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PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A XMB (XrossMediaBar) Menu Video Tour

800°
245w ago - This week, as promised previously, we decided to show a video tour of the PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A XMB (XrossMediaBar) menu.

For anyone with a retail PlayStation 3 system, the options listed below are quite different. But, for those with PS3 Test units, the Debug settings are quite similar to that of a PS3 TOOL.

However, the biggest difference between a TEST and a TOOL is that of the TOOL's Communication Processor. Unlike the TEST, which relies on the PS3 hardware itself to do the work, the TOOL uses its CP for independent hardware debugging.

Going back to a Retail system - the major difference between a Retail and a Debug unit are the Check features (when pressing triangle), which runs a check on the installed application - reporting file size, location, contents etc. Another notable difference is, under the System Options setting, the Debug Settings - which contains a large number of features, detailed below in part.

One other significant difference between Retail systems and Development Systems is...
 

PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A Serial Port Examined - Part 1

500°
248w ago - Today we have a brief update on the PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A serial port, as I haven't had time yet (due to the holidays) to install my [Register or Login to view links] into our Service Mode PS3 to begin dumping and comparing the NAND images.

Not long ago we took a peek at the PS3 Reference Tool's serial port, which is a 9 pin RS-232 port is covered by a metal panel, with two screws holding it down. One would assume there are secrets behind it, we did!

On connecting to the unit, we received a prompt for a password. On a whim, we tried a few default passwords, one of which being Administrator, and it worked!

We then received the prompt shown in the picture (below). Alas, there are only a few options to set the IP address on the unit. It can either be set statically, or dynamically - letting the IP be obtained by a network DHCP server.

The version command returns the software version of the PS3 Communication Processor, which as we detailed previously, is the embedded debugger in the PS3 TOOL.

The IP settings as well are that of the embedded debugger....
 

PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A Internals: The Communication Processor

650°
251w ago - 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...
 

PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A System Controller & Flash Chips Detailed

500°
253w ago - As we have been bringing you the first looks at the PS3 TOOL and its internals, we plan to detail every last part of the PS3 TOOL - starting with the big chip differences.

Today we are focusing on four important chips, specifically the PS3 System Controller, Flash, Flash Controller and IO controller.

Let's start with the System Controller. In the picture (below), it is top center. The System controller, CXR713F120A, is slightly different in part number from that of its retail equivalent (CXR713120).

It is interesting to note that we have also documented this chip in Prototype PS3 systems - meaning that the chip is most likely for old stock, reserved for development systems. Later on, in PS3 TEST's the chip model was changed back to that of its retail equivalent.

The system controller is equivalent to the medulla oblongata of your brain. It controls the systems basic functions - like power. It's the thing that makes your PS3 beep when you power it on. It also has some other interesting features, many of which we are still working on documenting.

To the left of the System Controller are some pads and buttons - the button resets the system, while the pads are for signals...
 

PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A Internal Pictures and Details Available

550°
256w ago - Recently the PS3 Dev Team received a PS3 Reference TOOL Kit and detailed the Frontside and Backside of the hardware.

Today we popped off the top of our PS3 TOOL to share how this monstrous machine works!

For starters, the cover is large but thin, and quite sharp (it drew blood!). Underneath the top cover are multiple steel covers, nearly 1/8th of an inch thick. This keeps the PS3 TOOL shielded, and also helps with ventilation.

Of an interesting note, the covers are so thick they block the WiFi and Bluetooth signals - this is why a PS3 TOOL needs an external antenna. Once the shielding covers are removed (along with about 15 screws) the signal can escape the system without issue... and we can start to see the internals of the PS3 TOOL.

Looking at the overview, on the far left features, from top to bottom, the System HDD at 400GB, the BDEMU HDD at 400GB, as well as the BD-ROM drive at the bottom.

To the right of that, there are air channels that are used as an intake, sucking air in from the...
 
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