Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2017 23:47 UTC

Marcan42 of Fail0verflow fame was at the CCC33 event this year, to explain how Fail0verflow exploited the PS4 hardware in order to run Linux on the PS4.

The presentation goes back to all the pain the hackers had to go through in order to make Linux compatible with the PS4 architecture, which Marcan42 described several times throughout the presentation as "not being a PC" as it lacks lots of the legacy architecture bits required for a computer to constitute what is known today as an IBM compatible PC.

Be sure to watch the actual presentation. It's quite informative and detailed.

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RE: hmm
by chithanh on Wed 4th Jan 2017 15:47 UTC in reply to "hmm"
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Ive gotta say full credits to the guy(s) that did this and got it working, but I don't really get the point.

The performance was woeful (portal 2 ran terrible) ive got a steamos box, much beefier hardware, but portal2 runs really well.

There are several uses hacking PS4 to run Linux.
One is, to continue to use it after Sony decides that it is no longer worthy of their attention.
The other is to repurpose it for things that Sony did not have in mind when designing it.

Performance was not a priority it seems, also the workaround via the CPU that is still necessary for submitting certain register commands probably slows things down.

1. the ps4 can disable hdcp for game recording, obviously this is a setting they can change using the programmable hdmi chip. (you can enable / disable hdcp in the settings)

2. all ps4's got hdr support, which requires a lot more bandwidth which if they were using hdmi directly from the gpu out, would have probably been impossible.

None of these reasons would survive scrutiny. HDCP can be turned on or off by the GPU too. HDR is supported by all AMD GCN graphics products already. (And not only the HDMI encoder, but the whole graphics pipeline has to support HDR.)

The best possible explanations for the external HDMI encoder I have read so far:
1. Some hardware bug related to the HDMI output was encountered late in the PS4 development
2. Sony wanted to have the flexibility to make changes to the PS4 output configuration, without having to redesign the APU (such as adding HDMI 2.0 support)
3. AMD consumer graphics products lack support for HDMI CEC, and Sony could not reach an agreement with AMD about changing this.

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