PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A Internals: The Communication Processor
We have explored most of the internals of the PS3 TOOL, with world-exclusive pictures, not too many people are willing let alone crazy enough to open one of these beasts!
Now we start getting to the more interesting aspects of the TOOL, and what makes it different from everything else.
The Communication Processor, or CP is a small, embedded computer, inside the PS3 TOOL. Essentially, it is a totally separate system, isolated from the PS3 side of the system.
For a little bit of history, the PS2 TOOL worked the same way, there was a small, embedded computer on a PCI card inside of the PS2 TOOL, it facilitated communication between the hardware (PS2) and a PC.
Of note, the PSP TOOL is somewhat similar, however the CP is embedded on the mainboard, vs on a card (like the PS2/PS3). The same principle applies to the PS3 TOOL, the CP handles all communication between the PS3 side of the PS3 TOOL, and a networked PC.
So, the CP makes the PS3 TOOL "special" as it allows the debugger to tap into hardware lines on the system itself, to get more debug output, among other things.
Starting from the top of the picture (below), the CP has a connector, labelled CN5001 - this connects to a RJ-45 jack, and a RS-232 jack on the TOOL mainboard, which are the outputs for debugging purposes.
Below that, labeled IC5001 is an Intel 8254 Ethernet chip, it of course is the network chipset. To the left, labelled IC6001 is a Xilinx Programmable Gate Array - they can be used for just about anything, in this case, it tends to handle some of the interface with the PS3 side of things. The two connectors, above and below it, labelled CN8003 and CN1001 are debug connectors, used for repair of the system.
The Right hand side features two Samsung K4H511638C Memory chips, each 512 Megabits, for a total of 128MB of memory, on the top. There are also two more of these chips below the board, totalling 256MB of system memory.
To the left of the memory chips is the Custom Sony MIPS CPU, which runs at around 300MHZ. Below the memory, is a Samsung flash, labelled K9T1G08UM, a 1 Gigabit flash, for a total of 128MB of Storage space. Below that is a debug connector, which interfaces with the system directly.
Getting to the more interesting stuff, to the left is a flash chip, which, as anyone would know, seems to be quite similar to that of a BIOS chip in a PC. To the left of that, are DIP switches, used for changing CP settings, and to the left of that are Debug LED's.
On the bottom, it's a bit less interesting, there is a CR2032 to keep the clock up to date, to the right there is a connector which interfaces with the board underneath (to the mainboard). Finally, there are the two more Samsung Memory chips which we already mentioned, along with a flash interface controller.
Next time, we'll take a tour of the PS3 TOOL XMB!
Update: CP Update Crypt – REFTool Update Crypto
User has released a tool for developers to decrypt or encrypt Communication Processor Updates for the PS3.