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Wiki > Main > SanDisk > SansaConnect

SanDisk Sansa Connect


The Sansa Connect is designed by Zing System Inc. (part of Dell), who showed off a WIFI device for listening to streaming radio stations, without any onboard storage. A prototype device was announced, but never put into production. Screenshots of the time show a similar UI design to the current Sansa Connect.

The Sansa Connect has 4Gb of onboard flash storage, as well as a Micro-SD slot, capable of using SDHC cards in the newer firmware versions.

Rockbox Status

There is a Sansa Connect Rockbox port in progress. Bootloader can boot both OF (by holding PREV button) and Rockbox. Bootloader can be flashed in Recovery Mode using zsitool exploit mode. Rockbox bootloader looks for the files on Micro-SD card.

Device Status Comments
LCD driver 100%  
Backlight 100%  
Storage (SD) driver 90%  
Button driver 90% Keymap should be updated
USB handler 80% TNETV105 driver ported from Linux
RTC driver 10% RTC doesn't seem to be accessible by I2C. Rockbox uses HID_MONOTIME together with offset file stored in rockbox directory
Power handling 50%  
Audio DAC driver 80%  
WiFi driver 5% Firmware loading works
(Software) I2C driver 90%  

Additional work to be done:
  • SD driver can use interrupts
  • WiFi driver needs to be written (network subsystem needs to be added to Rockbox)
  • Frequency scaling for clocks other than CPU
  • Perform actual DSP operations on DSP, currently it is just "pcm forwarder"


AnythingButiPod performed a basic disassembly.

Further to this: the EMI shield is a frame and clip-on top shield - only the frame is soldered to the main PCB. The frame visually obscures some of the chips.

  • DSP/CPU: TexasInstrumentsTMS320. This is a multicore device consisting of a ARM926EJ-S CPU core and TMS320vc5409 DSP.
  • Secondary CPU: ATMEL MEGA165PV. The Atmel AVR line has great support of open source developement tools (GCC et all). It's referred internally as "HID", and it's used as an interface to external devices - handles display sleep & wakeup, for example. Interfaced via SPI.
  • Power Management: TI TPS 65021. Interfaced via I2C.
  • LCD: 2.2 inch - CT022TND4 V.6 M1-B
  • SDRAM: Samsung K4M51323LC-DN75
  • USB 2.0: TNETV105. Not to be confused with TI's TNETV105 (DSP/CPU bundle), this handles USB for the device. The TMS320 has an internal USB controller but it is disabled on boot. Interfaced via VLYNQ.
  • Codec: Ti AC3106I. DAC and stereo power amplifier, with programmable filters. Most likely interfaced via I2C.
  • EEPROM: Atmel AT88SC6416C - 64kbit fused, cryptographically secure. Holds individual device information such as USB deviceid, MAC address and device certificate. Interfaced via I2C.
  • Flash: Sandisk SDINB1-4096. 4GB iNAND flash module. Holds filesystem.
Visually obscured chips:

  • Flash: Samsung K8D3216UBC (located just under DSP/CPU) - NOR Flash 32MBIT. Holds bootloader, linux kernel, persistent variables, platform.
  • WIFI: Murata (chip has the MAC address engraved on it - vendor digits are 00:13:E0) - possible model numbers start KK6T6... or LBWA-.... Interfaced via SPI. Actually, after desoldering the chip, it turned out to be tiny PCB - the chipset is labelled MARVELL W8686B12 717AEUP:
  • RTC: ST M41T62 - interfacing method unknown
  • TPS61042 Led driver (package marking BHS)

Battery PCB:

  • Battery Gas Gauge: TI BQ27000. Interfaced via AVR.

