Switch revision potentially leaked via 5.0 firmware (Codenamed Mariko, 8GB RAM) [speculation]

Oct 27, 2017
3,230
Costa Rica
#1
I think this deserves its own thread. Thanks to the guys at Switchbrew it's been discovered that firmware 5.0 adds compatibility with an unannounced Switch revision with the codename "Mariko".

A new folder "a" was added, in addition to the existing "nx" folder, containing a separate "bct" and "package1". Both of these seem encrypted/meant for the new "Mariko" hardware that support was added for.
http://switchbrew.org/index.php?title=5.0.0


The only thing we know is that the revision will use Tegra 214 instead of the current 210.

The CPU upgrade is probably because the current Switch SoC (system on a chip) includes a hardware vulnerability that makes hacking possible in all firmware versions, even future ones.

We don't know how different this revision would be. It could be a simple security upgrade or a new model a la new 3DS.

Either way, this means future Switch units will have a different SoC and current ones will probably become rare (and more expensive because of the hacking possibilities).

Update 03/19/2018:

This may be bigger than we originally thought.


Another Switch hacker replied that the 8GB bump may be for the devkits only for now, but these devkits may be related to a new Switch revision.

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It's also convenient to remember what Nintendo said about revisions last year:

“It is Nintendo Switch, so maybe we’ll switch it up!” jokes Takahashi, responding to a question about whether Switch’s life cycle will resemble more the company’s TV consoles (completely new ideas at five-year-plus intervals) or its handhelds (subtler changes every few years). “Certainly, we’ve designed Nintendo Switch in a way that it can be used by consumers in the way that best suits them. I think we may see that people who have bought a Nintendo home console in the past traditionally, they may treat Switch like a home console and buy it and use it for a long period of time. Whereas people who have been traditionally Nintendo handheld gamers, they may buy Nintendo Switch and then for example, if a new version were to come out later, then maybe they would decide to upgrade to that.”
 
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Nov 3, 2017
681
#2
So that means that current Switch users are in the clear if they ever want to install homebrew on their consoles?
 
Oct 27, 2017
321
Chicago
#5
So that means that current Switch users are in the clear if they ever want to install homebrew on their consoles?
Kinda. It means that the bootloader on those Switches are always vunerable, and can be tricked into loading and running any code and not just Nintendo-signed code. Actually getting it code to load is where the issue is now.
 
Oct 28, 2017
104
#7
Does this mean a hardware revision is on the horizon, or a new SoC doesn't really have anything to do with it?
 

KRBM

Banned
Member
Jan 9, 2018
610
#9
Does this mean a hardware revision is on the horizon, or a new SoC doesn't really have anything to do with it?
The current SoC contains a vulnerability that may lead to a Switch jailbreak in the future. The new SoC is likely designed solely to close this vulnerability.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,110
Gehenna
#13
I don't think there will be a performance upgrade, not a significant one, at least. I could be wrong.
Just new guts that are the same as the old but with the loophole closed, maybe better power efficiency or reduced hardware footprint to cut on costs for them to increase profit.

No hardware revision like a new model or anything.
 

UltraGashInferno

Self-Requested Ban
Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,241
#15
I think this deserves its own thread. Thanks to the guys at Switchbrew it's been discovered that firmware 5.0 includes a new check for a SoC (system on a chip).



http://switchbrew.org/index.php?title=5.0.0&type=revision&diff=3992&oldid=3991


This is probably because the current Switch SoC includes a hardware vulnerability that makes hacking possible in all firmware versions, even future ones.

That probably means future Switch units will have a different SoC and current ones will probably become rare (and more expensive because of the hacking possibilities).

that super rare item with only over 10 million made!
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,957
#17
How do you stop updates on the Switch? Does it require disconnecting from the Internet completely, or is it just update prompts like on the 3DS?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,112
Chicago, IL
#19
How do you stop updates on the Switch? Does it require disconnecting from the Internet completely, or is it just update prompts like on the 3DS?
http://switch.cfw.guide/guide/blocking-updates/ - just change DNS settings to manual pretty much. However, this does limit all internet as far as I know but I haven't tested going online. For me it's fine because I always play single player games anyway (until Smash comes out later this year).
 
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Atheerios
Oct 27, 2017
3,230
Costa Rica
#21
Current Switches use the Tegra 210 CPU.
New ones will use Tegra 214.

There's a mention of a new SoC with the codename Mariko.

There's even a different folder for it's data. Current model uses the "nx" folder while the new one "a" folder.
 
Nov 17, 2017
4,642
#22
Current Switches use the Tegra 210 CPU.
New ones will use Tegra 214.

There's a mention of a new SoC with the codename Mariko.

There's even a different folder for it's data. Current model uses the "nx" folder while the new one "a" folder.
I wondered if there is any insignificant differences between T210 and T214, with the exception that one is flawed more than the other?

What I'm assuming is T214 is slower than T210 because there are more additional checks made securely.
 
Oct 31, 2017
85
#26
If Nintendo silently switched to a 16nm process wouldn't people notice because some Switches would have way more battery life?
 
