The TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0 (EBR30-a), review and dissection

The TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0, front
The TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0, front on

There a many, many, e-book reader devices available these days, and they're quickly becoming pretty affordable. The currently cheapest device in Germany (that I know of) is the TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0, model number EBR30-a, at 59.- Euros via Weltbild or Hugendubel.

The device has an 800x480 7" TFT (yep, no e-ink), 2100mAh battery, it can display PDFs, EPUB, and TXT files (and Adobe DRM crap, which I don't really care about), it has an accelerometer which allows for landscape/portrait switching, it can play MP3, OGG, WAV, and WMA audio files (headphone jack), it can display pictures (BMP, GIF, JPG, even PNG, though that's not mentioned in the vendor's specs), and it has 2GB internal storage for books/music/pictures. Uploading of (non-DRM) content is done by a simple file copy, it enumerates as a standard USB mass storage device with FAT filesystem. It's a relatively nice reader for the price, I've read a few PDFs (datasheets, presentations) on it in the subway/train while listening to music from the device and it's quite OK for my purposes. So much for the review part.

However, I didn't really buy it for reading books on it, I was more interested in taking it apart, of course ;-) My hope was that it would turn out to be a really cheap device running Linux/U-Boot which would be perfect for playing around with embedded Linux stuff. Unfortunately, I wasn't so lucky (it seems).

The TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0, opened

I've posted a few photos of the device and its hardware components on my flickr account and over at randomprojects.org, together with all the information I was able to find out so far. Here's a quick summary:

  • Main CPU/SoC: FI E200 B6077BA 26P1
  • RAM: MIRA P3S12D40ETP (512MBit / 64MByte DDR SDRAM, max. 200MHz)
  • NAND flash: Samsung K9GAG08U0E (16GBit / 2GByte, x8, 3.3V)
  • Battery management: KrossPower AXP199 A5004AB 36G
  • RTC/clock/calender chip (I2C): H8563S
  • Some accelerometer (to switch between landscape/portait mode), model unclear so far, maybe the chip labeled 605 132?

The TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0, CPU

There are public datasheets for most of the hardware components (see randomprojects.org for links), but unfortunately the most important one (for the CPU) is not yet found/identified. I was told that the CPU/SoC is probably based on an ARM9 (ARM926EJ-S) core and the firmware running on it seems to be some uCos-based RTOS (not Linux, unfortunately).

So far I was not able to find out the vendor name or website of the "FI E200" CPU/SoC (let alone any datasheets), any hints would be highly appreciated. I checked arm.com: Processor Licensees, but the only two companies whose name starts with "F" having licensed an ARM9 core are Fujitsu and Freescale, which doesn't fit, I think?

I could (and probably will) check the PCB for RX/TX lines on an UART and/or JTAG pads (none are obviously labelled), and given that it's and ARM9 core there is a good chance that OpenOCD can be used and that a standard cross-gcc toolchain for ARM will work. However, that is all pretty pointless until it's clear which SoC exactly is used, and thus whether there is already Linux and/or U-Boot support for it and/or whether datasheets are available so that the respective code could be written. Without datasheets, this is going to be a pretty painful experience, not really worth investing much time, IMHO.

If anyone knows more about the vendor/device and respective datasheets, please let me know. Thanks!

Update 2012-04-19: I found the UART TX pin a while ago, a bootlog is available. The CPU and all other chips are also known now: The SoC is an Allwinner Technology F1 E200, the orientation sensor is a MEMSIC MXC6225XU.

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Some devices looks the same

Some devices looks the same to this with little differences.

The complete set of diagrams [without functional description] for e-book model TeXet TB-436: F1E200, axp199, TCS9563 instead of H8563S, e-ink 800x600 instead of color lcd:
ftp://relay.alkotel.ru/service/eBOOK/TB-436/Diagrams/

ftp://relay.alkotel.ru/servic

ftp://relay.alkotel.ru/service/eBOOK/TB-406/Diagrams/teXet_TB-406_electronic%20diagrams%20.pdf

I believe this is the same.

ebook format support

From the marketing blurb on the AllWinner page i tried a few .rtf's from Word 2003 and 2007, and they work flawless from the file manager. The "normal" Library display doesn't show them, though...

