Clarification of new TA-088 motherboards

There has been news recently about a Pandora-proof PSP with TA-088 motherboard. There has been a lot of speculation and misinformation being spread around.

There is a Pandora-proof model out now and it is of a TA-088 motherboard. However, that is not to imply that all TA-088 boards are Pandora-proof. There are currently (AFAIK) three different TA-088 models:

TA-088v1: These were the first TA-088 models which came with 3.71 firmware. They are similar to TA-085v2 in that it has disabled writing to the battery eeprom so that Pandora batteries cannot be created with these boards. However, like the TA-085v2, Pandora still worked perfectly fine so cfw can still be installed normally like any other PSP.

TA-088v2: These are newer TA-088 boards which came with 3.90 firmware and had a slight hardware change in the TACHYON IC (the cpu chip). At first, Pandora could not run so it was speculated that the exploit that allows Pandora to work was patched. However, after more research it was found that this was not the case but simply there was a hardware change that made it incompatible with the DDC kernel. Custom IPL’s could still be run so cfw still worked on these models, however they will be unable to be installed with the current versions of DDC. A new DDC version will be needed for these models. (EDIT: DC6 has now been released to fix this problem, DC5 and earlier versions still will not work on these boards)

TA-088v3: These are the newest TA-088 boards that seem to be completely Pandora-proof (as far as I can tell). It has a new TACHYON IC part number – CXD2988GG with a copyright year of 2008 (previous TA-088 models had a CXD2975GG part number with a 2007 copyright year). This PSP looks like to be the real Pandora-proof model, one that has patched the ‘preipl’ exploit that allows Pandora to run. If this is the case (and the exploit was properly patched) there would be no workaround or ‘fix’ to get Pandora to run (unless we find a way to ‘properly sign’ our own IPL).

I hope this clears up some of the confusion surrounding the new TA-088 motherboards and the rumours surrounding this new Pandora-proof PSP.


There’s some confusion with regards to the relationship between the firmware version and the motherboard. There isn’t a one-to-one correlation between the motherboard version and the firmware version. That is, if you have a TA-088v2 board then you have (at least) a 3.90 firmware. However the inverse is not true, that is, it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have a 3.90 firmware then you have a TA-088v2 board (you may have a TA-088v1 board or maybe a TA-085v2 board).

It’s just the TA-088v2 boards first started appearing with 3.90 firmware. But you may also still have TA-088v1 boards or TA-085v2 boards being produced with 3.90 firmware too. Especially depending on the region. The firmware versions listed above are the earliest firmwares seen with these boards. These boards were released in Asia first so the firmware version may be earlier than on US or Europe models.

Basically, you cannot tell what board you have just based on the firmware version (though you can make an educated guess), however if you have a certain board then you will know at least the earliest firmware it will have.


The new TA-088v3 boards only come in 4.xx and above. The new pre-IPL in these boards can only boot the 4.xx IPL’s, it cannot boot older IPL’s from 3.xx. So as long as the PSP doesnt come with 4.xx fw you know it won’t be a v3 board. Just remember, v3 boards cannot run firmwares under 4.xx.

39 Responses to “Clarification of new TA-088 motherboards”

  1. So this get us back to the age of game exploiting, I suppose…

    What surprises me is they taking almost two years to change their Tachyon pre IPL ROM.

  2. great read.
    thanks for the clarifications SilverSpring

  3. I bought a new slim today. According to PSPident 0.3 it is a TA-088 (and came with 3.90 ofw).

    I was able to apply cfw in the normal way so perhaps not all hackable TA-088s came with 3,71 ofw.

  4. ??????……

  5. ??????….

  6. i greatly appreciate this clarification. however, what i do NOT understand is how i can discern whether or not my model psp contains the new motherboards. to summarize what i have posted in numerous forums in recent days: i purchased a psp with firmware 3.95 in japan this week and attempts to hard mod the battery produced no positive results… can i validate that this is due to having purchased the current “pandora-proof” model in any way (aside from disasembling it)? thank you.

