LKV373A: radare2 plugin for easier reverse engineering of OpenRISC 1000 (or1k)

This article is part of series about reverse-engineering LKV373A HDMI extender. Other parts are available at:

For quite a long time I did not do anything about LKV373A. During that time the guy nicknamed jhol did fantastic job on my wiki, reversing almost complete instruction set for the encoder’s processor. Beside that nothing new was appearing. This has changed few days ago, when jhol published videos about the device. After that, someone found SDK that seems to match more or less the one used to produce LKV373A firmware. At the time of writing it was not available anymore. Although it provided a lot of useful information and what is important here, it gave a possibility to identify processor architecture. It turned out to be OpenRISC 1000 (or1k). Because it is known, I compiled binutils for that architecture. Unfortunately objdump, which is part of binutils is not the best tool for reverse engineering. Lack of hacks I made for my variant of binutils, which allowed me to follow data references, was making things even worse.

The conclusion was that I need some real reverse engineering tool for or1k architecture. Unfortunately, neither IDA Pro, nor Ghidra, nor radare2 does not have support for it, which is not so surprising, if I heard about it for the first time, when somebody identified LKV373A to have such core. Only few days later, I encountered good tutorial, explaining how to add support for new architecture. I didn’t need anything else.

I am not going to explain how to write disassembly plugin (called asm) for radare2. There are enough resources available. If one wants to try, my repository is quite nice place to start (notice template branch there).

Out of source build and installation

In radare2, it is possible to build plugins out of source. To do that in case of or1k plugins, repository has to be cloned first with usual git clone:

git clone https://github.com/v3l0c1r4pt0r/radare2-or1k.git

Then, inside of radare2-or1k, simply type make.

You should get two .so files in directory asm and anal. You can load them with r2 switch -l or from inside interface using:

L ./asm/asm_or1k.so
L ./anal/anal_or1k.so

Be sure to load both plugins, as lack of anal plugin leads to noisy warning shown with every analyzed opcode.

Final result should look more or less like below. This is the beginning of jedi.rom file:

            0x00000000      00000000       l.j 0x0
            0x00000004      15000002       invalid
            0x00000008      9c200011       l.addi r1, r0, 0x11
            0x0000000c      b4610000       l.mfspr r3, r1, 0x0
            0x00000010      9c80ffef       l.addi r4, r0, 0xffef
            0x00000014      e0432003       invalid
            0x00000018      c0011000       l.mtspr r1, r2, 0x0
            0x0000001c      18206030       invalid
            0x00000020      a8210088       l.ori r1, r1, 0x88
            0x00000024      9c400001       l.addi r2, r0, 0x1
            0x00000028      d4011000       l.sw r1, r2, 0x0
            0x0000002c      15000168       invalid
            0x00000030      15000168       invalid
            0x00000034      15000168       invalid
            0x00000038      15000168       invalid
            0x0000003c      00000031       l.j 0x100
            0x00000040      15000000       invalid

That’s it. Good luck with reverse engineering!