Monday, February 8, 2010

Increasing Kindle 2 Memory

Feedback from many highly kindicted individuals indicates that most people have no desire to 'cure' their kindiction. Some would point out that a lack of willingness to change is one of the signs of addiction! Not wanting to swim against a tide of readers, this site will change from identifying kindiction, to supporting it...

Welcome to the new Kindicted - hints and tips for extreme Kindle readers.

As a first post, Amazon seems to have annoyed many individuals by not including a memory expansion slot on the Kindle 2.  Jeff Bezos should just come out and say, "1.4GB ought to be enough for anybody!"

The problem with 1.4GB of available memory is that large technical reference libraries simply won't fit, limiting the use of the Kindle2 as a medical or scientific library tool. The following is a theoretical article on how to expand the internal memory of a Kindle2 from 2GB to anywhere from 8GB to a whopping 64GB!

Procedure summary: disassemble the Kindle 2, remove the existing 2GB chip, replace with a 8, 16, 32, or 64GB chip, reassemble, reload firmware and enjoy!  Note that this will certainly void your warranty, and Kindicted does not assume any liability for Kindle damage.

Kindle guts
The good people at ifixit have taken the time to tear down a Kindle 2.  The part we are interested in can be found here.

Step 13 shows the Samsung moviNAND chip just under the EM shield.  A larger photo can be found here.

The problem is that the chip code is partially obscured by the EM shield - ifixit does not list or link to a part number.  After some research, the part number is a KMAKG0000M-B998, which appears to be an older chip in the Samsung lineup.  A drop-in replacement that is guaranteed to work is the 8GB KMCMG0000M-B998, which is used in other electronics such as the Flip recorder, and Palm Pre.

Samsung's own site does not mention or reference the Kindle, Flip, or Palm chips; only newer models, which seem to be size and contact-compatible. There is also a 64GB chip that is not on Samsung's site yet.

Tools and parts list
Samsung moviNAND flash and controller chip:

  • 8GB: KMCMG0000M-B998
  • 32GB: KLMBG8EEHM-B101 (unproven)

Reflow soldering tools

  • Optional Hakko (or equivalent) pre-heater
  • Required Hakko (or equivalent) gun
  • Required Hakko A1471 BGA (12x12) nozzle


Other tools

Snips, 12 mil (0.30mm) solder balls, magnifier, ball placement tweezers, soldering paste, soldering flux, flux cleaner, laser thermometer (or Hakko sensor + the C1541 temperature probe for hot air)

If you are unfamiliar with BGA soldering, you can find an overview here.

Steps

  • Dissassemble your Kindle as per ifixit
  • Cut off the EM cross support over the Samsung chip with snips
  • Apply liquid flux on all 4 sides of the chip
  • Optionally place the board on the Hakko 830 pre-heater, centring the heating element under the Samsung chip, and setting the heater to 270 degrees C (note that using the preheater will shorten working time, which reduces the chance of chip damage).
  • Using the 803 gun (air only - no tip), preheat the Samsung chip to approx. 260 degrees C (use a laser thermometer to check).
  • Using the Hakko 803 gun and pick-up (with the A1471 tip and optional fg101 and C1541 sensor), set the gun to 265 degrees C and directly heat just the Samsung chip until the vacuum can pick it up off the board.
  • Remove any remaining solder and clean the flux off the board.
  • Apply the flux paste to the exposed BGA pad area of the board.
  • Carefully place a solder ball over each of the 29 required pads (see here for a list of active pads).
  • Apply flux to the bottom of the replacement Samsung chip.
  • Using the vacuum pickup of the 803, carefully place the replacement chip and heat until the solder reflows (again, around 265 degrees C.
  • Reassemble the Kindle as per the reverse of ifixit.
  • Turn the Kindle on, download firmware, and enjoy!
Please feel free to post any comments or links to additional information.

13 comments:

  1. So did you actually try this? Results?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Was the kindle working after installing the new memory chip

    ReplyDelete