  7. i have 3 psp. it was bought at the same store , the pandora worked fine in the 2 psp it has a TA-088v2 according to pspident .03.. but the problem is that the 1 psp color mint green cant be pandorized.. how come..

  8. Haha I was just getting my rumors mixed up after all, and there really is a new PreIPL.
    Thanks for clearing that up, everyone was very confused (since some (c) 2007 CPUs didn’t work as well).
    That explains it.

    Do you have any more details on the v2 differences? Math was saying something about it the other day but didn’t seem to have/give details.

  9. DA to crack under the Sony Ericsson platform for the A200 bar, no one now to break out, ah, ah we look forward to crack

  10. fireverson Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    i’ve encountered i think it’s the verion3 it comes up with 4.02 ofw.. and the pandora isnt working olny green lights are on but no responds from memory looks like the psp is not reading the memory card..

  11. man… i’m waiting to buy a new PSP and i hear this? and i cant buy another one until my next paycheck. this doesnt sound good to me.

  12. it’s helpfull info…..
    Thank’s a’lot,let’s rocking!!!!!!!

  13. So it is

  14. ?????thankyou very much

  15. yeah, confirmed, friend got a new psp slim the other day from his gf that visited japan. not reading from the card and he’s done it many times before for all of us with the old psp’s guess ill stay happy with original…

  16. ok, am i got a GOW psp and it has 3.95, will i be alble to hack it?

  17. Re: EDIT2:

    The new TA-088v3 boards only come in 4.xx and above. The new pre-IPL in these boards can only boot the 4.xx IPL’s, it cannot boot older IPL’s from 3.xx. So as long as the PSP doesnt come with 4.xx fw you know it won’t be a v3 board. Just remember, v3 boards cannot run firmwares under 4.xx.
    Hi, good news for the above is not entirely true. Just bought in July slim silver Daxter Entertainment pack PSP with Sony OFW 4.05 in it! Had no problems flashing and downgrading to 4.01 OFW/M33-2 (DCv7) following this tut: You can use any tutorial, for that matter. Had bought also pre-made TOOL Pandora battery from DX! If you see that same PSP pack in the shops, you can be sure that it can be made homebrew! Cheers!

  18. There is no need to loose heart. Given all the hype surrounding the “New” TA-088 v3 the “so-called” un-hackable Motherboards.
    Please remember the Pandora Battery is still able to KICK the PSP to switch on. It’s just that the MMS is not being given access ie. JIG it. The reason seems to be that 1.5/3.40 mix kernel is the backbone of the Pandora Magic Memory stick, which TA-088 v3 is unable to handle. Once Dark Alex derives the new Kernel based on 4.XX kernel, the Pandora Battery & MMS will rise again. Just give Dark Alex the time to code the NEW DC8. Rest assured, Dark Alex has always shown the light at the End of Dark Tunnels which Sony digs out to shun-out Homebrew.

  19. The PSP’s OFW shows on the sticker on the Right side, if some one wants to buy an hackedable version which is 3.95 or lower, the alphabet on the sticker should be G or lower (F-E-D-C-B-A ) the version 4.05 can’t be downgraded or CFW anymore since now…
    P.S: it doesn’t matter of the TA-088

  20. silverspring Says:
    September 5th, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    @DarkJ: you (and most people) seem to completely misunderstand (which is why I wrote the first EDIT). You cannot tell what board you have just by the firmware version. If your PSP came with 4.xx, it could be any motherboard. However, if you have a TA-088v3 then you’ll definitely have a 4.xx+ fw. So if you have a 3.xx fw PSP then you know that you definitely DON’T have a 88v3. My EDIT2 is still true, all TA-088v3 boards come with 4.xx fw. But just because you have 4.xx fw doesnt mean you have TA-088v3 board, doesnt even mean you have a slim PSP board!!

  21. You got one thing wrong not all shipping with the 4.xx firmware are v3. I got a hold of a Madden blue one last week that had 4.01 firmware and was able to put cfw on it. Got a hold of another Madden blue this morning and its got the v3 mobo. As far as I can tell if the SN starts with 888 ur good if its 889 or higher you’ve got the v3 mobo.

