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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. risingkazuya05's Avatar
      risingkazuya05 -
      @rmathew
      wow man, for a moocher, you sure do whine a lot...like an impatient b**** asking for some...
    1. pm_kennedy's Avatar
      pm_kennedy -
      Man o' man. The iPhone 4 is an awesome device. But without a jailbreak...just feels like there's a void that needs filling. But good job devs...all the faith in yahs!
    1. j3lly's Avatar
      j3lly -
      Looking forward to the jailbreak because I really miss bitesms and status notifier. I mean really apple how hard is it to add an icon to the lock screen letting me know I have an email?

      Anyways glad to hear an update. They work hard and in time everything always gets released and that's all that matters. Some people just need to learn to be patient.
    1. annihil8tion's Avatar
      annihil8tion -
      Question - how long after the 3G release was the jailbreak public?
    1. j3lly's Avatar
      j3lly -
      As far as I remember it took a bit. The 3Gs didn't because it was basically the same phone as the 3G. This is a major revision so it could be a couple weeks.
    1. jamriman's Avatar
      jamriman -
      Quote Originally Posted by aimetti View Post
      i love my iphone 4 , but oh do i miss my jailbreak.

      Unlock is great and all but all i want is jailbreak
      I dedided to use my 3gs in the meantime. No JB means it sucks!
    1. itaintrite's Avatar
      itaintrite -
      Yup. We need Jailbreak before Unlock Go teams.
    1. michoolyoung's Avatar
      michoolyoung -
      I'm waiting on the unlock so I can leave AT&T
    1. Gyngabread Man's Avatar
      Gyngabread Man -
      Yea bought my iPhone 4 and forgot how boring and idevice is with out the jailbreak so my gf is using it now and I'm back to my neon green 3gs
    1. DJM AutoWerkz's Avatar
      DJM AutoWerkz -
      I appreciate the dev-teams hard work in this.
    1. jamriman's Avatar
      jamriman -
      I have the iphone 4. I put it away and now I'm going back to my 3GS and downgrading back to 3.1.2 from IOS 4. I even found a way to get the micro sim into my 3GS! Need some luck and a sharp pair of scissors.
    1. smoothcreak's Avatar
      smoothcreak -
      I don't know much about unlocks and jailbreaks but if i'm not mistaken here I believe you need a jailbreak and unlock for t-mobile. Unlock so you can use it and jailbreak to turn off the 3g. So just an unlock for t-mobile users is no good???
    1. rawhog's Avatar
      rawhog -
      Hopefully this is good news!
    1. dr0herb's Avatar
      dr0herb -
      Quote Originally Posted by jamriman View Post
      I have the iphone 4. I put it away and now I'm going back to my 3GS and downgrading back to 3.1.2 from IOS 4. I even found a way to get the micro sim into my 3GS! Need some luck and a sharp pair of scissors.
      You should have been able to retain ownership of the sim from the 3GS, they just need to "cancel" it and activate the micro sim.

      You need to keep the 3GS sim because its needed after a restore to activate the phone and be able to use an an ipod.

      All it should take is a phone call to ATT to disable the micro sim and re-enable the 3GS.
    1. Dolo85's Avatar
      Dolo85 -
      Any ideas when the i4 will be jailbroken?
    1. whodatfan's Avatar
      whodatfan -
      jail me a break......... brahz.
    1. equlizer's Avatar
      equlizer -
      Bah Geohotz will have one made or already has one and holding onto it.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Well the Canadians will have a field day with this, all charging us way too much for our unlocked iPhones.
    1. dbizzy1's Avatar
      dbizzy1 -
      I can't wait to jailbreak this thing...hopefully the 3G restrictor will work for FaceTime
    1. TheGrandFinale2001's Avatar
      TheGrandFinale2001 -
      I just really, really want the jailbreak lol