Zipit Z2

What is a Zipit Z2?

The Zipit Z2 Wireless Messenger was released in 2007 to be used by kids as a wifi enabled chat device. The Z2 originally came with it’s own application running on top of a Linux kernel. Soon after the device was released many people began to hack the device and get a new kernel and operating system to work on it. This page is intended to be an accumulation of information about hacking the device.

General Hardware Specifications

  • Marvell PXA270 CPU @ 312mhz (overclockable)
  • Marvell 802.11b/g Wifi (libertas driver)
  • 32mb SDRAM
  • 8mb NOR Flash Storage
  • MiniSD memory card slot
  • 2.8 inch QVGA color display
  • 5V 2A DC Adapter Input
  • Backlight QWERTY Keypad
  • Headphone Jack
  • Microphone and Remote control Jack (similar to Nintendo DS)
  • 36 Pin Expansion (Hirose) Connector on back (see below for pinout)
  • 3.7V 1230mAh Lithium Ion Battery Model ZWM2-1230LI (67mm x 60mm x 4mm)

IC / Parts List

Here is the list of chips seen on the Zipit2’s board. This list contains all the major chips, their complete markings, and available information. (source)

  • NHPXA270C5 G7064572.1 0728 C312 - Marvell PXA270 cpu @ 312mhz (Developers Manual, Datasheet)
  • 88W8686-NAP1 KKN1605.3 0703 B2P ES TW - Marvell 802.11b/g Wifi Chip
  • MRVL W886 738P - assumed to be a Marvell chip that works with the 88W8686
  • 7KJ41 D9HCX - two Micron MT48H8M16LFB4-8 IT 16MB SDRAM chips (Datasheet)
  • 640W18BD 5720B148 Z202125D - Intel 28F640W18 8 MB Flash (Datasheet)
  • WM8750BG 76AP6HF - Wolfson Audio Chip (Datasheet)
  • ANA TI 68k A3RF - Texas Instruments BQ24035 Charging & Power Path IC (Datasheet)
  • TPS 65021 TI77k - Texas Instruments Power Management IC (Datasheet)
  • AER915 5650001 YuG07 32A - Suspected to be the Aeronix version of the P89LPC915 (Datasheet)
  • LP53 - Texas Instruments Ultra-Low Dropout Regulator (Datasheet)
  • LMS283GF05 - Samsung 320×240 LCD (Datasheet)
  • 20374-R40E-31 - IPEX LCD Connector (Datasheet)
  • PJ1-022-SMT-TR - DC Power Jack (Datasheet)
  • Maxim DS28CM00 - Device ID ROM (I2C ID 0x50) Datasheet

Z2 Mainboard with parts removed (by jpb147)

Expansion Connector

USB Wiring

Hardware Modifications

Linux Distributions

Active Distros:

Inactive Distros:

  • IZ2S (Buildroot based for Stock Zipit Z2)
  • EZ2S (Based on IZ2S)
  • z2sid (Debian Sid)
  • z2lite (Buildroot)
  • z2 Recovery OS (runs from internal memory)
  • z2buntu (Ubuntu Jaunty)
  • Rootnexus (Debian Sid/Lenny)
  • Sidetrack (Rootnexus Remix for Security/Penetration Testing)
  • WejpOS (Buildroot)
  • PlugApps - (Based on Arch Linux)




