Accessing flash directly from User Space

Scott Wood scottwood at
Wed Oct 28 09:42:37 EST 2009

Jonathan Haws wrote:
>>> 	flash[0] = 0x1234;
>>> 	printf("flash[0] = %#04x\n", flash[0]);
>>> That prints flash[0] = 0x7f45.  I have verified that I am reading
>> the correct values.  I can display the flash contents in U-Boot and
>> 7f45 is what is in the first 16 bits of flash.
>>> Why can I not write to flash?  What am I doing wrong?
>> Flash does not work that way -- you must send it commands to erase a
>> block, and then further commands to program new data.
> I realize that.  I have a driver written that does exactly that.
> However, I need to be able to write to certain registers to setup the
> erasure. 

Will the device respond to 0x1234 being written at offset zero?  You 
generally have to poke these things pretty specifically in order to get 
them to go into command mode.

> The driver works perfectly in VxWorks,

Including the 0x1234 thing?

>> It sounds like what you really want is the /dev/mtd or /dev/mtdblock
>> interface, not raw access to the flash chip.
> As mentioned in my initial post, I need to use my custom driver to maintain the interface to the application that uses the flash for data storage.
> I had thought about using MTD, but decided against it because with
> previous benchmarking that we did with MTD and our custom driver, we
> found that our custom driver was about 10x faster.

Ouch.  Any idea where the slowdown is coming from?


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