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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. realjaja's Avatar
      realjaja -
      am i the only one hitting reload for modmyi and google for 'unlock iphone 4' every few hours?
    1. Manny0825's Avatar
      Manny0825 -
      Great update. I was one of the retards to go an buy the thing thinking there would be an unlock super soon. Oh well, I have an nice expensive iPod for the time being.
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Manny0825 View Post
      Great update. I was one of the retards to go an buy the thing thinking there would be an unlock super soon. Oh well, I have an nice expensive iPod for the time being.
      Stupid is as stupid does.....Damn it we told u people this Iphone 4 POS wasnt worth jumping off the bridge and committing suicide over. You were warned that that hardware and/or software "could" change within the release. But look how many people failed to understand. So many people were blinded by that "pretty" phone. Now they have to sit back and deal with more problems than we have ever had to deal with in any previous release. Apple NEVER gets it right the 1st time, and even the 2nd time is still half assed.

      Dont worry, i have faith people will learn sooner or later. Just too bad it wasnt sooner.

      And yes 3GS works flawless on iOS4 jailbroken and unlocked. Except for they fact that Apple forgot to add the Picture support in text, LMAO. Go figure
    1. teddyf1's Avatar
      teddyf1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by domthebigbomb View Post
      agreed... i really want a jailbreak
      I agree wholeheartedly. I love this iPhone 4 but i really miss my SBSettings, LockInfo, BiteSMS, and other viital Cydia apps I can't live without. I feel like my iPhone is naked without all these essentials.

      I hope the dev team makes a breakthrough soon. I can't wait to see what custom fonts and themes look like on this beautiful display!!! GO DEV TEAM!! GO! We salute all your efforts.
    1. billinaz's Avatar
      billinaz -
      Quote Originally Posted by cerote View Post
      Did you miss the iPhone 4 part? He is talking about the brand spanking new iphone that just came out.
      Yea, I did.

      I was just reading another post about a pesron claiming that the 3GS could not be unlocked yet..... my iPhone 4 is still sitting in the box waiting for the JB.

      Late night.
    1. Volerikan's Avatar
      Volerikan -
      I miss jailbreak on iPhone 4. I guess it doesn't matter since most of the apps still need updates for ios4. I can probably wait for the jailbreak, take your time, make it right!
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Just got to learn not to jump on the first boat, when there are more going in the same direction. And yes 3GS is jailbroken and unlocked on iOS4. Atleast for those of us that were smart enough to keep our older basebands, LoL

    1. severe's Avatar
      severe -
      Quote Originally Posted by l0k0 View Post
      Stupid is as stupid does.....Damn it we told u people this Iphone 4 POS wasnt worth jumping off the bridge and committing suicide over. You were warned that that hardware and/or software "could" change within the release. But look how many people failed to understand. So many people were blinded by that "pretty" phone. Now they have to sit back and deal with more problems than we have ever had to deal with in any previous release. Apple NEVER gets it right the 1st time, and even the 2nd time is still half assed.

      Dont worry, i have faith people will learn sooner or later. Just too bad it wasnt sooner.

      And yes 3GS works flawless on iOS4 jailbroken and unlocked. Except for they fact that Apple forgot to add the Picture support in text, LMAO. Go figure
      Really, dood?

      Why don't you get over yourself. These are just people looking forward to an early release. I, for one, am enjoying every minute with my new iPhone, jailbroken or not.

      Settle down.

      And if you're keeping score ("i have faith people will learn sooner or later"), I have little faith that one day these forums will shake off trolls such as yourself.
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by severe View Post
      Really, dood?

      Why don't you get over yourself. These are just people looking forward to an early release. I, for one, am enjoying every minute with my new iPhone, jailbroken or not.

      Settle down.

      And if you're keeping score ("i have faith people will learn sooner or later"), I have little faith that one day these forums will shake off trolls such as yourself.
      Ahh come on man, do u see all these posts about Iphone 4 problems that I see. For sure i cant be the only person who thinks this is one of Apples "Bad Eggs" that got hatched when it shouldnt have. Apple should have done more research before the release....Also, did u notice that Steve Jobs showed the world the rubber case that was made for the Iphone 4. Do u think he knew there was a reception issue with the design and that maybe Apple should perhaps "make a little" money off of their own flaw.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      So maybe I can ditch an unlockable iPhone (I have 2 spares now) for better money before the unlock for the 4 comes out(if it ever does).
    1. severe's Avatar
      severe -
      Quote Originally Posted by l0k0 View Post
      Ahh come on man, do u see all these posts about Iphone 4 problems that I see. For sure i cant be the only person who thinks this is one of Apples "Bad Eggs" that got hatched when it shouldnt have. Apple should have done more research before the release....Also, did u notice that Steve Jobs showed the world the rubber case that was made for the Iphone 4. Do u think he knew there was a reception issue with the design and that maybe Apple should perhaps "make a little" money off of their own flaw.
      Ok.. we're gonna be civil?

