Nintendo Wii Drive Chips [MODS]
Nintendo Wii drivechip is a rather simple hardware modification chip that modifies the way the Wii's DVD optical drive works. It is connected directly to consoles optical drive motherboard and NOT the main motherboard. Wii Drive chips do NOT interface with any other component in the system.
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How do 1st generation Wii Chips work?
The optical DVD drive found in Nintendo Wii is capable of reading normal DVD / DVD-R and even DVD-RW media. Drive's Firmware is programed to work only with genuine Wii media.
Normally, Wii DVD drives firmware checks if an inserted DVD disc is a genuine Wii disc by reading certain areas of the disc like the BCA (Burst Cutting Area) and the DMI (Disk Manufacturing Information), and it is programmed to refuses work if the checks are not passed. Also genuine Wii DVD discs use custom scrambling seeds that must be properly initialized.
Nintendo Wii Drivechip takes control of the optical drive's firmware by patching it though a series of debug commands. It modifies the scrambling seed initialization and the layout of read sectors to match those of standard DVD media. This is no different than what any other mods do.
What makes a drivechip special is the way it sends the above mentioned debug commands to the optical drive. It uses a serial port on the drives motherboard (that was left there by Nintendo for unknown reasons) from where the original drive firmware allows receiving a small subset of serial commands, including some debug commands. A drive chip will typically patch the drive firmware using serial commands when the drive is reset, making it transparently interoperable with standard DVD media.
The hardware needed to send serial commands and to store the firmware patch (and the optional apploader patching code) can be implemented easily and with very cheap components.