[Community] Staus update GTA04A5

Liviu Farbas liviu.farbas at gmail.com
Fri May 15 09:46:36 CEST 2015


Thank you for the name clarification. Now about neo 900, wouldn't be a good
idea of a secondary SD slot instead of that emmc?
On May 14, 2015 3:43 PM, "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com>
wrote:

> 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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