[Community] Staus update GTA04A5

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed May 13 09:04:46 CEST 2015


Hi,

Am 13.05.2015 um 08:38 schrieb Liviu Farbas <liviu.farbas at gmail.com>:

> If that is the case, it's OK. So if the memory chip containing bootloader will get damaged we can still use the phone?
> 
Yes. You can even reflash the NAND image (it is “unbrickable” by design).

> My main idea was to have 2 SD card slots: one for the card with the bootloader and operating system, and one with the card for the file storage.
> 
Ah I see. Well, we don’t have the space in the Freerunner plastics case and the OMAP3 has no spare MMC interface (one is for the uSD and the other one for the WiFi SDIO; the third MMC I/F is not available to pinmux restrictions).

> Best regards,
> 
> 

BR and thanks for your suggestions,
Nikolaus

> Liviu
> 
> On May 12, 2015 8:52 PM, "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> Am 12.05.2015 um 19:37 schrieb Liviu Farbas <liviu.farbas at gmail.com>:
> 
>> i was thinking at something like the Raspberry Pi, which does not have any memory built in, and everythin including bootloader is stored on sd card.
>> 
> What would be the benefit?
> 
> On the GTA04 you can store bootloader and kernel either in NAND or uSD or both. By pressing the AUX button you can choose which memory the system boots from.
> 
> And, the NAND and the RAM are combined in a single multi-chip-module, so you can’t remove just the NAND. You can erase it and then it will be skipped when booting. So this would simulate a non-existing chip.
> 
> IMHO a mix of boot loader in NAND and kernel/device-tree/rootfs on uSD is the most flexible setup so that you can simply swap SD cards for different OS versions to run.
> Please also note that having the boot loader on the SD card requires a two-parition layout and is quite inflexible. We have a tool that can partition and format and fill SD cards in quite flexible choices [1].
> 
> So what are you missing or trying to improve?
> 
> BR,
> Nikolaus
> 
> [1]: http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-makesd/
> 
> 
> 
>> On May 12, 2015 11:37 AM, "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> the GTA04A5 has a NAND flash of 512 MB and a uSD reader up to 32 GB (see photos on www.gta04.org). The NAND flash is mainly used for the boot loader and a small rescue Linux system but real OS operation is done by swapping such uSD cards. So you can for example have a uSD card for Replicant and another one for QtMoko. Or put both on one in different partitions.
>> 
>> BR,
>> Nikolaus
>> 
>> Am 12.05.2015 um 10:12 schrieb Liviu Farbas <liviu.farbas at gmail.com>:
>> 
>>> What about the emmc module? Will that module be removable? Or instead a built in emmc, wouldn't be a better choice to add a SD card slot? It would be really great to experiment with operating systems without the risk of corrupting the emmc.
>>> 
>>> Best regards,
>>> 
>>> Liviu
>>> 
>>> On May 11, 2015 10:37 AM, "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> you may wonder what is going on with this project. Did it turn into a black hole? Or
>>> did someone do a “rm -rf /“ :)
>>> 
>>> No, nothing of that. Therefore, I think we owe you some short status update on this project.
>>> 
>>> There hasn’t been much to report in the last months, but now we have several news
>>> within some days.
>>> 
>>> 1. I have checked again and we can still get the GTM601W, but the distributor says
>>>     the risk is high that OPTION declares EOL any time and in that case we would have
>>>     to make an order of at least 3000 units so that they restart production just for us.
>>> 
>>>    This means we must secure these modules for us now, since there is no replacement
>>>    that easily fits into the space constraints of the GTA04 (resp. GTA01/02 board).
>>> 
>>>    Cinterion modules would be nice since they are planned for the Pyra and the Neo900,
>>>    but they are approx. 10% too big.
>>> 
>>> 2. we see some difficulties in getting the W2SG0084 GPS module, but that is some
>>>     paperwork the distributor has to do with Wi2Wi.
>>> 
>>>    Nevertheless, this is also a risk candidate for EOL because only one distributor shows
>>>    stock.
>>> 
>>> 3. There are also good news:
>>>     we participate in the risk buy of Samsung 1GB RAM+512MB NAND chips (as
>>>     planned for the Neo900). So the GAT04A5 gets twice as much RAM :)
>>> 
>>>     This chip has already been tested by reworking a BeagleBoard XM and modifying
>>>     the boot loader (kernel didn’t find the NAND yet, but U-Boot did. This is a problem
>>>     that will jointly be fixed with the Neo900 software team).
>>> 
>>> 4. Production: we still are a little away from the quorum of 100 preorders (at the
>>>     moment of this writing we have estimated approx. half = 45 units). So it is still
>>>     not possible to make final decisions about production dates and final pricing.
>>> 
>>>     So we need to get a little more support for our project. If you have ideas, please
>>>     let us know or start activities. Many small activities are as good as a big one!
>>>     And we know that this is a niche product that requires an existing GTA01/02
>>>     device. So it is not possible to “attract the masses”. We must find and convince
>>>     the previous GTA01/02 owners whose devices are collecting dust. There had been
>>>     produced ca. 15k such devices so that we just need another 1/3% or in other
>>>     words only 1 out of 300 GTA02 owners needs to decide for a GTA04A5.
>>> 
>>> 5. Regarding the risk buy of the GTM601W, RAM chips and W2SG0084, I plan to
>>>     take the budget (~5100 EUR) that we already have collected.
>>> 
>>>     This will transform the vouchers into ownership of components. So it has the
>>>     consequence that we can’t refund in money (cash, bank transfer) any more, but
>>>     only in unused hardware components (i.e. 100 EUR ~ 1*GTM601+1*RAM+1*GPS)…
>>> 
>>>     For future preorder vouchers you would also buy such a component set (which we
>>>     would keep in safe warehouse of course) until we can really build the whole devices.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> So quite some news and I would be happy if we can fill up the missing preorders [1]
>>> sooner than later so that we can start production. Please think about securing your
>>> set of components for the last production batch of the most open smartphone platform
>>> that we already have.
>>> 
>>> BR and thanks for continued support,
>>> Nikolaus Schaller
>>> 
>>> [1]: http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04A5
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