[Community] GTA04A5 RAM + NAND size

Pavel Borecki pavel.borecki at gmail.com
Tue Dec 1 13:22:07 CET 2015

Hi all,

my personal opinions on this matter:

1. don't risk incompatible hw mixture, which could not be functional
from hw point of view.
It means, that if combination of this model of OMAP3 SoC and 1GB RAM is
unsupported/discouraged from TI, then don't do it.
But Neo900 project is using the same SoC, so it seems, that this
combination (SoC + 1GiB RAM is safe from hw point of view)?

2. regarding sw support (bootloader)
There are potentially two projects, which are interested in porting
newer uBoot and add support for more RAM - GTA04A5 with 1GB RAM and
Neo900. Especially for second one 512MB isn't an option, so this work
must be done by them. So, why not cooperate in this too?

2a. regarding bootloader itself - as wise as be able to run vanilla
upstream kernel, it would be good to have upstream support in bootloader
too. Because sustainability. If future kernels will change something,
which reflects in changes in bootloaders, then it will be good to have
possibility to flash current one. Maybe worth of other subproject as
gta04-kernel upstreaming like? 

Why bother with more than 512 MB of RAM? Because the one OS, which is
really usable for daily use as phone is Replicant. And according
personal experience with some older Samsung with 512MB of RAM, 1GB would
be really nice...
(this platform and applications aren't resources friendly)

What are thoughts of other pre-owners (voucher buyers) and potential


H. Nikolaus Schaller píše v So 28. 11. 2015 v 20:08 +0100:
> Hi Pavel,
> Am 27.11.2015 um 19:50 schrieb Pavel Borecki <pavel.borecki at gmail.com>:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > will GTA04A5 have 512 MB or 1GB of RAM?
> > In shop, there is 512 MB stated, but on order tracking, there is a
> > message:
> > 
> > "3. good news: we participated in the risk buy of Samsung 1GB RAM+512MB
> > NAND chips (as planned for the Neo900). So you will get 1 GB RAM and
> > faster NAND! Twice as much RAM as the GTA04A4 has. It has already been
> > tested by reworking a BeagleBoard XM and modifying the OS."
> > 
> > So, what amount of RAM will be soldered as PoP package?
> Thanks for asking! This is one of the things I forgot to mention.
> It is also something I am not really sure about yet, but we must decide in the next
> couple of days. Chips of both types are available to us so we simply can choose
> and have no sourcing problems.
> The first issue is that the PoP RAMs with 1GB+512MB have only been tested on
> a BB-XM yet. Not on a real GTA04 board. And we have no complete boot system
> for it in our software setup. Just some partially manual tests have been done
> (e.g write NAND, read back). This means we can't test the boards right after production
> because we have no known good µSD card image, because that needs a GTA04
> to develop and test the µSD card image first...
> A second issue is that we can use OneNAND only with a more recent U-Boot than
> we currently have. But this means porting our special U-Boot extensions to a
> newer U-Boot and test and get it working first.
> This isn't that easy as it looks because we have some 2009 U-Boot as the basis
> and the latest is 2015.10 :) Bridging upstream developments of >5 years is a big
> project. And the boot-loader should be rock solid. The old one is - except for
> supporting the OneNAND of the 1G+512MB chips.
> In other words: with 512MB+1GB this is not a risk area at all (because half of
> the GTA04A4 boards have this configuration and run w/o any problems).
> The 1GB + 512MB increases the project risks.
> Another (probably easier to solve) issue for the 1GB + 512MB is that we want
> to provide some default Linux+Debian+LXDE (or something else) in NAND for
> all GTA04A5 boards we ship. So that you have something to boot into before
> partitioning and even buying any µSD card.
> Unfortunately we have not yet managed to squeeze Wheezy nor Jessie images
> so that they fit into ~450 MB. They end up with ~800 MB.
> Therefore they would easily fit into the 512MB + 1GB chips, but not in the 1GB + 512MB.
> If someone has an idea how to strip it better down than this script, please let
> me know:
> <http://git.goldelico.com/?p=gta04-rootfs.git;a=blob;f=config/root/flash-nand;hb=refs/heads/master>
> (this script already strips unneeded kernel modules and most debian caches).
> So we have to trade off between risk and having a working system installed
> when you want to test your motherboard exchange results.
> I guess everyone has his/her own preferences so that I would like to learn a little
> about your opinions before we decide.
> BR and thanks,
> Nikolaus
> > 
> > Thanks
> > Pavel

More information about the Community mailing list