Memory layout

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ARM11 Physical memory regions

Address Size Description
0x0 0x10000 Bootrom (super secret code/data @ 0x8000)
0x10000 0x10000 Bootrom mirror
0x10000000 ? IO memory
0x17E00000 0x2000 MPCore private memory region
0x18000000 0x600000 VRAM
0x1FF00000 0x80000 DSP memory
0x1FF80000 0x80000 AXI WRAM
0x20000000 0x8000000 FCRAM

ARM9 Physical memory regions

Address Size Description
0x00000000 0x08000000 Instruction TCM, repeating each 0x8000 bytes.
0x01FF8000 0x8000 Instruction TCM (Accessed by the kernel and process by this address)
0x07FF8000 0x8000 Instruction TCM (Accessed by bootrom by this address)
0x08000000 0x00100000 ARM9-only internal memory
0x10000000 0x08000000 IO memory
0x18000000 0x600000 VRAM
0x1FF00000 0x80000 DSP memory
0x1FF80000 0x80000 AXI WRAM
0x20000000 0x8000000 FCRAM
0xFFF00000 0x4000 Data TCM (Mapped during bootrom)
0xFFFF0000 0x10000 Bootrom, the main region is at +0x8000, which is disabled during system boot.

Memory map by firmware

ARM11 Detailed physical memory map

18000000 - 18600000: VRAM

1FF80000 - 1FFAB000: Kernel code
1FFAB000 - 1FFF0000: SlabHeap [temporarily contains boot processes]
1FFF0000 - 1FFF1000: ?
1FFF1000 - 1FFF2000: ?
1FFF2000 - 1FFF3000: ?
1FFF3000 - 1FFF4000: ?
1FFF4000 - 1FFF5000: Exception vectors
1FFF5000 - 1FFF5800: Unused?
1FFF5800 - 1FFF5C00: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FF4xx000
1FFF5C00 - 1FFF6000: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FF5xx000
1FFF6000 - 1FFF6400: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FF6xx000
1FFF6400 - 1FFF6800: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FF7xx000
1FFF6800 - 1FFF6C00: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FF8xx000
1FFF6C00 - 1FFF7000: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FF9xx000
1FFF7000 - 1FFF7400: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FFAxx000
1FFF7400 - 1FFF7800: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FFBxx000
1FFF7800 - 1FFF7C00: MMU table but unused?
1FFF7C00 - 1FFF8000: 256-entry L2 MMU table for VA FFFxx000 
1FFF8000 - 1FFFC000: 4096-entry L1 MMU table for VA xxx00000 (CPU 0)
1FFFC000 - 20000000: 4096-entry L1 MMU table for VA xxx00000 (CPU 1)
20000000 - 28000000: Main memory

The entire FCRAM is cleared during NATIVE_FIRM boot. This is probably done by the ARM11 kernel(after loading FIRM launch parameters from FCRAM)?

FCRAM layout with the default retail memory-regions

Region Base address relative to FCRAM+0 Region size Used memory once Home Menu finishes loading for system boot, on 4.5.0-10 Used memory with Internet Browser running instead of Home Menu, on 4.5.0-10 Free memory once Home Menu finishes loading for system boot, on 4.5.0-10 Free memory with Internet Browser running instead of Home Menu, on 4.5.0-10
APPLICATION 0x0 0x04000000 0x0 0x04000000
SYSTEM 0x04000000 0x02C00000 0x01488000 0x02A50000 0x01778000 0x001B0000
BASE 0x06C00000 0x01400000 0x01202000 0x01236000 0x001FE000 0x001CA000

ARM11 Detailed virtual memory map

(valid only for FW0B, see Memory map by firmware for subsequent versions)

E8000000 - E8600000: mapped VRAM (18000000 - 18600000)

EFF00000 - F0000000: mapped Internal memory (1FF00000 - 20000000)
F0000000 - F8000000: mapped Main memory

FF401000 - FF402000: mapped ? (27FC7000 - 27FC8000)

FF403000 - FF404000: mapped ? (27FC2000 - 27FC3000)

FF405000 - FF406000: mapped ? (27FBB000 - 27FBC000)

FF407000 - FF408000: mapped ? (27FB3000 - 27FB4000)

FF409000 - FF40A000: mapped ? (27F8E000 - 27F8F000)

FFF00000 - FFF45000: mapped SlabHeap 

FFF60000 - FFF8B000: mapped Kernel code

FFFCC000 - FFFCD000: mapped IO I2C second bus (10144000 - 10145000)

FFFCE000 - FFFCF000: mapped IO PDC(LCD) (10400000 - 10401000)

FFFD0000 - FFFD1000: mapped IO PDN (10141000 - 10142000)

FFFD2000 - FFFD3000: mapped IO PXI (10163000 - 10164000)

