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  • iPhone4 Has New Baseband OS, ultrasn0w Will Need Rewrite


    The DevTeam and others have been checking through the iPhone 4, and have noticed the baseband runs a completely different OS than on previous models. The iPhone 3G and 3G[S] both ran Nucleus OS on the PMB8878 baseband CPU (aka XGold 608), where the iPhone 2G ran the PMB8876 (aka S-Gold 2). iPhone 4 uses the PMB9800, or X-Gold 618 - running a separate OS - ThreadX, an RTOS by ExpressLogic.

    UPDATE 06/29/2010 - After chatting with planetbeing today, I figured I'd add some specifics here. ThreadX is an RTOS. An RTOS is a Real Time Operating System, and in the iPhone 4's case, manages the baseband processor. This is a separate application processor than used by the main OS in the iPhone. The baseband handles the cell radio stuff - phone calls, 3G, etc. Anything using your cellular connection. Sometimes it has the GPS stuff too, although according to David Wang (aka planetbeing, from the DevTeam), it doesn't look like it does any GPS managing in this version - at least the OS treats it separately.

    Says David,

    ...then it gets rather technical. The baseband is segregated from the main applications processor and communicates with it over i2s, spi, and uart lines. The main processor controls it with (primarily) AT commands over some other transport protocol over the SPI and UART. When you're in a call, the BBP communicates directly with the audio codec over i2s so even if the main OS is freezing up, the call will still go on uninterrupted.

    The other advantage is security since if someone cracks iOS, the BBP is still separate. The two don't share any memory, so that's a security advantage.
    There's no indication of why Apple moved from Nucleus over to ThreadX, although they obviously had a reason strong enough to leave what they'd been using the past few generations of their flagship device.

    What's all that mean to you?

    Basically, once the iPhone 4 is jailbroken, the unlock won't be an immediate release. iOS4 is already un-lockable using ultrasn0w 0.93 on the earlier iPhone models, but the payload will need to be rewritten for iPhone 4 once an exploit is discovered in the new baseband OS. Hopefully the port itself will have introduced some. No way to estimate any sort of timeline until further investigating is done.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone4 Has New Baseband OS, ultrasn0w Will Need Rewrite started by Kyle Matthews View original post
    Comments 118 Comments
    1. Nick Hesson's Avatar
      Nick Hesson -
      One step closer. At least we know now.
    1. Oneh1tko's Avatar
      Oneh1tko -
      Good luck to the more intelligent people out there that are trying to figure this one out! And thanks!
    1. rico3459's Avatar
      rico3459 -
      Hopefully they will release the 3gs (new bootrom) jailbreak.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      ^agreed
    1. b4lyph's Avatar
      b4lyph -
      Thanks for the update. Now I know whether to stay with T-Mobile and get a factory unlocked or jump on the AT&T band wagon.
    1. aimetti's Avatar
      aimetti -
      i love my iphone 4 , but oh do i miss my jailbreak.

      Unlock is great and all but all i want is jailbreak
    1. blindfreek's Avatar
      blindfreek -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oneh1tko View Post
      Good luck to the more intelligent people out there that are trying to figure this one out! And thanks!
      i dunno if they are more intelligent, buuttt they sure as hell know a **** load more about programming and hacking than I ever will!!!

      keep up the amazing work Devs of ALL types!

      you are my sunnshineee my only sunnshineeee lol ( i fail )
    1. zozodouce's Avatar
      zozodouce -
      dont care for the unlock all i need is the jailbreak.
    1. finalfantasy's Avatar
      finalfantasy -
      Quote Originally Posted by rico3459 View Post
      Hopefully they will release the 3gs (new bootrom) jailbreak.
      way to hijack a thread
    1. bignighttrain's Avatar
      bignighttrain -
      Apple is realy getting on my nerves if all my apple products and IDevices weren't so dam sexy and functional I would say phuck apple up the Azz.
    1. p3eps's Avatar
      p3eps -
      Thanks for the update... I'll look forward to a release in the near future!
      Not really fussed about the unlock part, as my UK iPhone 4 is unlocked
    1. rico3459's Avatar
      rico3459 -
      Yea I know sorry about that I was thinking about it.
    1. PM5K's Avatar
      PM5K -
      Another AT&T guy for the jailbreak, I won't need the unlock until next year when I sell my iPhone 4 to buy an iPhone 5.
    1. allanes5's Avatar
      allanes5 -
      I need the unlock!!
    1. FURBY8704's Avatar
      FURBY8704 -
      i just need a jailbreak - no unlock for me =]
    1. itsmejdn's Avatar
      itsmejdn -
      Quote Originally Posted by PM5K View Post
      Another AT&T guy for the jailbreak, I won't need the unlock until next year when I sell my iPhone 4 to buy an iPhone 5.
      They seem to do their phones in series. Maybe it'll be iPhone 4G (2011), than iPhone 4GS (2012). Since 2010 is the iPhone 4.
    1. wickedfx's Avatar
      wickedfx -
      Waiting for the unlock, so I can change my bill from AT&T 700 min family plan with 2gb internet $160. month, to $110. unlimited everything a month.
    1. Dizi's Avatar
      Dizi -
      Jail break! Jail break! Jail break!
    1. Ticko's Avatar
      Ticko -
      i made the switch to att from tmobile after being a tmo customer for 9 years. I made the switch just so i dont have to wait and pay out the *** for this amazing piece of equipment that i received yesterday. The unlock will be great for some but making the switch isnt bad either.
    1. PM5K's Avatar
      PM5K -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ticko View Post
      i made the switch to att from tmobile after being a tmo customer for 9 years. I made the switch just so i dont have to wait and pay out the *** for this amazing piece of equipment that i received yesterday. The unlock will be great for some but making the switch isnt bad either.
      I made the switch when the 3G came out because I wanted to take advantage of 3G speeds AND have an iPhone.