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On Nintendo consoles, eFuses are used as irreversible data storage for keeping values which are set while the chip is being manufactured and will never be updated again. They are mostly used to store information which is sensitive and cannot be changed for security purposes.
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In the Wii homebrew community, the term "OTP" (one-time programmable) is usually used to refer to the console's eFuses. Official documentation & code uses the "eFuse" name.
The Wii has 128 bytes of eFuses within the Hollywood package, which all have a default value of 0. The final byte of the eFuses, which reverse engineering efforts were unable to document, has been revealed by leaked documentation to be used for toggling certain debugging features.
Bits 4-7 of the final eFuse byte each have a function:
Bit 4 - when set, disables trace
Bit 5 - when set, disables debug boot (booting directly from EXI as done on the GameCube, rather than through the IOP)
Bit 6 - when set, disables scan
Bit 7 - when set, disables JTAG
Retail consoles typically have everything disabled except for trace, resulting in a byte value of 0x07.
boot0 checks the integrity of boot1 by ensuring that it matches the hash stored in eFuses, but it will skip verification if the hash is blank.
The Wii's eFuses are normally programmed (or "cut") during production of the Hollywood package. They cannot be programmed afterwards on most systems, as the only mechanism to do so is through the JTAG, which is locked out by the eFuses on retail consoles.
- ↑ emeralds.7z/doc/hw/chip/vegas_clocks_resets.doc - pg 44
- ↑ unsorted.7z/d1/routefree/ng/depot/sw/rvl/boot/boot0/bootc.c - loop at line 458 enables verification only if the hash is not blank
- ↑ emeralds.7z/052306/doc/hw/chip/vegas_datasheet.doc - pg 20
- ↑ emeralds.7z/052306/hw/sys/jtag/jtag_bfm.v - has code to cut an eFuse at line 655