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Broadcom BCM63xx

This page covers the BCM63xx SoC specificities, but the BCM33xx SoC (excluding BCM3302 which is a CPU) are the exact same chip, except that the DSL core is replaced with a DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS one.

Broadcom63xx SoC integrates ADSL/ADSL2+ features, routing, and external Wireless NIC.

This SoC is widely used by most xDSL platforms in the world. It is one of the most successful xDSL platforms due to the simplicity of migrating old platforms (e.g: BCM6345) to new ones without much software impact.

The Architecture is based on a standard MIPS32 Big Endian Instruction Set, and shares some features with the R4000 microprocessor.

Linux support

  • The OpenWrt support for the Broadcom BCM63xx SoC family currently only works with following models:
    • 6318
    • 6328
    • 6338
    • 6345
    • 6348
    • 6358 / 6359
    • 6361 / 6362
    • 6368 / 6369
    • 63168 / 63169 / 63268 / 63269
  • There are working drivers for USB Host (OHCI and EHCI) and Ethernet under the GPL. USB Device drivers are also supported but only for BCM6368 and newer SoCs.

Broadcom xDSL

Dual Core

Some SoCs like BCM6358 or BCM6368 have two cores, however OpenWrt only uses 1 core. Spite there being SMP code for using two cores in the kernel (see smp-bmips.c), it seems hard to use both cores: it is needed to initialize the second cpu; also the irq code code currently only enables irqs on the first cpu, so only userspace can use the second core, all interrupt handlers will use the first one.

SMP/CMT Broadcom 63xx

Finished tasks

The support for Broadcom 63xx is at this state :

  • Full Linux support for BCM63xx with runtime detection of the SoC on which the kernel is running.
  • GPL drivers for Ethernet/switch, OHCI, EHCI, SPI, Watchdog
  • Dual core partially supported in BM6362/6368 and no support in BCM6358.
  • No available drivers (neither binary, nor GPL) for DSL, ATM, VoIP, on-board SLIC/SLAC
  • Still not ported to OpenWrt but with available drivers under the GPL:

How to help

  • Download: DG834GBv4 GPL and closed code and help writing specification for the DSL core, the place to host specifications is BCM63xx at
  • Dual core SMP/CMT still needs further work, specially for BCM6358 with a shared TLB. If you know how to get rid of the problem of having a shared TLB between 2 cores, with working code, please contact with developers
    see → TLB exception handlers

Existent 63xx variants

bcm6318 333 DDR2 2.0 2.0
bcm6328 320 DDR2 2.0 2.0 12.09
bcm6329 320 DDR2 2.0 2.0
bcm6335 140 SDR
bcm6338 240 SDR 1.1 10.03
bcm6345 140 SDR 1.1 10.03
bcm6348 240|256 SDR 1.1 1.1 10.03
bcm6358 300 DDR 2.0 2.0 10.03
bcm6359 300 DDR 2.0 2.0 10.03
400 DDR2 2.0 2.0 r32923
bcm6367 400 DDR 2.0 2.0 12.09
bcm6368 400 DDR 2.0 2.0 12.09
bcm6369 400 DDR 2.0 2.0
400 DDR2 2.0 2.0
400 ? 2.0 2.0
bcm6816 300 ? 2.0 2.0
bcm6818 400 ? 2.0 2.0
bcm63138 1000 ? 3.0 3.0
  • The third digit, when set to 3 (like in BCM6335, BCM6338) denotes a single-chip and cost-reduction oriented design.
  • There are also some other variants like bcm6341, which is a DSP used in VoIP products in conjunction with a BCM6348 SoC.
  • The bcm63138 supports, G.inp and SRA.

CPU caches

icache dcache
SoC CPU version Core Size (kB) Associativity Linesize (bytes) Cache policy Size (kB) Associativity Aliases Linesize (bytes) Cache policy
BCM6348 BMIPS3300 V0.7 0 16 2-way 16 VIPT 8 2-way 16 VIPT
BCM6358 BMIPS4350 V1.0 0 32 2-way 16 VIPT 16 2-way 16 VIPT
1 16 2-way 16 VIPT
BCM6368 BMIPS4350 V3.1 0 64 4-way 16 VIPT 32 2-way 16 VIPT
1 64 4-way 16 VIPT
BCM6328 BMIPS4350 v7.5 0 32 4-way 16 VIPT 32 2-way 16 VIPT
BCM63168 BMIPS4350 V8.0 0 64 4-way 16 VIPT 32 2-way 16 VIPT
1 64 4-way 16 VIPT

VIPT = Virtually indexed, physically tagged

See →


Hardware random number generator

Only available in BCM6368 SoC. GPL supported. bcm63xx-rng.c dev-rng.c

To take advantage of this hardware feature, rng-tools should be installed.

