Wear Estimation for Devices with eMMC Flash Memory

flash wear leveling & garbage collection

CNXSoft: This is a guest post by Marcel Ziswiler, Platform Manager – Embedded Linux, Toradex and Leonardo Graboski Veiga, Technical Marketing Engineer, Toradex related to Marcel’s upcoming talk “Wear Estimation for Devices with eMMC Flash Memory” at the Embedded Linux Conference 2019 later this month. Flash memory has been an important topic in embedded systems for decades. It allows for drastic improvements to the size and robustness of electronic devices compared to other storage technologies. Other benefits of flash storage include a lack of moving parts and reduced power consumption. However, the challenges that come with flash memory are not as widely publicized in consumer electronics. Among them are limited durability and greater software complexity. As shown in Figure 1, flash memory is everywhere in our daily lives, ranging from devices used specifically to store data, such as thumb drives, SD cards and SSDs, to other consumer electronics that use it internally, like smartphones, Wi-Fi modems and smart light bulbs. …

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Variscite VAR-SOM-6UL System-on-Module Supports NXP i.MX 6UltraLite, i.MX 6ULL, or i.MX 6ULZ ARM Cortex-A7 Processor

VAR-SOM-6UL Development Kit

Variscite has just announced the launch of the VAR-SOM-6UL System-on-Module (SoM) powered by a choice of NXP’s i.MX 6UltraLite / 6ULL / 6ULZ Arm Cortex-A7 processor clocked at up to 900MHz CPU clock and based on the company earlier DART-6UL module while integrating an additional LVDS bridge option, all packed in SO-DIMM200 form factor to fit the VAR-SOM Pin2Pin family. The module is optimized for power, size, and cost, and supports dual Ethernet, dual USB, audio, CAN Bus, camera, optional single or dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth BLE, Touch, ADC, PWM, as well as support for industrial temperature grades with -40 to 85°C range. Variscite VAR-SOM-6UL specifications & key features:  SoC – NXP i.MX 6UltraLite / 6ULL / 6ULZ ARM Cortex-A7 with optional security features up to 900MHz CPU Clock with 2D Pixel acceleration engine System Memory – Up to 1024 MB DDR3L Storage – 512 MB NAND / 64 GB eMMC Connectivity – Certified Wi-Fi single-band 802.11b/g/n or dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac/a/b/g/n;  …

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CutiePi Open Source Tablet uses Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3

The announcement of the CutiePi, an open source tablet-based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 comes a bit late for the Pi-based tablet/laptop space. We have reported on some of the more versatile tablets using the Raspberry Pi platform, the Diskio Pi 13.3” DIY Tablet and the RasPad tablet kit, with a few more Raspberry Pi-based tablet/laptop kits also listed in the same article. Timeline and Pricing CutiePi Tablet has no firm release date, but the company is saying late 2019 for launch. The development team is also saying everything is subject to change, but look for the pricing to be USD $150 – $250. Click to Enlarge How CutiePi is Different The tablet is different in its thinner design and in the software designed specifically to use Linux Raspbian OS for a touch screen platform. There are readily available source code and case plans for the ambitious developer who would like to build the unit from scratch. All …

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Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) Europe 2019 Schedule – October 28-30

Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2019 Schedule

I may have just written about Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 schedule, but there’s another interesting event that will also take place this fall: the Embedded Linux Conference Europe on  October 28 -30, 2019 in Lyon, France. The full schedule was also published by the Linux Foundation a few days ago, so I’ll create a virtual schedule to see what interesting topics will be addressed during the 3-day event. Monday, October 28 11:30 – 12:05 – Debian and Yocto Project-Based Long-Term Maintenance Approaches for Embedded Products by Kazuhiro Hayashi, Toshiba & Jan Kiszka, Siemens AG In industrial products, 10+ years maintenance is required, including security fixes, reproducible builds, and continuous system updates. Selecting appropriate base systems and tools is necessary for efficient product development. Debian has been applied to industrial products because of its stability, long-term supports, and powerful tools for packages development. The CIP Project, which provides scalable and customizable base image and BSP layers, is now used in …