  22. No matter how Sony tries to lock down the pirates, someone will bypass this again, just like several times in the past.

  23. Can someone tell me witch is the most updated site for the new CFWs to come?I just bought a new PSP Slim witch cannot be flash,probably v3,and I want to be informed as soon as a new CFW is out.

  24. silverspring Says:
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Why are people STILL misunderstanding????

    *sigh* is my explanation just not clear enough or something???? I don’t understand why people are still having trouble comprehending what I wrote. Please (everyone) read the article *carefully*.

    I NEVER said all psps shipping with 4.xx firmware are 88v3 boards. I said all psps shipping with 88v3 boards are 4.xx firmware. There’s a BIG difference between the two statements.

    Once again, you CANNOT tell what motherboard you have just by the firmware version. If your psp came with 4.xx firmware it could be a TA-085v1, TA-085v2, TA-088v1, TA-088v2, TA-088v3, heck it might even be a FAT motherboard, it doesn’t even have to be a slim psp!!!

    But you CAN tell what motherboard you DON’T have by the firmware version it shipped with (or another way of saying is that you can tell what firmware versions it could have by the motherboard version). Ie. if it came with 3.xx firmware then it couldn’t be a TA-088v3 because the TA-088v3 boards had only shipped with 4.00 and above firmwares (and in fact these boards cannot even boot 3.xx and earlier firmwares).

  25. Heh…

    The person is clever… people are utter morons :)

  26. If the c2008 CPU will only load 4.xx and above ipls, but the actual motherboard can load any ipl, then is it possible to swap an older CPU into the v3 board, flash in 4.01 M33, then swap the CPUs back and run the v3 board with the 2008 CPU and 4.01 M33?
    How does one swap CPUs? It can’t be as simple as swapping a PC CPU. I thought they’d be soldered directly to the board. Are they just clipped on instead?

  27. @Anonymous:

    Yes you can solder in a TA-085 IC to a TA-088v3 board and it will work, however when you remove the IC whatever you have installed on it goes with it.

    nice idea though :)

  28. So if I have a psp that came out of the box with firmware 3.95, i’m not gonna encounter any problems while flashing it, right?

    or is there any posibility that pandora won’t work?

  29. DarkJ: you said you bought a slim silver with OFW 4.01, right?
    Where are you from?

  30. I have 2 black Psp Slim 2003 both “G” on serial sticker bought in uk, 3 weeks apart at same store. one has Mb TA-088v1 and can CFW, newer has TA-088v3 and cant. so i agree U cant tel from serials of box codes.

  31. some 4.01 can flash. last post of page

    sry if I misunderstand

  32. i have 4.01 and a G psp (c) 2007
    am i safe?

  33. I bought one psp slim-2004 silver in France last week it seems to be pandora proof. Only the green led shows up while no memory stick feedback. I tried DCv8 but nothing changes. DA keep up with the good work i would be glade to help if I can but im years behind your knownledge. Hopefully we should get a working dc sooner or some other hack, wifi update should be possible don’t you think?

  34. I bought a PSP Slime today and it seems to be TA-088 v3. Most likely PSP Slime with OFW 4.01 and a G is v3?? Well, it’s only matter of time before they hack it, I hope.

  35. what’s taking the hackers so long to hack the ta-88v3 motherboard?!? people are speculating that this motherboard would be just as easy to hack like the other motherboards in the past. it came out in fall 2008 and now it’s already 2009.

  36. Douglas Plante Says:
    January 24th, 2009 at 2:49 am

    I don’t have a hacked psp with which to prepare and run the TA-088v3 mobo identifier.

    It sounds like no one has actually wrecked a psp by just TRYING to Pandora a TA-088v3, but I’d like to throw this out there before I try it and render my new toy unreturnable.

    Has anyone bricked their TA-088v3 by trying to Pandora it?

  37. PSP2000 V3

  38. ?????????????

  39. are the new PSP3000s hackable yet??

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