0
\$\begingroup\$

For example, I found a Sony CXM4015R. When googling I couldn't find any information or datasheets on it, but at least I would like to know its basic function. The only (unreliable) hint I found was that on one site it is called a 'Sony Pro Audio CXM4015R', so it probably does something with audio.

Are there any there any tips for searching for or are there any lesser known sources where I can find more about random ICs?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hack into Sony's site - apparently it's quite easy... ;) Seriously though, if you can't find it on Google there's not much chance of finding it. Many older (obsolete) chips just don't have datasheets in the public domain (they were on paper - not worth scanning them in). \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Mar 15 '15 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why not try an email to Sony? It won't cost you anything, and you might get a nice surprise. \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Mar 15 '15 at 18:00
4
\$\begingroup\$

From what I was able to determine online, the CXM4015R was used by Sony in some PlayStation 2 and 3 consoles, and appears to do something related to analog video generation (possibly a DAC of some sort). I wasn't able to find any references to its use anywhere else, suggesting that this part may have been produced by Sony exclusively for this application. This means that information on the part will be hard or even impossible to find — as the only customer for this chip was internal, Sony may not have ever written a datasheet for the part at all.

http://psx-core.ru/forum/4-1249-3 (Russian language forum discussing PS2 modding) has what appears to be a partial schematic of the PS2, which includes a pinout for this chip.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! While the actual forum link is down, I found another quote confirming your findings: According to a forum post on nfggames.com, the Sony CXM4015R chip converts the raw video signal from the CPU/GPU into RGB video. As part of the signal processing, the chip handles the MacroVision (copy protection) mixing and Sync-On-Green (component video sync signal) mixing. \$\endgroup\$ – Andreas Hartmann Mar 15 '15 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I also found hints that it may only be present on the PAL version of the consoles. \$\endgroup\$ – Andreas Hartmann Mar 15 '15 at 20:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Weird; I'm able to get to the forum just fine. Here's a copy of the schematic image: i.imgur.com/4sNKqBP.jpg (Yes, the original was a blurry JPEG too. Not my fault.) \$\endgroup\$ – duskwuff -inactive- Mar 15 '15 at 20:32
0
\$\begingroup\$

If you can't find it out and the manufacturer won't tell you, you have two options:

  • reverse engineer by attaching a logic analyser to it in-circuit and making observations about its behaviour. Only feasible for simple ICs.

  • de-encapsulate it and reverse engineer it under a microscope. See e.g. the "Visual 6502" project.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Neither of these approaches is likely to be feasible here; the part in question appears to be a 100-pin mixed-signal chip from sometime after 2000. It's likely to be rather complicated. :/ \$\endgroup\$ – duskwuff -inactive- Mar 15 '15 at 18:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.