Clock speeds

These are obtained from the initialization code on the linux kernel patch for the Connect:

  • TMS320 ARM core: 120 MHz
  • SDRAM: 72 MHz
  • TMS320 DSP core: 72 MHz
  • DMA coprocessor: 144 MHz

TMS320 general purpose I/O pins mapping

This is the detail for the known GPIO pins in the Connect:

Pin Device Name Comments Direction
GIO0 TMS320 STANDBY Buttons state changed IRQ In
GIO2 Headphones PRESENT Headphones inserted In
GIO5 iNAND SELECT Selects iNAND when low Out
GIO6 SD Card SELECT Selects SD slot when low Out
GIO7 USB RESET TNETV105PAP reset (active low) Out
GIO8 I2C INTR Data available on dock I2C to UART connector (rising edge) In
GIO9 USB DETECT low when USB cable connected In
GIO11 I2C DTCT Available at dock connector, low if I2C to UART is not connected In
GIO12 I2C SCL Available at dock connector (pin 22) In/Out
GIO13 I2C SDA Available at dock connector (pin 21) In/Out
GIO14 SD Card CARD_DETECT Low when card inserted In
GIO16 AIC3X MCLK Audio interface master clock Out
GIO29 SIF1 ENABLE AVR's SS (active low) Out
GIO30 SIF1 Clock   Out
GIO31 SIF1 Data In   In
GIO32 SIF1 Data Out   Out
GIO33 USB CLK USB clock (source from M48XI) Out
GIO34 Backlight PWM Backlight PWM (active high) Out
GIO35 I2C SDA I2C data line In/Out
GIO36 I2C SCL I2C clock In/Out
GIO37 SD Card CARD_POWER Powers SD slot when low Out
GIO38 iNAND iNAND_POWER Powers iNAND when low Out

Contents of the /proc/gio:

GIO# User ID Function Dir Invert Level IRQ IRQ Edge Debounce
0   GIO in normal asserted 21 falling normal
1 spi0-wifi-irq GIO in normal asserted 22 falling normal
2   GIO in inverted deasserted 23 any normal
3 wifi-reset GIO out normal asserted GIO -- normal
4 spi0-wifi-cs GIO out normal asserted GIO -- normal
5   GIO out normal asserted GIO -- normal
6   GIO out normal asserted GIO -- normal
7 TNETV USB nreset GIO out normal asserted GIO -- normal
8   GIO in normal deasserted GIO -- normal
9   GIO in normal deasserted 30 any normal
10   GIO in normal deasserted GIO -- normal
11   GIO in normal asserted 32 any normal
12 GIO I2C SCL GIO in normal asserted GIO -- normal
13 GIO I2C SDA GIO in normal asserted GIO -- normal
14   GIO in normal asserted 35 any normal
15   GIO in normal asserted GIO -- normal
16   CLKOUT0            
17   VLYNQ RXD0            
18   VLYNQ RXD1            
19   VLYNQ RXD2            
20   VLYNQ RXD3            
21   VLYNQ_TXD0            
22   VLYNQ TXD1            
23   VLYNQ TXD2            
24   VLYNQ TXD3            
25   VLYNQ SCRU            
26   VLYNQ CLK            
27   GIO in normal asserted GIO -- normal
28   GIO out normal deasserted GIO -- normal
29 SPI-nSS GIO out normal asserted GIO -- normal
30   SPI SCLK1            
31   SPI SDI1            
32   SPI SDO1            
33   CLKOUT1B            
34   PWM1            
35 GIO I2C SDA GIO in normal asserted GIO -- normal
36 GIO I2C SCL GIO in normal asserted GIO -- normal
37   GIO out normal asserted GIO -- normal
38   GIO out normal deasserted GIO -- normal
39   FIELD VENC            
40   GIO out normal deasserted GIO -- normal

I2C bus

Addresses available on I2c bus:

  • 0x18 - Codec AIC3X
  • 0x48 - Power Management TPS65021
  • 0x58, 0x59, 0x5a, 0x5b, 0x5c, 0x5d, 0x5e, 0x5f - AT88SC6416C responding at address 0xB
  • 0x78, 0x79, 0x7a, 0x7b, 0x7c, 0x7d, 0x7e, 0x7f - AT88SC6416C responding at address 0xF

TMS320 memory maps

Physical memory:

