Intelligent Flash Media Manager
Embedded developers have many choices to make at the beginning of a project. A critical one is whether to use the media management tools offered by the flash manufacturer, or whether to move to a solution that can deliver more flexibility, better reliability and higher performance. Datalight's FlashFX® Pro is a flash media manager that delivers all three.
FlashFX® Pro is a high-performance
, multi-threaded flash media manager targeted at applications requiring real-time response from resident flash memory. FlashFX® Pro supports NOR, NAND, fusion flash and NAND controllers. Many devices - such as cameras, set-top boxes or handheld medical devices - support streaming video or audio applications and information must be read from non-volatile storage without delays. Because of its multi-threaded design, FlashFX® Pro is able to offer low read latency
for these multimedia applications.
How FlashFX Pro works
FlashFX® Pro work by allowing an operating system or application to use flash memory as if it were a small-sector read/write disk similar to a PC floppy or hard disk drive. FlashFX® Pro provides a generic block device driver interface that can be used with virtually any file system. FlashFX® Pro does not include a file system of its own but is designed to work very well with Datalight Reliance file system.
Once loaded into the target system, FlashFX Pro is typically referred to as a "flash disk" because it makes the flash array appear as normal disk storage to the operating system and applications. Because a Resident Flash Array (RFA) is usually soldered into the target system and is non-removable, the flash disk appears to the operating system as a hard disk.
FlashFX Pro Supports Multithreaded Operations
Read operations may interrupt both write and erase operations. This is particularly true for multimedia applications, such as streaming video, because writes and erases (in particular) may take a substantial amount of time on most flash parts. This adversely affects streaming video applications that must deliver a minimal frame-rate for acceptable performance. FlashFX Pro allows one write/erase operation to be executed at any given time, and any number of read operations.
FlashFX Pro Interface and Components
The high-level block diagram below shows the different components of FlashFX Pro and it's relationships. The operating system and hardware (flash array) is shown in it's relationship to the FlashFX Pro drivers.
Features and Benefits
|Support for over 200 flash parts from all major vendors
||Enables on-the-fly second-sourcing of flash
|Supports all types of raw NAND, NOR, and fusion flash (ie. OneNAND)
Compatible with any file system
|Design flexibility and extensibility
Freedom of choice
|NAND Technology Module to interface with processors
|Wear-leveling, bad block management, and error correction & detection
||Extends flash life
|Support for multiple partitions and multiple flash devices
||Design flexibility - use a single flash driver for an entire flash array
|Efficient use of resources
|Datalight flash management expertise and best-in-class technical support
||Smooth, seamless development time
FlashFX Pro® supports any 32-bit operating system and more than 200 flash parts. Within the product line, Software Development Kits supporting both NAND and NOR flash are available for the VxWorks, Windows CE and Linux operating systems. An RTOS Porting Kit is available for developers who want to port either product to any other 32-bit operating systems.
|Multi-threaded architecture. Targeted at high-performance applications.
|Offers "out of box" support for Datalight Reliance file system
|Supports OS boot from FAT and Reliance file systems
|Newer driver framework automates flash initialization and configuration tasks.
|NOR Flash Performance
Read Latency up to 3 orders of magnitude faster
Average Apparent Write Speed will be 2x faster
|NAND Flash Performance
Average Apparent Write Speed will be 1.25x faster
FlashFX Pro provides fault tolerant data integrity by never overwriting currently stored data and by keeping data intact at the block device driver level. FlashFX Pro offers rigorous bad block management for NAND flash as well as wear-leveling, resulting in longer flash life and lower warranty costs.
Fast Time to Market
FlashFX Pro ship out of the box with combined support for over 200 different flash parts. Datalight supports parts from AMD, Fujitsu, Intel, NEC, SanDisk, Samsung, Spansion, ST Microelectronics, and Toshiba. FlashFX Pro offers Flash Interface Modules (FIMs)-the software interface to the flash hardware-in source code, making the job of designing parts that may not be supported out of the box quick and easy.
FIM (Flash Interface Module) List
Resident Flash Parts Supported by FlashFX Pro
FlashFX Pro is offered in source, and is easy to modify for custom applications such as supporting NAND controller hardware or creating embedded image creation utilities. Additionally, compilation options enable OEMs to easily switch flash parts during production when part shortages occur.
FlashFX Family Development Specifications
|Target System Hardware
||Resident flash hardware and 70 KB RAM (typical)
|Development System Hardware
||4 MB of disk space for FlashFX Pro or FlashFX; sufficient RAM for development tools
|In system memory space
||40 KB to 70 KB (nominal)
|FREE 30-day Source Evaluation
||FREE source evaluation enables developers to create a flash disk of up to 2 MB in size to evaluate FlashFX Pro performance and reliability. A Datalight source code agreement is required.
Interested to experience how our flash management software and file system can provide you with the reliability and performance that you products need? Contact us
for an evaluation version.