[Community] Staus update GTA04A5

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed May 13 13:26:19 CEST 2015


Hi,

Am 13.05.2015 um 13:19 schrieb Liviu Farbas <liviu.farbas at gmail.com>:

> Apart from the case space, couldn't the second SD slot be connected to the OMAP cpu instead of the emmc?
> 
The GTA04 has no eMMC, it has NAND flash (this is not the same regarding the interfaces).
And the OMAP3 has no specific eMMC interface. It has 3 MMC interfaces. 2 of them are already used and the third one is not available.

Maybe the schematics in the system manual give some more background information:

http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/page/Manual/

BR,
Nikolaus


> On May 13, 2015 10:05 AM, "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
> 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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