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GoPro HERO6 Teardown

Posted by Mark Kirschenbaum on

In this article, we dive into the GoPro HERO6 (Code named Chopes) and determined as much of the architecture as possible.

GoPro HERO6 teardown

Mechanically

Mechanically, the GoPro HERO6 is constructed the same as the GoPro HERO5. A combination of a welded and tapped face locks out the water from the Front LCD, but allows sound to permeate to the front protected Microphone. A top and front microphone exist and sound gets channeled through a membrane. On the bottom, a sealed speaker outputs feedback beeps and playback audio. The GPS antenna lives horizontally right above the lens, and the WIFI antenna directly above the ports. Mechanically, the camera is a beast and will withstand severe trauma. 

Inside the GP1 Imaging Processor

The GP1 is very close to a Socionext Milbeaut SC2000A EVB w/ RTOS VBD (CortexA7-Quad 650MHz). The DSP(s) built into the Socionext Milbeaut platform are IP licensed from CEVA. There seems to be a Cortex-M0 coprocessor in the SOC always running that takes care of real time power monitoring and thermal protection. 

Socionext SC2000A spinoff
Cortex A7 hardware Floating Point / CEVA DSP / possible Cortex M0 coprocessor
Imaging Processor
"GoPro GP1" processor (M9M)
Strange that the SC2000 is M10
DDR TBD perhaps 600mhz DDR
eMMC - Embedded MMC Uses eMMC technology vs. bare metal NAND or NOR
Qualcomm qca9377 WIFI/BLE Dual-band 1 x 1 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1
DSP Group DBMD4

"Ultra Low Power Always-On Voice Activation for Any Device"
Allows GoPro HERO6 to be woken by voice command.

UBlox UBX-M8030-CT

GPS Receiver u-blox M8 GNSS chip, WL-CSP47, Standard grade

Sony imx277 Sensor 12MP 44fps max @ full res, 1/2.3, 1.55 pixel size, SLVS-EC 8Lane
Active Semi ACT9150 PMIC for Socionext. Power supply, charging, and LED control.
Sitronix st7570 Front Display 128 X 129 Mono LCD
FocalTech ft6306 Touch Panel Controller with display produced by JDI, NVD or US Micro
Sitronix st7796s 3.5" TFT | 320x480
Microchip SAM L22 USB-C PD / Accessory Sentinel / Battery authenticator  / Reset Handler, most likely always "on"
64Kb Encrypted bootloader & app
Bosch BHA250 Smart hub, accelerometer, eCompass
Bosch BMG250 Digital 3-axis angular rate sensor

Architecture

Right now it appears three concurrent processors / OSs running. A mediator/watchdog, the RTOS, and Linux. Fast bootup is accelerated by Lineo Warp!! hibernation technology. The high level software is very similar to the HERO5 with obviously software calls to the Milbeaut SDK / GoPro Imaging Libraries (CPCC) vs. the Ambarella SDK. I'm uncertain at this time about how many discrete DSPs are running, but the update appears there are perhaps 2 video and 2 audio. 

GoPro HERO6 Firmware Unpacker

Third Party Libraries

The following SDKs are found:

FotoNation for Socionext M9M processor/dsp -  will enable future face detection and auto face focus features.
HDR | AHOF_PD | AHFD - Face Detection | OT 

Sensory Inc.
TrulyHandsfree Voice Control

Third Party

It appears there is now a Generic Accessory dongle through the USB-C interface. This finally enables third party providers to create hardware solutions and connect to the whole GCCB protocol. It's uncertain if they have encryption keys but we'll research this a bit more going forward. The Generic Accessory is also found in the 2.51 GoPro HERO5 software. Arbitrating USB-C is not the easiest but feasible. 

When asking third party providers back in April about the release date of their GoPro HERO5 solutions I thought it was strange they would be waiting until October for release. Turns out they probably had to wait for version 2.51 of the GoPro HERO5 software and authentication via the GoPro Inc. Third Party team. 

HYPOXIC's Next Move

Our focus has been on Sony Action Cams lately since our skydiving community has moved to the X3000. In our high speed sport, the awesome BOSS optical stabilization is leap years ahead of the GoPro Platform. We've been cementing the adoption of this platform in mission critical industries with our HYPEYE Alpha product line. 

With their lack of a simple control interface and year delay of a hardware solution, GoPro really dropped the ball. In the end, their desire to lock companies out has ended up losing them a significant market share. 

LEGAL: This product and/or service is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any way associated with GoPro Inc. or its products and services. GoPro, HERO, and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of GoPro, Inc. HEROBUS and BACPAC are trademarks of GoPro Inc.


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