Here’s a chap eBay USB-To-Ethernet dongle I obtained for use with the Raspberry Pi Zero. This one is getting torn down permanently, as it’s rather unreliable. It seems to like having random fits where it’ll not enumerate on the USB bus. The silicon in the ICs will eventually make it here once I manage to get a new microscope 😉
This is quite a heavily packed PCB, with the main Asix AX88178 on the left. This IC contains all of the logic for implementing the Ethernet link over USB, except the PHY. It’s clock crystal is in the top left corner.
Not much on the reverse side, there’s a 3.3v linear regulator at top left, the SOIC is an Atmel AT93C66A 4KB EEPROM for configuration data.
The final IC in the chain is the Vitesse VSC8211 Gigabit PHY, with it’s clock crystal below. This interfaces the Ethernet MAC in the Asix IC to the magjack on the right.
Time for another random teardown, a signal splitter for HDMI. These units are available very cheap these days on eBay. This one splits the incoming signal into two to drive more than one display from the same signal source.
The stamped alloy casing comes apart easily with the removal of a few screws. The PCB inside is rather densely packed with components.
The main IC on the incoming signal is a Silicon Image Sil9187B HDMI Port Processor, with a single input & 4 outputs. In this case the chip is used as a repeater to amplify the incoming signal. the signal path then gets fed into a Pericom PI3HDMI412 HDMI Demux, which then splits the signal into two for the output ports.
The main pair of ICs processing the video signals are controlled over I²C, with this STM32 microcontroller. The 4 pads to the lower left are for the STLink programmer. The main 3.3v power rail is provided by the LM1117 linear regulator on the right.
If you’ve found my content useful, please consider making a donation via the link below!
All collected funds go towards new content & the costs of keeping the servers online.