Emailer Plus, or E2



The Amstrad Emailer Plus, or E2, is an ARM-based telephone/answering machine, with hands-free speaker and microphone, that can send and receive emails, send SMS text messages, and browse web pages. It has a telephone handset, 480x320 half-VGA gray flat screen, pull-out keyboard, USB port, modem, and Smart card reader. Amstrad receive further income after purchase from charging the user for emails, SMS text messages, etc., and advertisers for the chance to display an advert on the screen. It's available for as little as £30 from stores such as Comet, Asda, and Sainsbury's.

We are interested in running our own software on the Emailer Plus, from now on referred to as just plain E2, or re-using parts of the hardware in our own projects. The operating system we've currently in mind is uClinux, a form of Linux that doesn't require an MMU, memory management unit. If you've any information that may help please mail me, ralph@inputplus.co.uk.

The Hardware


Here's a list of the main ICs identified on the circuit board together with any data sheets, etc., that we've found on them.

The version of the main circuit board we're trying to standardize on is “Gamma Logic PCB, ASL0414_3 Issue 7”. Pictures of the front and back of an issue 7 main circuit board can be found on en4rab’s web site. Please specify what identification your circuit board has when contributing as we're not sure how many different kinds have been released, or what substitute ICs have been used over time.

Gamma Logic PCB, ASL0414_3 Issue 7

CPU: Sharp LH79531 ARM (L136 00B). http://sharp-world.com/products/device/arm/lh79531.html, http://www.sesl-sharp.com/general/Homepage/TechnicalCenter/os.html. This has an ARM7TDMI at its core. Sharp have announced its end of life, with last orders being taken by 2005-01-01 and the last shipment occurring on 2005-04-01. They're suggesting an LH79524 as an alternative.

Atmel AT49BV512 15TC 0126. A 64KiB flash memory device of 8 × 8KiB pages, one of which can be permanently write-protected. The seven or eight erasable pages can be erased as one and then re-programmed byte-by-byte. It contains the PBL boot-loader. http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/datasheets.asp?family_id=624, http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/DOC1026.PDF.

Samsung K9F6408U0C-TCB0. An 8MiB flash memory device of 16Ki × 512B pages. Erasure occurs one 8KiB block of 16 512B pages at a time, but re-programming occurs one 512B page at a time. Perhaps there's a 512B FIFO buffer in the device for fast writing. Each page also has 16B extra memory that can be used for ECC.

Given it has an 8b multiplexed address/data bus, but uses 23b addresses, it writes an address as three sequential bytes to one of two different command latch addresses. The different command latches re-generate bit A8 of the address. The bytes written give A0-A7, A9-A16, and A17-A22; A23-A24 in the last byte must be 0. This operation should stand out when reading ARM instructions.

It's the main non-volatile storage for the Emailer Plus, including OS, application software, and user data. http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semiconductor/Flash/NAND/64Mbit/K9F6408U0C/K9F6408U0C.htm, http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semiconductor/Flash/NAND/64Mbit/K9F6408U0C/ds_k9f6408x0c.pdf.

Etrontech EM638165TS-7 F258059MQF60110. A 64MiB RAM chip organised as 4Mi × 16b. http://www.etron.com/img/pdf/SDRAM/64Mb/4Mx16/638165.pdf.

USB host/slave controller: Cypress SL811HST. 48-pin QFP. The Sharp LH79531 only has the ability to be a USB device. In order for a USB printer to be connected to the E2, Amstrad used this IC to make the E2 a USB host. http://cypress.com/products/datasheet.cfm?partnum=SL811HS, http://cypress.com/cfuploads/img/products/SL811HS.pdf.

Full hardware modem: Conexant SMARTSCM/56 CX88168-11 E86308.1 (0039). A single chip modem, 56 kbps. http://ev.dhs.org/dreamcast/modemDocs/Modem/Data%20Sheet's/100490c-SmartSCM-CX88168.pdf, http://www.devidal.tv/~chris/winmodems/conexant/conexant_smartscm.html, http://www.modem-help.com/chipsets.php?mid=122&ncd=1169.

Telephone line drive interface: Conexant SmartDAA 20463-11. 32-pin QFP. A world-wide line side device for use with the SMARTSCM/56. Voice codec: Conexant 20437-11. 32-pin QFP. http://www.devidal.tv/~chris/winmodems/conexant/conexant_smarthsf.html, http://www.conexant.com/servlets/DownloadServlet/102048a.pdf?FileId=970.

Speech codec processor: Conexant RCSCP R6766-21 E143200.1 (0131). Provides bi-directional compression of digital speech. It can also operate in full-duplex speaker-phone mode using acoustic echo cancellation. http://ev.dhs.org/dreamcast/modemDocs/Modem/Designer%20Guide%27s/1214Rev-A-January29-1999RCSCP2DesignersGuide.pdf

CPLD: Xilinx XC9572XL TQ100BEN0145 F1197289A 10C. http://direct.xilinx.com/bvdocs/publications/ds057.pdf.

Smart Card analogue interface: Philips TDA8004T. http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/pip/TDA8004.html, http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/acrobat/datasheets/TDA8004T_2.pdf.

Also seen on other models are a Conexant 20437 speech codec and a Conexant SCPLT L9403-11 that hasn't been identified, Also, the SmartMedia housing metal cage visible in en4rab's photograph isn't present.

Devices found on other board versions

Flash: F 30LV0064 0046 M15 PFTN. http://ftp.dataio.com/appnotes/amd_mem.txt.


Stefan, <st@sszw.eclipse.co.uk>, has provided pin-out details for the keyboard, I'm not sure which one but he thinks they may be compatible, and LCD. Here's a local copy, but you may find Stefan's master is more up to date.

JTAG Interface

The en4rab web site has pictures of both sides of the main circuit board together with an identification of test point pads that have been successfully used as a JTAG interface if you're suitable skilled.

If you don't know what JTAG is then A Brief Introduction to the JTAG Boundary Scan Interface may be helpful.

Telephone Numbers

The E2 dials various phone numbers. They're all hard-coded and can't be changed, e.g. to use your own ISP. These are gathered from the ICSTIS's list and users' telephone bills.

0901 014 7001  SMS Text Message calls
0911 343 0000  Calls to send/receive email

Emailer Plus/E2
0901 014 7000  SMS Text Message calls
0901 014 9965  SMS Text Message calls
0901 014 9977  Download games
0901 171 7005  Software updates
0901 171 7006  Registration and software downloads
0901 292 0010  Download games
0907 788 0031  Download ringtone service
0911 343 0001  Amsurf internet access
0911 343 0008  Amsurf internet access

Related Links

Hardware Recycling Initiative is an open source project with goal to port Linux (or its microcontroller clone - uClinux) into publicly available residential router hardware.” — but I suspect they'd be happy to discuss the Emailers too.

uClinux is a port of Linux to systems without a Memory Management Unit, e.g. the E2's ARM7TDMI.

Das U-Boot Universal Bootloader project provides firmware with full source code under GPL. Many CPU architectures are supported: PowerPC (MPC5xx, MPC8xx, MPC82xx, MPC7xx, MPC74xx, 4xx), ARM (ARM7, ARM9, StrongARM, Xscale), MIPS (4Kc,5Kc), x86, ...

NAXJP is the ‘Nahitafu XILINX-CPLD JTAG Programming tool’ and it supports the Xilinx XC9572XL CPLD above.

Philip Howard is interested in replacing the E2's main-board with a mini-ITX x86 one.

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