Region name Description Start End Size Comments
DM320_RESET_VECTOR_PADDR CPU reset vector 0x00000000 0x00000003 4 bytes Should point to bootloader
DM320_IRAM_PADDR CPU internal RAM 0x00000004 0x00003FFF Approx. 16Kb  
DM320_PERIPHERALS_PADDR ARM peripherials registers 0x00030000 0x0003FFFF 4Kb  
DM320_DSP_ONCHIP_RAM_PADDR DSP internal RAM 0x00040000 0x0005FFFF 128Kb  
DM320_AHB_PADDR TMS320 internal AHB bus 0x00060000 0x00063FFF 4Kb  
DM320_COPRO_SUB_PADDR DMA coprocessor interface 0x00080000 0x0009FFFF 128Kb  
DM320_EXT_MEM_PADDR External memory 0x00100000 0x010FFFFF 16Mb Maps to Flash exclusively (cached)
Bootloader and kernel are stored here
DM320_CFI_PADDR CFI Flash interface 0x40000000 0x40FFFFFF 16Mb  
DM320_SSFDC_PADDR SmartMedia interface 0x48000000 0x48FFFFFF 16Mb  
DM320_CE1_PADDR Control enable 1 (???) 0x50000000 0x50FFFFFF 16Mb Related to Comm. port 1 (external interface)
DM320_CE2_PADDR Control enable 1 (???) 0x60000000 0x60FFFFFF 16Mb Related to Comm. port 2 (external interface)
DM320_VLYNQ_PADDR VLYNQ interface 0x70000000 0x73FFFFFF 64MB More details in
DM320_USBOTG_PADDR USB On-The-Go inteface 0x80000000 0x800003FF 1Kb More details in

Virtual memory:

(..more to come..)


Flash starts at 0x00100000. Start and End values in table are absolute addresses.

Region name Description zsi_fw address Start End Size Comments
BOOT rrload bootloader N/A 0x00100000 0x0010FFFF 64 Kb Hardware write-protected
ENVIRO Persistent variables N/A 0x00110000 0x0011FFFF 64 Kb Bootloader variables (recoverzap, usbautoboot, etc.) and graphics
KERNEL vmlinux kernel image 0x01008000 0x00120000 0x0031FFFF 2 Mb Stock kernel image is about 1,6 Mb big
INITRD initrd compressed ROM image 0x04400020 0x00320000 0x004FFFFF 1.875 Mb At least 1,6 Mb big

Power managment

After loading the Linux kernel, the TPS 65021 is programmed via I2C (/usr/share/lua/5.1/pwrfix.lua) - devices' I2C address is 0x48.

  • Device is set to PWM mode (register 0x04 = 10110010b).
  • Core voltage set to 1.5V (register 0x06 = 00011100b).
  • Codec and USB power line (LD02) to 1.8V, LCD display module (LD01) to 2.85V (register 0x08 = 00110110b).

HID (ATMEL MEGA165PV microcontroller)

The HID handles external devices - it is interfaced to the CPU via its built SPI interfase, clocked at 200 KHz.

This device is initialized on boot - the firmware loaded on it is located on /lib/clicky165.bin. The Fuse high byte register is set to 0xd1 (OCD and JTAG enabled, watchdog always on, uses reset vector), while the fuse low byte is set to 0xC2 (divide clock by 8, enable clock output, use clock source 1).

Once programmed, it accepts commands (via SPI) which are defined in /usr/include/ These are used to control & query external devices:

Name Command Description
CMD_SYNC 0xAA Sync with device to send/receive
Marks the beginning of a command
CMD_CLOSE 0xCC Close sync
Marks the end of a command
CMD_FILL 0xFF Filler - seems to be used to signal HID that it can send data back
CMD_CODEC_RESET 0xD7 Reset codec
CMD_ADC_START 0xD8 Initalize ADC
CMD_SYS_CTRL 0xDA Sends command SYS_CTRL_xxx
SYS_CTRL_POWEROFF 0x00 Powers off the Connect
SYS_CTRL_RESET 0x01 Reset the Connect
SYS_CTRL_SLEEP 0x02 Sleeps the Connect
CMD_HDQ_READ 0xC0 Read HDQ (battery) data
CMD_HDQ_WRITE 0xC1 Write HDQ (battery) data
CMD_HDQ_STATUS 0xC2, 0xFFFF OK = 0, not ready = 1, timeout = 2
CMD_LCM_POWER 0xC9 Sends command LCM_xxx to LCD driver
LCM_POWER_OFF 0x00 LCD power off
LCM_POWER_ON 0x01 LCD power on
LCM_POWER_WAKE 0x03 LCD wakeup

Sync sequence is CMD_SYNC -> CMD_VER -> CMD_FILL -> CMD_CLOSE, while command sequence is CMD_SYNC -> command -> CMD_CLOSE -> CMD_FILL Communication to this device is handled by /usr/bin/hidtool, which is a binary file.

