Programming Note: This site will be on break through the holidays and return in January. Be sure to subscribe or check back for updates!

Snippet: The Lightning Digital AV Adapter Surprise ☇

Shared on March 2, 2013

Panic’s Cabel Sasser noticed issues with artifacts using the iPad and the Lightning Digital AV Adapter, so he decided to do some digging. Besides it apparently streaming a video signal, in the style of a wired AirPlay, there is some hidden gadgetry:

Your eyes don’t deceive you—that tiny chip says ARM. And the H9TKNNN2GD part number on there points towards RAM—2Gb [256MB] worth.

In short: it appears the Lightning Digital AV Adapter has a SoC CPU.

Update: Apparently there’s more to the story, as commented by someone close to the matter:

…This system essentially allows us to output to any device on the planet, irregardless of the endpoint bus (HDMI, DisplayPort, and any future inventions) by simply producing the relevant adapter that plugs into the Lightning port. Since the iOS device doesn’t care about the hardware hanging off the other end, you don’t need a new iPad or iPhone when a new A/V connector hits the market.

Certain people are aware that the quality could be better and others are working on it. For the time being, the quality was deemed to be suitably acceptable. Given the dynamic nature of the system (and the fact that the firmware is stored in RAM rather then ROM), updates **will** be made available as a part of future iOS updates. When this will happen I can’t say for anonymous reasons, but these concerns haven’t gone unnoticed.

I know it’s just an adapter, especially one that my iPad can’t use, but this is some fascinating engineering and really opens up future possibilities for gadgetry.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.