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PS3 Glitch Finder v1.0 VHDL Design for Spartan-3 FPGAs Arrives

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251w ago - Today modrobert has released PS3 Glitch Finder v1.0, which is a VHDL design for Spartan-3 (eg. xc3s400) FPGAs with the purpose of easily creating a custom pulse which can be used to glitch various hardware like the PS3 memory bus.

Download: PS3 Glitch Finder v1.0 VHDL Design for Spartan-3 FPGAs

From the ReadMe file: The pulse LOW and HIGH multipliers have a resolution of 255 (X"FF") and can be set independently.


• Cycle exact pulse generator process tested with logic analyzer
• Digital Clock Manager (DCM) primitive @ 200MHz (5ns) with lock handling
• Continuous pulse or one-shot mode selectable via switch
• Debounce handling for push buttons to prevent erratic behavior
• Set the LOW and HIGH pulse length multipliers via buttons
• 7-seg LED display support showing HIGH and LOW pulse multipliers
• Open source release under GPL v2


The target device is a Spartan-3 fitted on an FPGA board (eg. Spartan-3 Starter Kit, Basys, Nexys, or similar). You need 5 push buttons (3 is ok also), a four digit "seven-segment" LED display, a dip switch, two regular LEDs, an external crystal/clock at 25MHz or 50Mhz, and a free I/O port.

Notes: This design is probably overkill for the purpose intended, but I had fun creating it, so one thing led to another. After the pulses are sent the output port drives "Z" (instead if HIGH), thought that might be a good idea to keep the PS3 linux kernel from crashing.

I've only tested PS3 Glitch Finder with a logic analyzer, not a scope yet, so the tri-state function has not been properly tested. By driving the pulse low and switch to "Z" I did notice that there can sometimes be roughly 300ns delay before high impedance occur, so to prevent the pulse generator from sending an invalid long low pulse I made sure the output is high before driving "Z".

If you want to start out in the footsteps of geohot, switch to one-shot mode and then set the low pulse multiplier to 8 (8 x 5ns = 40ns) and the high can be 8 as well (don't think it matter much since only one pulse is sent).

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Comments 14 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#9 - hunterrr - 251w ago
hunterrr's Avatar
Ok i got a complete noob question for you guys.. What exacly are you guys trying to do with all this hardware stuff or trying to find? Is anything being tested with software or what? i don't understand anything that has been going on since George released the exploit.

#8 - tuomi - 251w ago
tuomi's Avatar
This will at least help developers to use another type of device to activate the exploit. As I've understood, the several methods presented require some expensive hardware and if there is other hardware being able to do the same thing I guess some are happy to be pointed to what HW you're able to use.

#7 - sorceror - 251w ago
sorceror's Avatar
Now, what would be really interesting is applying this kind of hack to finding the PS3's root key: [Register or Login to view links]

Seems someone who understands FPGA programming might have the chops to tackle that...

#6 - PS3 News - 251w ago
PS3 News's Avatar
Pretty much this is what modrobert has been spending his time working on that he wanted to share with the community... it just happened that a few other others made their own prior to him releasing his, but it's definitely still handy for some I imagine.

#5 - JesusFMA - 251w ago
JesusFMA's Avatar
Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfWar View Post
It just seems unnecessary ...

Yep, I kind of agree with you...

I guess the only thing happening here is that the glitching method is getting "professionalized", 'cause it seems that this thing does the same stuff that the other "rudimentaries" devices also do, but in a fancier, easier and more controled way.

I wouldn't call it a real progress, but it sure is a very nice form of doing the glitching, and it's nice to see that some people are still working in that matter. I think this guy deserves some credit for doing this.


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