081G2A-TP memory device. Under that is the main processor, a Samsung S3C6410. It’s a 533Mhz ARM11 CPU. To the right of the chip, are two Hynix RAM chips. This new Chumby can be built with 2-8GB of storage. Below that is the Novatek NT39703 display driver. The crypto processor is left of there. The headphone jack is located in the lower right corner of the board. The board’s lower edge features three USB ports. A USB WiFi card is plugged into one of them. We assume not integrating WiFi means they don’t have to deal with FCC approval; they just use an approved card. The USB and memory cards are controlled by the Alcor Micro AU6350 located next to the camera module.

For those looking for even more detail, here are the full schematics:

IMPORTANT: The materials contained in this download are subject to the Chumby HDK License Agreement contained in the download. By using the Chumby materials in this download, you are indicating that you have read and understood, and agree to be bound by, that agreement.

Download the Chumby Stormwind HDK

27 thoughts on “Chumby Digital Picture Frame Teardown

  1. >The silkscreen next to the NAND FLASH on the
    >front side says this board version is Stormwind
    >v8.0 revC.

    except its not nand flash, its RAM …
    HY5DU121622DTP-D43 512Mbit DDR400 2.5V

    flash is mounted in black tsop socket

    any n00b can unscrew wooden frame, at least let someone with a bit of knowledge write description

  2. I think you’ll find crypto processors and secure boot in most any applications processor at this stage. Remember, you’re buying a processor from a manufacturer who is trying to sell as many as possible. PDA/netbook and cellphone manufacturers want these features, so they’re in the processor you buy.

  3. whats more funny is they dont even tell you what it is exactly, just protel footprint + you can see that the chip markings got sanded off + it has battery connected to it so its used as a RTC? (essential?)
    its connected to main CPU thru Uart, to USB hub, and controls power up

  4. It’s functionally a big Ipod touch in a wooden frame that needs to be plugged into a wall outlet for power. Nevertheless, I’ll probably get one to put beside my current Chumby.

  5. Please get some decent lighting and better macro photos next time you do a tear down. Or atleast use a scanner. These pictures are fun to browse through but pointless for any hardware hacker or engineer to grasp their head around the components. Sure we can take your word for what the components are but we like to see for ourselves. Please take macro photos of each important IC and surrounding area you mention next time you do a tear down.

  6. I’m a Chumby owner and which does make a pretty decent alarm clock. The application of this on the other hand doesn’t warrant the advertising that would be sure to accompany it. I really wish they could have avoided the advertising model.

    At least they’re open with the hardware.

  7. Great, just what i always wanted … a wifi enabled webcam hanging on my wall, streaming to who knows where.

    its the government’s new way to spy on us man. do i hear conspiracy?

  8. Hi,

    I am looking for a Philips 7FF2FPA 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

  9. @george
    I wrote up a small page on picture frame hacks from around the web at the following link.

    If your interested in Philips frames, the 7FF1AW and 7FFICMI are hackable. You just need to change the binary header of each JPEG file for the frame to display The above link has details on it. You can also find the original source below:

  10. Hi everyone,

    “Below the CF is a TSOP socket holding a Hynix HY27UF081G2A-TP memory device.”

    I was wondering where I can get these sockets? Is there a specific part name or something?

    Thanks a lot for your help,

  11. @rasz

    No I didn’t hear about google.. What is it? Is that a company that produces sockets?

    This is the exact socket I want for the chip I have and I just wanted to make sure that I will get the correct thing. I already searched a socket and found a few but wanted to get the idea of someone who already did what I want to do with it. I don’t understand what the big deal is.

    I would thank you if you wrote something in a nice manner but now you only wasted my time..

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