FFFD4000 - FFFD5000: mapped IO PAD (10146000 - 10147000)

FFFD6000 - FFFD7000: mapped IO LCD (10202000 - 10203000)

FFFD8000 - FFFD9000: mapped IO DSP (10140000 - 10141000)

FFFDA000 - FFFDB000: mapped IO XDMA (10200000 - 10201000)

FFFDC000 - FFFE0000: mapped ? (1FFF8000 - 1FFFC000)

FFFE1000 - FFFE2000: mapped ? (1FFF0000 - 1FFF1000)

FFFE3000 - FFFE4000: mapped ? (1FFF2000 - 1FFF3000)

FFFE5000 - FFFE9000: mapped L1 MMU table for VA xxx00000

FFFEA000 - FFFEB000: mapped ? (1FFF1000 - 1FFF2000)

FFFEC000 - FFFED000: mapped ? (1FFF3000 - 1FFF4000)

FFFEE000 - FFFF0000: mapped IO IRQ (17E00000 - 17E02000)

FFFF0000 - FFFF1000: mapped Exception vectors

FFFF2000 - FFFF6000: mapped L1 MMU table for VA xxx00000

FFFF7000 - FFFF8000: mapped ? (1FFF1000 - 1FFF2000)

FFFF9000 - FFFFA000: mapped ? (1FFF3000 - 1FFF4000)

FFFFB000 - FFFFE000: mapped L2 MMU tables (1FFF5000 - 1FFF8000)


Each thread is allocated a 0x1000-byte page in this region: the first page at 0xFF401000 is for the first created thread, 0xFF403000 for the second thread. This region is used to store the SVC-mode stack for the thread, and thread context data used for context switching. When the IRQ handler, prefetch/data abort handlers, and undefined instruction handler are entered where the SPSR-mode=user, these handlers then store LR+SPSR for the current mode on the SVC-mode stack, then these handlers switch to SVC-mode.

This page does not contain a dedicated block for storing R0-PC(etc). For user-mode, the user-mode regs are instead saved on the SVC-mode stack when IRQs such as timers for context switching are triggered.

Structure of this page, relative to page_endaddr-0xC8:

Offset Size Description
0x0 SVC-mode stack-top
0x18 0x28 SVC-mode saved registers, stored/loaded during context switches: R4-R9, SL, FP, SP, LR. After loading these registers, the context switch code will jump to the loaded LR.
0xC0 4 fpexc from vmrs, used during context switches with the above saved registers.

For NATIVE_FIRM the memory pages for this region are located in FCRAM, however for TWL_FIRM these are located in AXI WRAM. For TWL_FIRM v6704 the first thread's page for this region is located at physical address 0x1FF93000, the next one at 0x1FF92000, etc.

ARM11 User-land memory regions


Virtual Address Base Physical Address Base Region Max Size Description
0x00100000 / 0x14000000 0x03F00000 The ExeFS:/.code is loaded here, executables must be loaded to the 0x00100000 region when the exheader "special memory" flag is clear. The 0x03F00000-byte size restriction only applies when this flag is clear. Executables are usually loaded to 0x14000000 when the exheader "special memory" flag is set, however this address can be arbitrary.
0x08000000 For applications: FCRAM + GSP heap size 0x08000000 Heap mapped by ControlMemory
0x10000000-StackSize .bss physical address - total stack pages StackSize from process exheader Stack for the main-thread, initialized by the ARM11 kernel. The StackSize from the exheader is usually 0x4000, therefore the stack-bottom is usually 0x0FFFC000. The stack for the other threads is normally located in the process .data section however this can be arbitrary.
0x10000000 0x04000000 Shared memory
0x14000000 FCRAM+0 0x08000000 Can be mapped by ControlMemory, this is used for processes' LINEAR/GSP heap.
0x1EC00000 0x10100000 0x01000000 IO registers, the mapped IO pages which each process can access is specified in the CXI exheader.(Applications normally don't have access to registers in this range)
0x1F000000 0x18000000 0x00600000 VRAM, access to this is specified by the exheader.
0x1FF00000 0x1FF00000 0x00080000 DSP memory, access to this is specified by the exheader.
0x1FF80000 FCRAM memory page allocated by the ARM11 kernel. 0x1000 Configuration Memory, all processes have read-only access to this.
0x1FF81000 FCRAM memory page allocated by the ARM11 kernel. 0x1000 Shared page, all processes have read-access to this. Write access to this is specified by the exheader "Shared page writing" kernel flag.