Cipher Engine

BCM63xx SoCs have cryptographic hardware accelerators. The Cipher engine accelerates the IPSec protocol by using dedicated hardware blocks. BCM63XX SoCs (all family? FIXME) are implemented with the Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) and Authentication Header (AH) IPSec protocols:

  • AES and DES/3DES hardware encryption and decryption.
    • AES in both Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) mode and Counter (CTR) mode. Can be performed in 128-, 192-, and 256-bit modes.
    • DES, 3DES in Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) mode
  • HMAC-SHA1 and HMAC-MD5 authentication in hardware.

This what Broadcom calls SPU. The driver is available with GPL

this code isn't still ported to OpenWRT, thus no crypto acceleration available


Serial Peripheral Interface

Two types of SPI controllers are present in BCM63xx:

  • SPI : Not available in BCM6318/BCM6328/BCM6345
  • HSSPI: High speed SPI, only available in BCM6318/BCM6328/BCM6362/63268 SoCs

By default only one or two (probably more in newer boards) Slave Selects are available. Additional Slave Selects are at GPIO lines, but they need to be enabled.

(SPI) Slave Select 0 Slave Select 1 Slave Select 2 Slave Select 3 Slave Select 4 Slave Select 5
(HSSPI) Slave Select 0 Slave Select 1 Slave Select 2 Slave Select 3 Slave Select 4 Slave Select 5 Slave Select 6 Slave Select 7
BCM6328 GPIO9 :?:

Snippet code example for enabling these extra slave-selects at GPIOs:

/* BCM6348 */
	u32 val;
	/* Enable Extra SPI CS */
	/* GPIO 29 is SS1, GPIO 30 is SS2, GPIO 31 is SS2 */
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_MODE_REG);
	val |= GPIO_MODE_6348_G1_SPI_MASTER;
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_MODE_REG);
/* BCM6358 */
	u32 val;
	/* Enable Overlay for SPI SS Pins */
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_MODE_REG);
	val |= GPIO_MODE_6358_EXTRA_SPI_SS;
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_MODE_REG);
	/* Enable SPI Slave Select as Output Pins */
        /* GPIO 32 is SS2, GPIO 33 is SS3 */
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_CTL_HI_REG);
	val |= 0x0003;
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_CTL_HI_REG);
/* BCM6368 */
	u32 val;
	/* Enable Extra SPI CS */
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_MODE_REG);
	val |= (GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN2 | GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN3 | GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN4 | GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN5);
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_MODE_REG);
	/* Enable SPI Slave Select as Output Pins */            
        /* GPIO 28 is SS2, GPIO 29 is SS3, GPIO 30 is SS4, GPIO 31 is SS5*/   
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_CTL_LO_REG);
	val |= (GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN2 | GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN3 | GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN4 | GPIO_MODE_6368_SPI_SSN5);
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_CTL_LO_REG);
/* BCM6328 */
#define SEL_SPI2                 8
#define PINMUX_SEL_SPI2_MASK     (3 << SEL_SPI2)
#define PINMUX_SEL_SPI2          (2 << SEL_SPI2)
	u32 val;
	/* configure pinmux to SPI extra Slave Select */
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_PINMUX_OTHR_REG);
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_PINMUX_OTHR_REG);
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_PINMUX_OTHR_REG);
	val |= PINMUX_SEL_SPI2;
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_PINMUX_OTHR_REG);
/* BCM63268 */
#define GPIO_MODE_63268_HSSPI_SSN4		(1 << 16)
#define GPIO_MODE_63268_HSSPI_SSN5		(1 << 17)
#define GPIO_MODE_63268_HSSPI_SSN6		(1 << 8)
#define GPIO_MODE_63268_HSSPI_SSN7		(1 << 9)
	u32 val;
	/* GPIO 16 is SS4, GPIO 17 is SS5, GPIO 8 is SS6, GPIO 9 is SS7*/   
	val = bcm_gpio_readl(GPIO_MODE_REG);
	bcm_gpio_writel(val, GPIO_MODE_REG);


General Purpose Input/Output

BCM63xx GPIO lines aren't capable of generating interrupts, they use the polling method when configured as inputs (buttons). As a result of this, some input drivers using GPIO interrupts won't work.