      Yes, I do see the complaints. These things happen. These things are expected to happen. These things, unfortunately, come with being a leader in development in any given field.

      Surely you're aware that those who post complaints/issues on forums, etc, are few compared to those that do not have issues. It's how it works. How many run to their computer to tell the world things are grand with their new devices? BTW, have you read some of the complaints pouring in that have clearly been user error or some other nonissue?

      "Bad Eggs", rubber cases, cover-ups, deception? "Ahh come on man". Exactly. I think your being overly cynical.

      These things are gonna work themselves out, as the've done in the past and will in the future. Don't become a bitter old man. Don't view from the sidelines. Join the party. Resistance is futile. Blame Canada.
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by severe View Post
      Ok.. we're gonna be civil?

      Yes, I do see the complaints. These things happen. These things are expected to happen. These things, unfortunately, come with being a leader in development in any given field.

      Surely you're aware that those who post complaints/issues on forums, etc, are few compared to those that do not have issues. It's how it works. How many run to their computer to tell the world things are grand with their new devices? BTW, have you read some of the complaints pouring in that have clearly been user error or some other nonissue?

      "Bad Eggs", rubber cases, cover-ups, deception? "Ahh come on man". Exactly. I think your being overly cynical.

      These things are gonna work themselves out, as the've done in the past and will in the future. Don't become a bitter old man. Don't view from the sidelines. Join the party. Resistance is futile. Blame Canada.
      LMAO, thats the problem. I did blaim Canada. Then Obama got the keys to the oval office. So thats when i stopped blaming Canada. Its all his fault he let Apple release such a sorry POS phone that is more useless than my Motorola Bag Phone, LMAO....No i dont expect to kids to know what a bag phone was, hehe
    1. cliffhanger's Avatar
      cliffhanger -
      Quote Originally Posted by relkorama View Post
      I am curious...since Apple will be releasing "Factory Unlocked for Life" iPhone in various countries...can't someone just copy the programming from that iPhone and then re-install it on another one to make that one "Factory Unlocked"?

      Or, is unlocking a phone not as simple as copying a software program?
      Nice thinking... Perhaps some iphone dev guy could point us to a link or explain us what actually is involved is finding the exploit so that other developers can put a hand or at least know what going on?
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      No, that won't work. Certain areas of the phone's "memory" (I use the word "memory" VERY cautiously; I can't think of a better yet simple term) cannot be written to unless it is getting upgraded, like the baseband. Others cannot be written to at all, like the bootrom (why we can't "downgrade" to be untethered).

      Who knows why Pwnage can't "fake" an old baseband's version to appear "newer?" Not me. Which is why guys like comex and MuscleNerd are on the dev-team and I am not. Feel free to donate to them, even if they don't have "the jailbreak for you" yet.
    1. dearlisa's Avatar
      dearlisa -
      Cydia and the Rockapp gave me updates, which when installed threw my phone into perma-recovery mode for two full days. I had to do a restore, which made me update my firmware. I re jailbroke it but I can't unlock it - which means I'm stuck in Australia and on a contract with no phone. :-( Some of us really do need the unlock. Thanks Devo team for working so hard!
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      If you could not ressurrect dinosaur threads that are not support centers with your complainy problems that'd be awesome.
    1. Irishpaul's Avatar
      Irishpaul -
      Hi I have the jailbreak on iPhone4 4.1 , but please I do need the unlock as I'm locked into an expensive mobile, may god bless the guys that bring out the unlock for the new baseband, thanks guys Paul .
    1. Irishpaul's Avatar
      Irishpaul -
      Please help me as I upgraded my baseband by mistake, I'm lost with out the unlock,I'm using iPhone4 4.1. I have great faith in ye , Paul . Keep up the great work, thanks again Paul