BRT Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the Bridgetek Community!

Please read our Welcome Note

Technical Support enquires
please contact the team
@ Bridgetek Support

Please refer to our website for detailed information on all our products - Bridgetek - Bridging Technology

Author Topic: BT815 flash storage.  (Read 389 times)

rascalito

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
BT815 flash storage.
« on: January 27, 2022, 02:30:58 AM »

Hello!
I have a problem which doesn't seem to be documented.
I am using bitmaps stored in flash in format ASTC8x8.
I have written a function EveDisplay::StoreToFlash(uint8 * data, uint32 flash_add, uint32 len).
As if worked when debugging step by step and didn't work when running free, I suspected
a speed problem. I verified the speed from the datasheet, and it's 33 ns period.
In my case, I'm running at 13.5 MHz (MCU frequency = 216 MHz divided by 16.
And on the scope, I measure a periode in the 17 ns, so this is just fine.
Now I'm wondering about the CMD_FLASHWRITE command.
I'm sending data by blocks of 4K. If I set a delay between each block, then it works,
but otherwise it doesn't, and the screen gets lost.
I thought about checking if the screen is busy, but that would break the whole
CMD_FLASHWRITE command.

Sorry for the length, here are my questions:
1. Is there a need for some delay within the CMD_FLASHWRITE command?
2. What does the BT815 do exactly> Does it simply pipe the bytes into the flash
directly? Or does it store the bytes into a buffer that has to be flushed?
3. Is there any limit of the data buffer length of CMD_FLASHWRITE when doing
it in a single DMA burst?

Thanks for any hint.

R
Logged

Rudolph

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 291
    • View Profile
Re: BT815 flash storage.
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2022, 05:35:47 PM »

1. Is there a need for some delay within the CMD_FLASHWRITE command?

Yes, if you exceed the size of the CMD-FIFO.

Quote
2. What does the BT815 do exactly> Does it simply pipe the bytes into the flash
directly? Or does it store the bytes into a buffer that has to be flushed?

I don't know.
However, assuming a best-case szenario in which the BT815 just writes out the data
immediately to the flash-chip, it has to do so in chunks of 256 bytes since that is
the page-size the chips are working with.
Transferring the data from the BT815 to the flash-chip should take maybe 40µs.
At 30MHz SPI clock with single SPI transferring 256 bytes would take about 70µs.
So the transfer alone is neglectable.
But checking the datasheet of for example the W25Q64JVSSIQ you will find
that the "Page Program Time" is usually 0.4ms and has a maximum of 3ms.
0.4ms / 8 / 256 = 195ns 1/195ns = 5MHz
3ms / 8 / 256 = 1.5µs 1/1.5µs = 666kHz

Sure, this is simplified.
But even if the data is copied with no delay whatsoever, the fact that writing a page costs time
means that the CMD-FIFO will overrun when you try to feed it several chunks of 4k without waiting at SPI clocks over 5MHz.

Sure, there may be some buffering involved but it is highly unlikely that the command co-processor
can use some additional xxx kB of SRAM that is not documented since embedded SRAM is expensive.

So it may work at slow SPI speeds but the above does not take into consideration that there is additional overhead.
The flash needs to be unlocked for writing and the pages need to be addressed.

Quote
3. Is there any limit of the data buffer length of CMD_FLASHWRITE when doing
it in a single DMA burst?

3840 bytes
The data must be in multiples of 256 and 15 * 256 = 3840.
After that EVE needs some time to clear out the CMD-FIFO.

You could try and read back the empty space in the CMD-FIFO directly after a block is transferred,
just to get an idea how long it takes to process the data.
But this may yield different results at a different temperature and a different chip has different timing.

I just read that the page programming time depends on the data, the typical value is for 50% zero bits.

Page program time (256 bytes)
MT25QL128ABA1ESE-0SIT 0.12ms to 1.8ms
MX25L12872FM2I-10G 0.33 to 1.2ms
GD25Q127CSIGR 0.5 to 2.4ms


You could use CMD_FLASHUPDATE instead if you have enough free space in RAM_G.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2022, 04:55:08 PM by Rudolph »
Logged

BRT Community

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 561
    • View Profile
Re: BT815 flash storage.
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2022, 04:57:11 PM »

Hello,

In your code, are you checking that the flash command completes before you run the next command?  You should check that the flash command completes as this will help account for differences in the speeds etc.

As Rudolph mentioned, the command plus 4K of data will overrun the FIFO if sent as a burst (as the circular FIFO is only 4K) and so sending the command followed by the data in chunks can help. If you send the command followed by a smaller chunk of data, and then check for sufficient free space before feeding more data to the FIFO.

You can check for the read and write pointer of the RAM_CMD becoming equal (REG_CMD_READ == REG_CMD_WRITE) after the overall flash command to ensure it has completed.

There are many factors which may affect the flash programming speed and so having a fixed delay without checking for completion or free space brings a risk that you may overwrite the data or command whilst it is still executing.

Best Regards, BRT Community
Logged