Interfacing with a salvaged laptop webcam board

Hi !

I salvaged a small webcam and microphone board from an old laptop that I had lying around. I’d like to use it in some smart mirror project, but I’m having a hard time finding documentation on how to interface with it and wondered if people here knew some more.

The circuit board is identified as FE03FF-99. Googling that shows result to buy the spare part, but I found no documentation, no datasheet, no diagram, no DIY project that hacked this particular model. I found some other webcam board where the person just had to attach a USB cable as the 4 pins they had were simply USB (or 5 pins with two GND). My board, however, has 5 pins, and I don’t know how to identify these. Is it USB ? SPI, UART, I2C ? These pins connect to a cable that merges with the screen’s cable and goes directly to the laptop motherboard.

I identified pin 5 as GND, but that’s about it.

So I tried to identify the IC chips on it. There’s two big one. The first one is a 25L512OIG from MX, which doesn’t yield a lot of result online. I couldn’t find any datasheet.

The second one, I couldn’t clearly identify either. Probably some kind of micro-controller.

What could I do to identify the pins further ? I’m afraid to damage it if I give it 5V randomly when it expected 3.3V (or other). Any help would be greatly appreciated !

Here’s a link to full res pictures. I attached some lower pictures for posterity !

A tech forum related to your laptop's brand has better chance of success, if only because Arduinos can't do anything useful with a raw camera image.

As a general rule, it is extremely unlikely that you will find any documentation for a proprietary part like that.

There are lots of tutorials how to attach a USB cable onto a laptop webcam, to reuse it for any purpose. Try it with "laptop webcam usb pinout" or something and you will find plenty of pictutes and stuff!

wvmarle: A tech forum related to your laptop's brand has better chance of success, if only because Arduinos can't do anything useful with a raw camera image.

Yeah, sorry, I tried my luck here because I'm not sure where to go, and I figured maybe this part of the forum would know something !

jremington: As a general rule, it is extremely unlikely that you will find any documentation for a proprietary part like that.

Still, I'm surprised that I can't even find datasheet for the two IC on the board.

TriB: There are lots of tutorials how to attach a USB cable onto a laptop webcam, to reuse it for any purpose. Try it with "laptop webcam usb pinout" or something and you will find plenty of pictutes and stuff!

Thanks, googling that yields better results, although I can't find exactly my model. I'll try later today to find the correct pinout again, I'm pretty sure it's USB now !

Those ICs may very well be either proprietary or custom made. Either way there will be no publicly available datasheet for them.

wvmarle: Those ICs may very well be either proprietary or custom made. Either way there will be no publicly available datasheet for them.

That´s not completely true. The manufacturers buy those peripheral devices from just a handful producers. And as you can see, if you´d follow my search-term, the very most webcams are using USB as internal interface. With that, they are interchangable within different models, even from different manufacturers. So the USB-IC will be quite well documented and that´s the main part to reuse this device!

For any other IC on that board, you´ll might be right, that there is no documentation avaliable.

If so, OP should have no problem tracking down the USB chip that's on this webcam... or otherwise get a working USB connection.

A little bit of Saturday morning detective work here, but, searching for a semiconductor company called onix didn't reveal much. But looking at the top of the chip I figured there could be another letter at the start hidden under the epoxy. A guess at sonix revealed a semiconductor company in Taiwan (sonix.com) that produce video/image controllers which might fit.