Bootloader: Some devices use RedBoot such as Inventel Liveboxes. Most of the others use CFE with a built-in LZMA decompressor. CFE is not using standard LZMA compression arguments, and most noticeably, changes the dictionary size, so beware. Thomson routers have their own bootloader.

There is released source code for RedBoot (Inventel Livebox), and probably can be modified to work with other routers. Also there is some source code for Uboot.

On several CPE (Customer-premises equipment) hardware devices and especially on smart phones, the OEM bootloaders are feature poor (no netboot, no booting from a USB stick, etc.), obfuscated (require some magic values to be correct) or completely messed up and make it cumbersome, difficult or impossible to install free software on the device. It is thus paramount to always have at least some products available, that have OEM bootloaders that keep installing free software easy (cf. generic.flashing). And it could be interesting to port such bootloaders to devices, which happen to come with a restricted bootloader. Compare the available bootloader out there, their license, available code and feature sets. Please also remember that available source code it NOT enough, it has to be under some license, that allow for modification and redistribution.

Dump the flash

There exists an utility to backup the entire flash:
You must connect your PC with the bcm63xx router via serial TTL port while CFE is running. Then execute cfetool with a command like this, maybe different with different boot address / flash sizes.

./ --read=dump.bin --addr=0xB8000000 --size=0x1000000 --block=0x10000
--addr=0xB8000000 -> Flash Memory Address (see CFE bootlog --> Boot Address)
--size=0x1000000 -> 16Mb Flash
--block=0x10000 -> Memory dumped each iteration (default is 10Kb 0x2800)
cfetool expects the serial port used is /dev/ttyUSB0 in your PC, but you can change it with "–serial=/dev/ttyUSB1".

Note: not all CFEs have internally the dm/sm command, as a result of this cfetool may not work with some devices. Alternatively you can dump the flash via traditional methods like JTAG or with an OpenWrt ramdisk firmware version.

BCM6348 pinout


Known 63xx platforms

Known 6345 platforms*:

Known 6338 platforms*:

Huawei EchoLife HG510
Netgear DM111P
Dynalink RTA1320 (Nateks Unispot21)
Siemens CL 110
Zhone 6211
Zhone 6212-l2/-l3
tp-link tp-8840
Thomson SpeedTouch ST516 v6
Thomson SpeedTouch ST530 v6 (same as above with USB port)

Some 6348 platforms*:

Some 6358 platforms*:

Some 6328 platforms*:

Known 6361 platforms*:

BT HomeHub 3.0b
Sercom SHG1500 AKA Vodafone Station 2

Known 6362 platforms*:

Motorola NVG510 Commonly used with AT&T copper Uverse, which supports VOIP but not TV. (Motorola GPL source). Also on WikiDevi
Netgear DGND3700 (v2)

Known 6368 platforms*:

Freebox Server
ZyXEL P-870HN-51b (commonly shipped to VDSL2 customers by Sonera in Finland)
ZyXEL P-870HN-53b (commonly shipped to ADSL/VDSL customers by T-Mobile in Czech Republic)
NETGEAR VVG2000 (sold to VDSL2 customers by Bezeq in Israel)
D-Link DSL-6740U (sold to VDSL2 customers by Bezeq in Israel)
Cisco 867-VAE
Netgear DGND3700 (v1)
Inteno DG201
Thomson TG789vn
Comtrend VR-3025u
Comtrend VR-3025un
Actiontec Q2000 (commonly shipped to VDSL2 customers of Centurylink/Qwest)

Known 63168 platforms*:

Airties Air 5650 (commonly shipped to TTnet Hipernet customers in Turkey)
D-Link DSL6850U

Known 63268 platforms*:

Inteno DG301 (commonly shipped to Sonera customers in Finland)


doc/hardware/soc/soc.broadcom.bcm63xx.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/22 16:00 by danitool