Device also seems to work as a watchdog.

Atmel AT88SC EEPROM and USB.

This device is read by the /bin/setupenv script - it retrieves both deviceid and MAC address and loads them into the $deviceid and $mac environment variables, respectively. Other environment variables (/etc/setupenv) are:

  • Manufacturer:"SanDisk"
  • Product name: "Sansa Connect"
  • Vendor ID: 0x0781
  • Product ID: 0x7480 (MTP more), 0x0F02 (Ethernet-over-USB mode), or 0x7482 (recovery mode)
  • Product revision: 0x0101

Recovery Mode

Recovery Mode can be reached by completely powering down the device (by holding off for 10 seconds). Holding the volume-up and right keys while powering the device back on switch it to recovery mode. In recovery mode the device uses different USB IDs (0781:7481 and 0781:7482, vs 0781:7480 in normal operation) - if installed under Windows the Sansa Connect Device Recovery software will automatically launch when a Connect in recovery mode is connected.

USB ID 0781:7481 is used for writing .SRR files to Flash, while 0781:7482 acceses the "Zaprecover" service (complete with a kernel module!!!), which handles dumping files to the filesystem.

Once linux is loaded, recovery mode is signaled by a persistent variable ("recoverzap") stored in flash. This flag is only removed after a sucessful recovery operation, so there's no way to exit recovery mode once entered without running the recovery operation (and therefore wiping the unit) with the stock initrd file. It is possible to boot the already flashed firmware even if the "recoverzap" variable is set by entering console and waiting for timeout. To enter console press UP or DOWN (on the wheel) when powering on the device.

Recovery sequence

  • Turn off the device completely (hold power key for 10 seconds)
  • Turn the device on while holding volume-up and the right button (above the wheel)
  • The device will boot showing a "recovery needed" indicator. On this mode the device exposes the USB ID 0781:7481, which zsi_fw.exe communicates to. This is NOT handled by linux - so it's either the linux bootloader or maybe even a previous instance of software. This mode is persistent after reboot.
  • Once the USB cable is connected the indicator is changed to "recovery in progress".
  • After a suceessful firmware load with zsi_fw.exe, the device will attempt to boot the vmlinux image (after a small delay). If the device reboots to recovery mode something went wrong with the firmware load. otherwise Linux will boot correctly and go to recovery mode, exposing the USB ID 0781:748 (Zaprecover service) and displaying a "starting recovery" message (with a yellow clock on top). How the device determines it has to go into recovery mode after boot is unclear - most likely it's because the flash filesystem is wiped after a firwmare write.
  • Once a platform load is started with zaprecover.exe the message changes to_"receiving software"_.
  • Once finished, the message now changes to "verifying software" (signature check), then "installing software" (a message reading _"can't find image_" might flash briefly). The device proceeds now to extract the platform into the filesystem.
  • After a small delay, if everything went ok the device should now reboot to the familiar Sansa loading screen (with the five color balls).

ZAP recovery service

Once linux is loaded, on recovery mode the device loads a kernel module called "zaprecover" (/bin/usb_switch_zaprecover), listening on 0781:7482. The driver is interfaced with /usr/bin/zsi_zap, which tells the module how many files to expect and where to store them. On recovery mode, it waits for both the platform file and signature to be sent, in that order (/etc/rc.recover):

/usr/bin/zsi_zap -f /disk/zap/ZAP.tar.gz -f /disk/zap/ZAP.tar.gz.sig

The device won't leave recovery mode unless both files are downloaded correctly and the signature is checked. The host side of zaprecover service protocol is implemented in zsitool.


Original Software information can be found on SansaConnectOriginalFirmware.

Software/Hardware hacking

It is possible to replace the internal iNAND with microSD card - which allows to change the platform to for example start telnet. Tips: after connecting via wireless, stop WiFiThread to prevent disconnection due to inactivity, this can be achieved by checking the thread pid cat /var/tmp/native_thread_map, and then sending SIGSTOP to it(kill -s SIGSTOP pid).