Nov 25, 2017
1,310
#27
If Nintendo silently switched to a 16nm process wouldn't people notice because some Switches would have way more battery life?
Tegra x2 gives up to double the power performance also in it's highest performance mode. They can't just do that without an official revision
 
Oct 27, 2017
226
#29
The idea of having to produce a new SoC to patch a security hole is kinda nuts. Still, this probably helps to justify the new major build number, even if it didn't really do anything for end users. But, between this and the new security changes, there's been some major internal changes.
 
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Atheerios
Oct 27, 2017
3,230
Costa Rica
#30
I originally posted that Madiko was the codename of the SoC, but this is inaccurate.

Mariko is actually the codename of the new Switch model which will use Tegra 214.

We don't know how different this revision will be or if it's just a security upgrade. However I think it would be weird to have a codename for a model where the only difference is a security change.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,311
#34
Wonder if that's how Nintendo plans to sell another 20 million Switches next year. All the early adopters will buy the new Switches and use their old ones for homebrew.
 
Oct 25, 2017
161
#39
The only thing we know is that the revision will use Tegra 214 instead of the current 210.
The fact that they're using a new numbered designation for it is interesting, because I don't believe Nvidia have done that before. As far as I'm aware Switch itself uses the second revision of the T210 chip (denoted A2 on the die), and I would have assumed that something as small as fixing a security vulnerability they would have moved to A3 rather than a whole new chip number, which as far as I can tell has only been used before for substantially altered chip designs (ie new CPU/GPU arrangement). Of course it's possible to read too much into it, but it is interesting.

One possibility is that it's a die shrink. It would be early, but it's conceivable that they've used up their original commitment of 20nm chips faster than expected, and by this point a move to 16nm would be the same price or cheaper anyway.

I would like to get a revised system, when will they be available and how can I differenciate an original to a new one?
Nobody knows. If it's just a security revision then they could be introduced without anyone knowing and with no easy way to tell the difference.
 

Vena

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,017
#40
The bootrom glitch won't be released for a long time, if ever. Its not a Switch issue, its a widespread issue and its not a landmine many will want to step on or even go near.

https://switch.hacks.guide/blocking-updates

You are not completely disconnected but you don't have access to eshop anymore I think.
No, you will be completely disconnected after a week or so because you'll be behind in firmware. So you'll lose access to all online functionality with the system.

Also with the way that certificates work on the Switch, the bans that can go down are irreversible and they can sniff out of a LOT of bad behavior in a very straight forward fashion because of the layers of telemetry and how the accounts are now integrated with the system.
 
Oct 28, 2017
239
#41
hmm, interesting...
I did hack my DS back in the day after it was pretty much not supported after the 3ds took off..
smart by nintendo though to do this
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,772
#42
I originally posted that Madiko was the codename of the SoC, but this is inaccurate.

Mariko is actually the codename of the new Switch model which will use Tegra 214.

We don't know how different this revision will be or if it's just a security upgrade. However I think it would be weird to have a codename for a model where the only difference is a security change.
Didn't the 360 have many codenames without much changing for the end-user like Jasper and Falcon?
 
Nov 15, 2017
232
#43
I originally posted that Madiko was the codename of the SoC, but this is inaccurate.

Mariko is actually the codename of the new Switch model which will use Tegra 214.

We don't know how different this revision will be or if it's just a security upgrade. However I think it would be weird to have a codename for a model where the only difference is a security change.
Hm. So this could possibly be new hardware? I'm not a huge believer in the whole "Switch XL" thing, but this is an interesting development. I agree with you - strange to name a revision.

Didn't the 360 have many codenames without much changing for the end-user like Jasper and Falcon?
Valid point.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,984
#45
I doubt they do a revision before holiday 2019 like a full one. I imagine it’s just for security and minor internal improvements like the ps4’s update in 2015 on fat model

Tho, I would welcome a really small super pocket-able model.

Then again we don’t even have cloud saves and can’t game share to my knowledge so I doubt it would be worth the hassle owning two switches, one solely for TV and one for the road
 
Nov 13, 2017
1,521
Londinium
#46
I would like it if my launch day switch had a hardware vulnerability that meant I could soft mod it later and Nintendo could not stop me.

Is that what this means?
 
Oct 25, 2017
161
#47
Didn't the 360 have many codenames without much changing for the end-user like Jasper and Falcon?
Yep, and in both cases they came with die-shrinks to the CPU and/or GPU.

Edit: Although not all named Xbox 360 revisions did, it seems. However in this case the change to the SoC is the only thing we know about the new model.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
4,257
#48
Being an early adopter pays off sometimes!
Sure, if you are looking at it from a homebrewing perspective. I want a Switch eventually, but I've been waiting for more games (I can't justify the system for only three games, been there already with the Wii U) and hopefully some hardware improvements, which this seems like it will be doing at least somewhat.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,665
#50
I was about to buy a second Switch, guess I can hold off for the revision, even if it's as small as preventing homebrew or closing a loophole.