Inside the ZM-1 / oplab

Curiosity got the better of me and I had a peek inside my oplab module.

It doesn’t open up easily (glue). Wouldn’t recommend having a go but it went back together fine and all works again 100%.

Some really nice engineering to get it so thin (the flex-pcb connectors, the light pipes for the leds and the tiny switches), it really is tiny.

@Punji helped out ID’ing the main components: 4xOpamp (TI Y62264A) for CV and gate; an interesting choice of a fairly beefy micro-controller (Cypress CY8C5888) - will be good to see what they do with that in the future.

Looks like limited (zero!) prospect of a open/hackable module unless TE opens things up a bit with a dedicated diy module - but we can dream…


@houtson earned the “don’t turn it on, take it appart!” badge… :smile:



Thank you for posting this. What components can we identify here? I have a dream of reverse engineering modules to hack my own and/or use it as an attack vector to dump the encrypted firmware.

Also, why do you say no chance of a hackable module?

Because it is not a simple passive device. I’m afraid you would need to probe the pins with a logical analyzer (or something equivalent) in order to capture the comunications stream between the OP-Z processor and the module processor, understand it and pray that there is no encryption or some key challenge going on. It may be possible but it may take a lot of resources, unless TE was a hobbyist friendly company (which they are not) and released some specs, but in this case it may not make much sense, since the modules are so small and difficult to manufacture.

Thanks for being so brave. Very interesting!


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TLC2264AIPWR is 4 op-amps. can’t see any make out the markings on the chip in the top right corner, but it feels to me like there isn’t much (any) logic to the module, it’s just buffers and connectivity.
edit: I’m an idiot, should’ve read the whole top post.

32-bit Arm Cortex-M3 core plus DMA controller and digital filter processor, at up to 80 MHz

wat? they needed that for MIDI and CV?

Yes, way over the top from just midi /cv - I’m assuming the processor is going to be a common item across different modules…makes you wonder what new modules will do.

Yeah, I agree. Maybe they are making one main circuit that they can repurpose. Either that or they are trying to offload some work to make it reliable.

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