The More You Know: PS3 Firmware

Why is your PS3 firmware slow to download? Why is the update so large? Now you know.

Every time a firmware update is released for the PS3 I get to read the complaints about it being slow to update and why do they have to update and blah, blah, blah. I felt I wanted to point some key things about why it does what it does.

Why is it slow to download?

If you are comparing the PS3 firmware downloads against another system the obvious thing to say here is that you are downloading a 130+mb file on the PS3 every firmware update. Microsoft for example are very strict on file sizes. Game updates can only be a max of 4mb over its lifetime so we can safely say their firmware updates are small.

Why do I have to download 130+mb file for my PS3 firmware?

Memory. I can't give you cold hard factual proof but I will act as if I have it by telling you that the PS3 uses EEPROM. What this means is that in order to update the firmware that resides on this memory, it must be completely wiped clean and all of it must be re-installed. This memory is unlike other memory types, flash, that are able to update/patch the parts you need and does not require a clean wipe and full install. While there may be some technical reasons this memory was chosen, the end result is painful to us. 

Each PS3 has a special 512KB EEPROM chip on the motherboard using a SPI Serial InterfaceRenasas chip.

Type Size Speed Voltage Packaging Manufacturer Serial Number Description
EEPROM 512KB 3MHz   8-pin Renesas HN58X2504TIE PS3 EEPROM chip

So what! It's still slow to download!

I don't know what to tell you. Updates take roughly 5-8 minutes for myself, start to finish. Maybe you should switch from wireless to a wired connection, check your router setup and open up some ports, or just download it to a usb drive from here

Well, there is nothing in it I care for anyway!

So what. Every update includes some new feature someone has been asking for. Every update includes some fix to a bug that someone has been complaining about. You are not the center of the universe therefore, you will not determine when they release firmware updates. The last time people complained about receiving updates too often, they complained about not getting enough of them. Also, if you complain that there is an update every time you turn your system on...PLAY IT MORE! Our last update was 1/21/09. I say it's time for another...

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