[Community] Staus update GTA04A5

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu May 14 14:43:17 CEST 2015


Hi,

Am 14.05.2015 um 08:02 schrieb Liviu Farbas <liviu.farbas at gmail.com>:

> Thank you for the schematics, i thought we are talking about neo900.
> 
Ah, ok, now I understand. The N900 is planned with eMMC (in addition to NAND).

Regarding the project naming conventions:

GTA04 = main board upgrade for GTA01/02 (Openmoko Freerunner) plastics case 
GTA04A5 = revision 5 of main board upgrade for GTA01/02 plastics case 
Letux2804 = GTA04 main board installed in reused Freerunner with screen and everything, i.e. a complete device
GTA04b7 (also known as NeoN) = working title for the Neo900 board
Neo900 = GTA04b7 main board installed in reused N900 case with screen and everything, i.e. a complete device

So generally:
* A+digit = revision of original GTA04 base design for the Opnemoko form factor
* b+digit = design built on top of GTA04 base design (e.g. b2 = L3704 PDA, b3 = L7004 Tablet, b7 = Neo900)

Some of the confusion with Neo900 might come from that the Neo900 project reuses some technology,
knowledge and even software from the GTA04 project (which was started in 2011, did deliver first boards GTA04A3
in 2012 and is now doing the final production batch with revision GTA04A5).

So GTA04/L2804 is the predecessor of Neo900, well tested and already available (except for production and
some minor design changes).

Hope this clarifies some confusing information.

BR,
NIkolaus

> I did not know about gta04. So this gta04 will be shipped with the screen and case or only the board?
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Liviu
> 
> On May 13, 2015 2:26 PM, "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
> 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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