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Possible to swap out the ARM11 processor?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by noroads, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. noroads

    noroads Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hello Androidians (or whatever the proper term is... andrites maybe? LOL)

    On a more serious note, I am wondering if I could swap the ARM11 processor in my i7500L? I have read that there are different arm11's that can offer up to 1Ghz (in the proper space) but can't seem to find whether or not they would be compatible with the qualcomm chipset, the GPU(?), or even the board it would be attached to! Hoping someone here knows more about the internal hardware on this phone.

    Thanks, Trevor.

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  2. chronodekar

    chronodekar Well-Known Member

    Are you serious ? :eek:

    First off, I believe that the processor on our phones is soldered in. That means, you will first need to de-solder the flux from around the processor before you can take it out. Another complication is if we are dealing with BGA form factors (which I assume will be the case). Are you familiar with it?

    By BGI, I mean the chipset form-factor where the pins are arranged in a grid that you drop onto the board. These would mean de-soldering on the bottom side of the board. (there are other variants) Here is the wikipedia link,
    Ball grid array - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Now, further assuming that you actually have the skills to perform such a feat, it's going to be a lot more complicated finding another processor that would "just work". Heck, it's a common complaint in the PC landscape that the next generation of processor's won't play nice with older motherboards. Like the current Intel Sandy Bridge release. The latest (2nd generation) i-series won't work with older motherboards.

    Now taking into account, the trouble to do all this, along with the cost of materials, it would be far cheaper to just buy another phone !! :p


    PS - if you haven't at least tried changing the processor of a desktop PC, you really shouldn't be thinking about doing the same on a phone!
  3. Lol first of all its not same as computer where you can just swap out the part and install another one. SoC works differently as its the total package which you can replace but has to be the same motherboard or it wont work as the software compatibility issue due to hardware drivers. With that said you can buy new better as 6month is the magic number. What did you have in mind you would just put ARMv8 based SoC with ULP or SGX540? It doesn't work like that unless you want to do it manually which might take few years lol with all the H/S issues.
  4. noroads

    noroads Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hello again, thanks for the responses.

    I guess I should have mentioned that yes, i am crazy. I do realize this would cost more than its worth, its just a fun project. I have done many processor changes in a PC, but think doing it in a phone would be awesome. I have all the knowledge to remove the processor from the board, and am able to do all the soldering at work no prob. I am just at a loss on the compatability side of things, I was hoping someone may have done it already and knew what was compatable.

    chronodekar, you mentioned that next generation processors sometime don't work well, but a guy at work mentioned that they make arm11's in the same family, and gen just different frequency, i wonder if one of these may work. I'll look more into it throughout the day and check back soon, gotta start work now.

    Best, Trevor.
  5. Lelouch

    Lelouch Android Enthusiast

    Well, you can try if you have the financial means and know how. The experience you will gain will be priceless for you. But whether you will succeed that's another question. The less expansive way is to just buy a new phone, but there are always some enthusiastic people who will try to get maximum out of their unit.
    In the end, it all comes down to your own choice whether you want to try it or not.
  6. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    You would need to remove the old chip with a rework station, clean up the board, and drop a new pin compatible SoC in place. I design electronics for a living and even I would have a hard time finding something that would fit properly.

    Then after that you'd need a whole new set of drivers. The CPU in phones is pretty much like the entire motherboard on a PC. The chip contains most peripherals in the system minus RAM, storage (flash), display (screen) and keyboard etc

    You would probably be better of making a phone from scratch - and that's a serious comment. You can buy several development boards from Qualcomm and other SoC supliers which have a LCD screen, keypad etc. Its a big job!
  7. cyclometh

    cyclometh Lurker

    I would be more interested in swapping the RAM out for some denser chip. It would give the handset a huge boost.

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