Tuxera has announced their “FAT Embedded” implementation of the FAT file system specifically optimized for embedded Linux and Android. The company claims their commercial solution delivers much faster data transfers than competing FAT implementations. Beside providing better performance, it also includes features such as fail-safe operation, and lower power consumption.
They’ve benchmarked different file systems including Tuxera FAT Embedded with different I/O buffer sizes on two embedded hardware:
- Marvell 6192 @ 800 MHz with 512 MB RAM and a 120 GB Corsair Force GT SSD (SATA 3)
The write speed of Tuxera exFAT and FAT appears to clearly outperform even ext-4 in this particular system. As a side note, I also evaluated 2 embedded systems based on the same low-end CPU: one using NTFS-3G, and the other Tuxera NTFS back in 2010, and there’s was a massive performance difference at the time. NTFS-3G is a different beast as it uses fuse, a user-space driver, that may make it more dependent on the processor and ram performance.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Quad-core ARM processor with 2 GB RAM and Sandisk UHS-1 64 GB SDXC.
They probably took the platforms with the greatest performance differential they could find in order to promote their solutions, but it’s still impressive there are able to reach those kind of speed on ARM-based systems by just changing the file system.
Features and benefits for Tuxera FAT include:
- OS Support – Android, Linux, Chrome OS, Firefox OS, and Tizen
- Architectures – ARM, x86, MIPS, PowerPC, SH and other architectures
- Media Types – USB, Flash, SD/SDHC/MMC, HDD
- Supports all Microsoft FAT versions and SD specs, including Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8
- Partition Schemes – APM, GPT, and MBR
- Low-power use optimized for increased battery life
- No practical limits in number of files, folders, file sizes, and partition sizes
- Active caching, advanced algorithms, and data structures optimized for maximum IO on both small and large files, plus high IOPS
- Fault-tolerant design guarantee
- Maximum values:
- 8TB volume
- 4GB file size
- 255-character filename length
- 64KB allocation block size
- Supports 512 bytes and higher sector sizes
- Cluster chain mgmt. — FAT chain, directory entry, and FAT + continuous info
- Supports fail-safe, LFN, NFS
- Includes Tuxera POSIX Test Suite
- Customization and maintenance available
Tuxera FAT has a small footprint (40-60KB for read-write; 25-35KB for read-only), takes little CPU usage, and runs on devices with at least 1MB RAM, and a CPU clocked at 25MHz or greater.
The company also claims “full compliance with both Microsoft patent licenses and GPL” so you hopefully don’t have to worry about lawsuits from Microsoft.
Tuxera FAT is available now for OEMs. More information is available on Tuxera FAT Embedded page.