Also, html support is strange - the library shows and processes a few of my test files and displays them in the reader, while the File Explorer marks them with a questionmark and, on trying to start them in the reader, bombs with an "Ungueltige Datei" (invalid file)...

the question is has anybody

the question is has anybody hacked the prestigio? and is it possible to run linux on it? and Uwe has the trekstor a speaker inside? or could be simple done? please look inside because on your pictures i cant see anyone.
Thanx

Trekstor is now Prestigio

as i posted, no there is no speaker inside the trekstor because i have no sound with prestigio, but uwe can say more about this,but perhaps he could tell us how to open the trekstor and say us were we find the point for the speaker so we can do it ourselves. And must say the prestigio firmware seems a littlebit faster. The prestigio site says it has the MicroC/OS-II on it i looked and it is open source for normal users. Perhaps anyone know more about it and we can simple run linux? Hope you are fine Uwe? Please tell us more....

rebranded device: TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0 → Prestigio Nobile P

As you can see at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_readers#Rebranded_devices
TrekStor eBook Reader 3.0 → Prestigio Nobile PER3172B
p.s.
This is my 3rd attempt to share this info at this blog!

Trekstor is now Prestigio

hello post it now 2nd time ok you are right i have flashed my trekstor and now i have a prestigio! Its real and simple only rename firmware file and flash now i have some nice video function but because there is no speaker inside no sound but with earphone no problem and think will now look deeper in firmware so we can get the best results

i think you are right, this

i think you are right, this means if all is intern the same we could have video and speaker in the ebook reader 3? Has some one the skills to look at both firmwares? i am looking into it and tell you my findings. Do you think i can flash the prestigio firmware on the trekstor?thanx for your findings

Prestigio PER3172B = twin model

I post it again, because last post did not show...
Prestigio PER3172B = twin model of TrekStor EBR30-a, url is
http://www.prestigio.com/products/eBook-readers/3-series/PER3172B
maybe it could help you find more infos.

Prestigio PER3172B = twin model

Seems that Prestigio PER3172B is same model, so it could help you find proper tech specs.
http://www.prestigio.com/products/eBook-readers/3-series/PER3172B
All else I find usable is this chart:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_readers

I bought this one, and I'm interested at running Linux above, so please contact me if you make some progress.
Btw it is written that PER3172B runs at 400MHz, but it could be same ARM9 CPU anyway.

It's ARM9 that's all I can

It's ARM9 that's all I can say!

I have a pmp that has a

I have a pmp that has a processor on which it has FI E200 BB005DA 1BA - on my pmp the cpu's Sochip SC*600/9800 - found it thanks to ChipGenius.

Tilt sensors

The metal tube that looks like a crystal oscillator ( or germanium transistor :) could be the (cheap) one-way tilt-sensor. Component 605 132 looks more like a coil/self/whatever you call it. Perhaps being used in DC/DC conversion ( guessing from the proximity to the AXP199 ).

Also: Even the SMD components seem handsoldered..... brrrr.

PS: An overview photo of the PCB would be appreciated.

Hm, not sure, I see some

Hm, not sure, I see some serial protocol (at least a clock pin + data pin, maybe more) on that "605 132" chip, definately looks like the accelerometer to me. Will try to make sure using a logic analyzer and checking what changes when I tilt the device.

I'll post some more photos soonish.

E200, hmm?

Could this be Freescale's PowerPC e200? "The cores are designed to form the CPU part in system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs with speed ranging up to 600 MHz, thus making them ideal for embedded applications."

Not PowerPC

I think it's unlikely to be a PowerPC controller, it rather seems to be an ARM9, but of course we cannot be entirely sure, yet.

My guess is that FI is

My guess is that FI is faraday tech (http://www.faraday-tech.com/index.html). At least some other parts from them are called FIExxxx. There is no mention of an E200 though. So it's just a guess. They also offer ASIC services, maybe it's a custom design?