There is JTAG on the PCB. Hirose Electric FH19SC-16S-0.5SH(05) connector matches the footprint.

Connector pinout:

Volume up button

1    GND
2    RTCK (B1)
3    TDO (A13)
4    GND
5    TRST (F12)
6    TMS (A14)
7    TDI (B14)
8    TCK (C13)
9    GND
10   ? UNKNOWN
11   RXD0 (C2)
12   TXD0 (E5)
13   VDDIO (Vref for JTAG)
14   VDDIO (Vref for JTAG)
15   EMU0 (A2)
16   EMU1 (C3)

Volume down button

Vref is 3.3V. Bootloader configures UART0 to baud rate 115200, character format is 8N1, no flow control.

Free Software

The PDF that ships on the Sansa Connect CD includes a section called "Open Source Licences" and includes:


There are broken links in the PDF to the Sansa site to download modified source versions of the GPL licensed software. Instead these downloads are available from the Zing site, substituting for in the links: busybox, GPG, Linux, Mono, resample and Uclibc. Also attached is a diff created against the vanilla 2.6.4 kernel release.

I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
1082502_SANDISK_1512.pdfpdf 1082502_SANDISK_1512.pdf manage 463.8 K 24 Sep 2009 - 12:11 LisandroPin Sandisk iNAND flash datasheet
Atmel-5211-CryptoMem-Full-Specification-Datasheet.pdfpdf Atmel-5211-CryptoMem-Full-Specification-Datasheet.pdf manage 1832.1 K 09 Jul 2021 - 18:17 TomaszMon AT88SC6416C crypto memory specification
CD00019860.pdfpdf CD00019860.pdf manage 813.0 K 27 Jun 2011 - 17:09 TomaszMon M41T62 RTC datasheet
K8D3216UBC.pdfpdf K8D3216UBC.pdf manage 610.4 K 04 Oct 2011 - 14:40 TomaszMon Samsung K8D3216UBC datasheet (NOR Flash)
ProdManiNANDD1v3.1.pdfpdf ProdManiNANDD1v3.1.pdf manage 298.2 K 10 Apr 2011 - 10:28 TomaszMon Sandisk iNAND flash datasheet (v3.1)
TPS65021.pdfpdf TPS65021.pdf manage 3101.7 K 01 Jan 2008 - 17:58 RobertKeevil  
atmel_mega165.pdfpdf atmel_mega165.pdf manage 3088.8 K 01 Jan 2008 - 17:56 RobertKeevil  
bq27000.pdfpdf bq27000.pdf manage 1429.5 K 25 Jun 2021 - 18:04 TomaszMon BQ27000 battery gas gauge datasheet
connect-back.jpgjpg connect-back.jpg manage 437.0 K 15 Jan 2008 - 21:06 RobertKeevil  
connect-front.jpgjpg connect-front.jpg manage 531.4 K 19 May 2011 - 09:29 TomaszMon  
initrd-differences.patchpatch initrd-differences.patch manage 7.4 K 02 Feb 2011 - 13:37 TomaszMon initrd differences between version 1.1.1 and 1.2.0
k4m51323lc.pdfpdf k4m51323lc.pdf manage 142.7 K 01 Jan 2008 - 17:59 RobertKeevil  
lsusb-normal.txttxt lsusb-normal.txt manage 2.6 K 01 Jan 2008 - 18:00 RobertKeevil  
lsusb-recovery.txttxt lsusb-recovery.txt manage 2.2 K 01 Jan 2008 - 18:00 RobertKeevil  
pcb-battery.jpegjpeg pcb-battery.jpeg manage 706.1 K 24 Jun 2021 - 18:38 TomaszMon  
sansaconnect-2.6.4.patch.bz2bz2 sansaconnect-2.6.4.patch.bz2 manage 1636.9 K 02 Jan 2008 - 21:49 RobertKeevil  
tlv320aic3106.pdfpdf tlv320aic3106.pdf manage 1602.7 K 28 Sep 2009 - 04:56 LisandroPin Ti AC3106I Audio codec datasheet
r95 - 12 Jul 2021 - 12:24:04 - TomaszMon

Parents: SanDisk
Copyright © by the contributing authors.