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BFQ (Budget Fair Queuing) I/O Scheduler Improves Linux Systems Responsiveness (Video)

BFQ Scheduler

Storage is normally the slowest part of a system, and operating systems such as Linux try to limit I/O access with “tricks” like caching. The I/O scheduler may also matter if you have multiple programs accessing the same drive, and in Linux 4.12 implemented two new multi-queue block I/O schedulers, namely BFQ (Budget Fair Queuing) and Kyber that are meant to improve the performance of the systems. If you’re using Linux 5.2 you may even get further improvements since performance tweaks make application start-up times under load to be up to 80% faster. I have never seen BFQ in action so far, but earlier this year, Paolo Valente, who is working for Linaro, made a video with an Acer Chromebook 15 showing Google Chrome launch time using the default mq-deadline schedule, and bfq-mq scheduler. The test involves writing a 1.5GB file to the drive with dd, and clicking on the Google Chrome icon to start it up. With the mq-deadline …

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Orange Pi Zero2 is a Tiny Allwinner H6 SBC with HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet & WiFi

Orange Pi Zero2 USB 3.0

Shenzhen Xunlong Software launched a refresh of their Orange Pi Zero board, namely Orange Pi Zero LTS, a couple of weeks ago. The company is now about to launch another SBC of the “Zero” family. Slightly larger than its predecessor, Orange Pi Zero2 is also quite more powerful with an Allwinner H6 quad core Cortex-A53 processor, and more versatile thanks to the addition of a USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0 video output, and a built-in microphone. Orange Pi Zero2 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H6 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor with Arm Mali T720 GPU with support for OpenGL ES3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1, Microsoft DirectX 11 FL9_3 Memory – 512MB LPDDR3 (Allwinner AW52A8G32) Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash and microSD card up to 32GB Video Output – HDMI 2.0a port Video Decoding – 10-bit H265/HEVC up tp 4K60 or 6K30; H264/AVC up to 4K30; VP9 up to 4K30; AVS+/AVS up to 1080p60 Network Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4 + Bluetooth 4.2 via AP6212A module 10/100M …

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Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 Schedule – IoT, AI, Optimizations, Compilers and More

Linaro Connect San Diego 2019

Linaro has recently released the full schedule of Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 that will take place on  September 23-27. Even if you can’t attend, it’s always interested to check out the schedule to find out what interesting work is done on Arm Linux, Zephyr OS, and so on. So I’ve created my own virtual schedule with some of the most relevant and interesting sessions of the five-day event. Monday, September 23 14:00 – 14:25 – SAN19-101 Thermal Governors: How to pick the right one by Keerthy Jagadeesh, Software Engineer, Texas Instruments With higher Gigahertz and multiple cores packed in a SoC the need for thermal management for Arm based SoCs gets more and more critical. Thermal governors that define the policy for thermal management play a pivotal role in ensuring thermal safety of the device. Choosing the right one ensures the device performs optimally with in the thermal budget. In this presentation Keerthy Jagadeesh, co-maintainer of TI BANDGAP AND …

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How Do You Handle Backups in Linux? Hardware, Software, Configuration, etc…

Duplicity/Deja Vue backup restoration

Linux EXT-4 File System Corruption & Attempted Recovery There’s a file system corruption bug related to EXT-4 in Linux, and it happened to me a few times in Ubuntu 18.04. You are using your computer normally, then suddenly you can’t write anything to the drive, as the root partition has switched to read-only. Why? Here are some error messages: What then happens is that you restart your PC, and get to the command where you are asked to run: Change /dev/sda2 to whatever your drive is, and manually review errors. You can take note of the file modified, as you’ll likely have to fix your Ubuntu installation later on. Usually the fix consists of various package re-installations: It happened to me two or three times in the past, and it’s a pain, but I eventually recovered. But this time, I was not so lucky. The system would not boot, but I could still SSH to it. I fixed a few …

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