Originally from here, updated by me

GPIO Direction Function Name Note
0 in 0   (A/C power detect, present = 1) verified
1 in 0   (reads 0 while power button pressed) verified
2 in 0    
3 in 1    
4 in 1    
5 in 0    
6 in 0    
7 in 0    
8 in 0    
9 out 0    
10 out 0   (right-hand LED, on = 0) verified
11 out 2 PWM_OUT<2> LCD Backlight
12 in 2 CIF_DD<7> Expansion Connector Pin 30 (PWM Capable)
13 out 0    
14 out 0   Wifi Power Toggle
15 out 0   wifi power ?
16 in 1 KP_MKIN<5> Keypad
17 in 1 KP_MKIN<6> Keypad
18 out 0    
19 out 0   LCD Reset
20 out 0    
21 out 0    
22 out 0    
23 out 2 SSPSCLK verified
24 out 0   Wifi Chip Select
25 out 2 SSPTXD verified
26 in 1 SSPRXD verified
27 out 0    
28 out 1 I2S_BITCLK  
29 in 1 AC97_SDATA_IN_0 (probably a bug, configured as I2S_SDATA_IN by blob) looks like the z2app uses it as an ac97 codec
30 out 1 I2S_SDATA_OUT  
31 out 1 I2S_SYNC  
32 out 2 MMCLK  
33 out 0    
34 in 2 KP_MKIN<3> Keypad
35 out 2 KP_MKOUT<6> Keypad
36 in 0 IRQ Wifi IRQ
37 out 0   (headphone detect, present = 0)
38 in 2 KP_MKIN<4> Keypad
39 out 0    
40 in 0    
41 out 1 KP_MKOUT<7> Keypad
42 in 1 BTRXD Expansion Connector Pin 7 (Breakout Board Dock Detection)
43 out 2 BTTXD  
44 in 3 CIF_FV Expansion Connector Pin 36 (breakout board relay control)
45 out 0 CIF_PCLK / SSPSYSCLK3 Expansion Connector Pin 31
46 in 2 STD_RXD  
47 out 1 STD_TXD  
48 out 0    
49 out 0    
50 in 1 CIF_DD<3> Expansion Connector Pin 26
51 in 1 CIF_DD<2> Expansion Connector Pin 25
52 in 1 CIF_DD<4> Expansion Connector Pin 27
53 out 2 CIF_MCLK Expansion Connector Pin 21
54 in 3 CIF_PCLK Expansion Connector Pin 20 (breakout board 5V Regulator enable)
55 in 0   (app reads)
56 in 0   (app reads)
57 in 0   (app reads)
58 out 0 LDD<0> LCD
59 out 0 LDD<1> LCD
60 out 0 LDD<2> LCD
61 out 0 LDD<3> LCD
62 out 0 LDD<4> LCD
63 out 0 LDD<5> LCD
64 out 2 LDD<6> LCD
65 out 2 LDD<7> LCD
66 out 2 LDD<8> LCD
67 out 2 LDD<9> LCD
68 out 2 LDD<10> LCD
69 out 2 LDD<11> LCD
70 out 2 LDD<12> LCD
71 out 2 LDD<13> LCD
72 out 2 LDD<14> LCD
73 out 2 LDD<15> LCD
74 out 2 L_FCLK_RD LCD
75 out 2 L_LCLK_A0 LCD
76 out 2 L_PCLK_WR LCD
77 out 2 L_BIAS LCD
78 out 0    
79 out 0    
80 out 0    
81 in 2 CIF_DD<0> Expansion Connector Pin 23
82 in 0   (app reads)
83 out 0   Charging Amber LED 0 = enable (confirmed)
84 in 3 CIF_FV Expansion Connector Pin 35 (breakout board relay control)
85 out 0   (battery charge enable? 1 = inhibit, 0 = enable (according to battery LED))
86 out 0   Expansion Connector Pin 32 (breakout board relay control)
87 out 0    
88 out 0   LCD Chip Select
89 out 0    
90 out 0    
91 out 0    
92 in 1 MMDAT<0> (bidirectional)
93 in 2 CIF_DD<6> Expansion Connector Pin 29
94 in 2 CIF_DD<5> Expansion Connector Pin 28
95 in 0   bq24035 Charging IC STATUS 2 Input, verified
96 in 0   (MMC card detect - both edges active)
97 out 0    
98 in 0   clamshell / lid detect, open = 1, closed = 0
99 in 0   bq24035 Charging IC STATUS 1 Input, verified
100 in 1 KP_MKIN<0> Keypad
101 in  1 KP_MKIN<1> Keypad
102 in 1 KP_MKIN<2> Keypad
103 out 2 KP_MKOUT<0> Keypad
104 out 2 KP_MKOUT<1> Keypad
105 out 2 KP_MKOUT<2> Keypad
106 out 2 KP_MKOUT<3> Keypad
107 out 2 KP_MKOUT<4> Keypad
108 out 2 KP_MKOUT<5> Keypad
109 out 1 MMDAT<1>  
110 out 1 MMDAT<2>/MMCS<0>  
111 out 1 MMDAT<3>/MMCS<1>  
112 out 1 MMCMD  
113 out 1 I2S_SYSCLK  
114 in 1 CIF_DD<1> Expansion Connector Pin 24
115 out 3 PWM_OUT<1> Keypad Backlight
116 out 0    
117 in 0   (bit-bang I2C/SCL, mode 1 = low, 0 = high/input)
118 in 0   (bit-bang I2C/SDA, mode 1 = low, 0 = high/input)
119 in 0    
120 in 0    


  1. Hi Mozzwald,

    I got the impression that you are really good with electronics as well as the Zipit Z2.

    Would you consider making and selling the USB cable for the Zipit Z2? There are instructions related to what part number the port connector is and how the pins are connected, so for someone like yourself that should be relatively easy I assume.

    I would be glad to cover your cost + a nice extra for such a cable, and I assume others may too...

    Feel free to email me directly if you would be willing to do this...