All executable pages are read-only, and data pages have the execute-never permission set. Normally .text from the loaded ExeFS:/.code is the only mapped executable memory. Executable CROs can be loaded into memory, once loaded the CRO .text section memory page permissions are changed via ControlProcessMemory from RW- to R-X. The address and size of each ExeFS:/.code section is stored in the exheader, the permissions for each section is: .text R-X, .rodata R--, .data RW-, and .bss RW-. The loaded .code is mapped to the addresses specified in the exheader by the ARM11 kernel. The stack permissions is initialized by the ARM11 kernel: RW-. The heap permissions is normally RW-.

All userland memory is mapped with RW permissions for privileged-mode. However, normally the ARM11 kernel only uses userland read/write instructions(or checks that the memory can be written from userland first) for accessing memory specified by SVCs.

The virtual memory located below 0x20000000 is process-unique, processes can't directly access memory for other processes. The virtual memory starting at 0x20000000 is only accessible in privileged-mode. When service commands are used, the kernel maps memory in the destination process for input/output buffers, where the addresses in the command received by the process is replaced by this mapped memory. When this is an input buffer, the buffer data is copied to the mapped memory. When this is an output buffer, the data stored in the mapped memory is copied to the destination buffer specified in the command.

The physical address which memory for the application memory-type is mapped to begins at FCRAM+0, the total memory allocated for this memory-type is stored in Configuration_Memory. Applications' .text + .rodata + .data under the application memory-type is mapped at FCRAM + APPMEMALLOC - (aligned page-size for .text + .rodata + .data). The application .bss is mapped at CODEADDR - .bss size aligned down to the page size.

TWL_FIRM Userland Memory

Virtual Address Base Physical Address Base Size Description
0x00100000 0x1FFAB000 (with newer TWL_FIRM such as v6704 this is located at 0x1FFAC000) 0x00055000 Code + .(ro)data copied from the process 0x00300000 region is located here(.bss is located here as well).
0x00155000 0x18555000 0x000AB000
0x00200000 0x18500000 0x00100000
0x00300000 0x24000000 0x04000000 The beginning of the ARM11 process .text is located here.
0x08000000 0x20000000 0x07E00000
0x1EC00000 0x10100000 0x00400000 IO
0x1F000000 0x18000000 0x00600000 VRAM
0x1FF00000 0x1FF00000 0x00080000 This is mapped to the DSP memory.

The above regions are mapped by the ARM11 kernel. Later when the ARM11 process uses svcKernelSetState with type4, the kernel unmaps(?) the following regions: 0x00300000..0x04300000, 0x08000000..0x0FE00000, and 0x10000000..0xF8000000.

Detailed TWL_FIRM ARM11 Memory

Process Virtual Address Physical Address Size Description
0x08000000 0x20000000 0x01000000*4 DS(i) 0x02000000 RAM. Vaddr = (DSRAMOffset*4) + 0x08000000, where DSRAMOffset is DSRAMAddr-0x02000000.
0x0FC00000 0x27C00000 Loaded SRL binary, initially the dev DSi launcher SRL is located here(copied here by the ARM11 process).
0x0FD00000 0x27D00000 The data located here is copied to here by the ARM11 process. The data located here is a TWL NAND bootloader image, using the same format+encryption/verification methods as the DSi NAND bootloader(stage2). The keyX for this bootloader keyslot is initially set to the retail DSi key-data, however when TWL_FIRM is launched this keyX key-data is replaced with a separate keyX. TWL_FIRM can use either the retail DSi bootloader RSA-1024 modulo, or a seperate modulo: normally only the latter is used(the former is only used when loading the image from FS instead of FCRAM). When using the image from FCRAM(default code-path), TWL_FIRM will not calculate+check the hashes for the bootloader code binaries(this is done when loading from FS however).
0x0FDF7000 0x27DF7000 0x1000 SRL header

System memory details

0xFFFF9000 Pointer to the current KThread instance
0xFFFF9004 Pointer to the current KProcess instance
0xFFFF9010 Pointer a KThread (not sure what its role is)


The handle 0xFFFF8001 is a reference to the current KProcess.

IO Process/Kernel virtual addressing equivalence

It seems an IO register's process virtual address can be calculated by adding 0xEB00000 to its physical address.

VRAM Map While Running System Applets

  • 0x1E6000-0x22C500 -- top screen 3D left framebuffer 0(240x400x3) (The "3D right first-framebuf" addr stored in the LCD register is set to this, when the 3D is set to "off")
  • 0x22C800-0x272D00 -- top screen 3D left framebuffer 1(240x400x3)
  • 0x273000-0x2B9500 -- top screen 3D right framebuffer 0(240x400x3)
  • 0x2B9800-0x2FFD00 -- top screen 3D right framebuffer 1(240x400x3)
  • 0x48F000-0x4C7400 -- bottom screen framebuffer 0(240x320x3)
  • 0x4C7800-0x4FF800 -- bottom screen framebuffer 1(240x320x3)

These LCD framebuffer addresses are not changed by the system when launching regular applications, the application itself handles that if needed.