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MediaTek Romloader

Just like the CalypsoRomloader, the the MTK romloader is a serial bootstrap-loader inside the Digital Baseband Processors manufactured by MediaTek.
It is executed when the power button of the phone is pressed, and listens on the UART for an 0xa0 activation byte.

The loader can read/write from/to all registers and memory addresses of the DBB, which is used extensively by the host software.
Most of the initialization logic is therefore in the application on the host, which uploads the code to the phone.

It is stored in a ROM which is always mapped to 0x48000000 of the ARM memory space in the MT622x. Therefore, only one instruction is mapped to the reset vector at 0x0 when powering on:

ROM:00000000                 LDR     PC, =0x48000000

Osmocon has working support for it (-m mtk), but it uses the default 19200 baud for uploading the image to the SRAM.
For higher loading baudrates the proprietary MTK windows flashing tool uses several register writes to enable the UART Autobaud mode, and sends an autobaud-sample.
Just setting the baudrate the normal way would result in a deadlock, since when setting LCRr7 to 1 maps the baud divider registers to the RX and TX holding registers.

mtk_romloader_protocol.pdf - commented trace of MediaTek romloader serial communication protocol (96.1 KB) steve-m, 04/20/2010 03:35 PM