    Thank you

    — Nick Stevens Fri, 5 Sep 2014

  2. Mozzwald, I currently have a Zipit z2 in my possession. I got it to try and make myself a mini computer using linux, but i may have messed it up. when i boot it, it goes to a screen that says OpenZipit, but will not do anything else. what should i do? is it completely useless now? should i get another zipit and start from scratch? if so could you help me make one that will work?


    — Doug Sat, 20 Sep 2014

  3. Hello, Mozzwald.
    Can you please keep this site up as long as possible.
    I bought a ZipIt around a year ago for like 50€ from the US.
    It is now not available on amazon anymore :(
    I see alot of the old pages disappear, and the wayback machine hasn't got all resources archived. Please keep everything hosted and if you can't I will host it on my site for you (up to 2 GB if you need).

    I hope you share my thoughts.


    Benedikt M Mon, 27 Apr 2015

  4. @ Benedikt, I have no plans to take down my site or the Zipit related information/files/etc. If you do come across some old info on the way back machine that I don't have, please do let me know so I can add it here. You are more than welcome to mirror any Zipit info or files on your site. Thanks!

    and in case you weren't aware, there's a ton more files at

    mozzwald Mon, 27 Apr 2015

  5. Alright, @Mozzwald.
    Good to know, that you are not planning, dropping your ZipIt informations and resources.

    I will send you a list of "lost" resources from the wayback machine soon.

    Here is my mirror for some of your files:

    I have unlimited traffic and enough webspace (I guess 15GB total) to host even more files there (what I will do).
    And as long as I pay my hosting bills, this site will stay for the next years ;)

    Benedikt M Mon, 27 Apr 2015

  6. Yes, thank you for keeping this information up. It is useful and used. And thanks for giving the link to the ton of unsorted files; those were helpful, too.

    For example, the pin inside the DC power jack broke off on my Z2. I removed the DC jack, and it turns out there's plenty of room inside the Z2 to add a USB receptacle, maybe even two. [The jack is 5mm in height, whereas USB type C is about 2.5mm).

    My thinking is that, if I want to charge from USB, I can solder the +5 and GND from a USB socket to the DC input. (Yes, 1.2A rather exceeds the USB port spec, but I expect it will cause no harm.)

    Then, I should be able to attach D+ and D- to the proper pads on the Z2's motherboard. And voila, I have a USB port on my Z2 that looks like it was designed to be there. Of course, since I have it charging, it wouldn't do host mode, but unless I'm mistaken, it could act as a Mass Storage Gadget or network device.

    My only problem was, where on the board is D+ and D-? And, that's where has turned out to be very useful. Thank you.

    — Ben in Seattle Fri, 17 Jul 2015

  7. Hi. I'm a freshman in High School and I'm looking for a way to contact my friends. I am interested in Zipit because I am not allowed to have a phone and I have limited access to the internet, and as a foster kid it's getting hard to have a social life. I don't care if it has a touch screen or whatever, I need one of these pretty bad. If I have to, I know where to buy the z1, but I want the Z2, because photo sharing. Please, for god's sake, tell me where I can find one and buy it online. I've even contacted the company themselves to get one if all is for not. Heck, if you have an extra one that works, or know somebody that does, please help me out. I really want one, it may be my only connection to a social life.

    Olivia Sun, 18 Oct 2015

  8. @Olivia, The Zipit Z1 or Z2 with it's original software as a messaging device no longer works. Zipit Wireless has disabled their servers making the Zipit useless unless you install Linux on it. It sounds like you are looking for a device that can do social media, instant messaging, etc. There are some Android devices without cellular (ie, Samsung Galaxy Player) but allow wifi connections. This is probably a better choice than a Zipit. You could also get a used Android phone for cheap and just not activate the cellular service if you are allowed ( I hope this helps.

    mozzwald Sun, 18 Oct 2015

  9. Hello,

    I have a Zipit Z2 that I bought years ago and never did much with. Is there a place to sell a used one? I don't see any listed on eBay or Amazon. Are they that rare or is it just that not many people are interested in them? I was ready to recycle it but thought I'd check on-line first.


    — Doug Lonngren Tue, 3 Nov 2015

  10. @Doug, They are hard to find these days since the distributor sold out of stock. Occationally I see them on ebay and they seem to sell. If it still works, you should try to sell it instead of recycling it.

    mozzwald Wed, 4 Nov 2015

  11. I got mine used in excellent condition on ebay. It arrived today. There are a couple more (1 complete with box and that looks to be sealed in box) up at the moment. I hope there's still some community around them, as late to the game as I am.

    — canidsong Mon, 23 May 2016

  12. Hi Mozzwald,
    thanks for all that info o-O
    very helpful:-D
    can I use some of this info on a video and credit you in the description?

    — H32 Fri, 15 Jul 2016

  13. @H32, by all means, share away!

    mozzwald Sun, 17 Jul 2016