[U-Boot-Users] OneNAND alternative to X-Load

Kyungmin Park kmpark at infradead.org
Wed May 30 03:27:42 CEST 2007

Hi Pete Mackay,

Before the main story, I explain the history of x-loader.
First, it was designed for NAND boot from TI for their platforms. With simple
code and similar structure of U-Boot, it's easy to modify for OneNAND.
And at that time, we also considered another bootloader, of course, including
U-Boot. So we released the X-loader for OneNAND as 1st bootloader.

Now you want to add the 1KB bootloader (1st bootloader) for OneNAND at U-Boot. I
think there's no problem except the handling of code position at OneNAND.

The original handling of xloader is like this
1. The xloader (less than 1KB) loads u-boot image to DRAM using BufferRAM0.
2. Jump to DRAM address
3. run u-boot at DRAM

0x0000 (BootRAM0) __xloader_start                   --> load u-boot code to
0x03fff                     __xloader_end
0x0400 (not valid)
0x0800 (BufferRAM0) used for xloader buffer ram --> u-boot code
0x0c00 (BufferRAM1) not used                           --> used for u-boot
buffer ram

But as you mentioned, you can make a u-boot.bin image with linker script
handling. Overall structures are similar except that it's built with one time.

Also you can find the similar idea at

And please see the below comment.

Thank you,
Kyungmin Park

> We're developing a PXA-270-based machine that will boot from 
> OneNAND.  I
> wanted to share my ideas (and code) with anyone faced with 
> this challenge,
> since this forum (esp. Kyungmin Park - thank you!!) was quite helpful.
>  I'll start off explaining my u-boot code, then when I get 
> some time I'll
> submit my PXA-270 platform driver as a patch (currently works 
> on 2.6.18).
> We use a common approach: in lacking JTAG we have chip select 
> jumpers that
> swap CS0/CS1 between NOR and OneNAND.  The OneNAND has a 
> bottom-mapped 2K
> boot buffer of which 1K is valid, which is where the level 1 
> boot loader
> fits.  It uses two memory-mapped 'bufferrams' to ping-pong 
> data out of the
> NAND pages, but you want to use BUFFERRAM1 only as writing 
> corrupt BOOTRAM0 on some revs of the chip.  (We're executing out of
> BOOTRAM0 so that's bad :).
> There is open-source code called "x-loader" that is a 
> stripped-down u-boot
> for the level 1 boot loader.  What I did was integrate the level 1
> function into u-boot itself with a custom configuration and 
> linker script.
> In the top u-boot Makefile I added this:
> myboard_config	:	unconfig
> 	@./mkconfig $(@:_config=) arm pxa myboard
> myboard_onenand_config	:	unconfig
> 	@./mkconfig $(@:_config=) arm pxa myboard
> 	@echo "LDSCRIPT := 
> $(TOPDIR)/board/myboard/u-boot.onenand.lds" >>
> include/config.mk
> In include/configs/myboard_onenand.h I simply define 
> and then include myboard.h, with conditional switches inside for base
> address, etc (i.e. define CONFIG_IDENT_STRING as " from 
> OneNAND" or " from
> NOR").
> The linker script replaces cpu/pxa/start.S with oneboot.S and 
> makes sure
> the C code to load the other pages positions there too.  Then 
> it aligns
> the rest of u-boot at the 2K boundary (NAND page 1).  The 
> oneboot.S code
> melds start.S with lowlevel_init but calls C code to read the 
> rest of the
> block 0 pages into RAM.  I later optimized it to replace 
> start.S entirely
> for the NOR version.
> BTW, I lacked originality and stole (liked) the name: oneboot 
> is not to be
> confused with the script that merges x-load and u-boot into one binary
> image.
> This is the relevant portion of the u-boot linker script:
> 	. = 0x00000000;
> 	. = ALIGN(4);
> 	.text :
> 	{
> 	  board/myboard/oneboot.o	(.text)
> 	  board/myboard/onenand_boot.o	(.text)

The onenand_boot.c is common code for all platforms. I think it's located in
drivers/onenand or onenand_spl as nand_spl in U-Boot.
Yes I know the OneNAND patch for U-Boot is not merged yet. In this code,
however, there's no problem to boot with OneNAND.

> 	  __oneboot_end = .;	/* must not exceed 0x400! */
> 	  . = 0x800;		/* reposition to 2K page boundary */
> 	  __page1_start = .;	/* OneNAND loading starts here */
> 	  *				(.text)
> 	}
> Look at System.map to make sure your level 1 code fits within 
> 1K.  Also in
> oneboot.S I commented out labels and used relative branches 
> to save symbol
> space and replaced ldr with mov wherever possible.  And with the 270
> optimizations in oneboot.S our system screams!
> The full code is at http://code.architechnical.net/onenand, 
> including the
> 2.6.18 pxa27x OneNAND driver.  Please don't laugh at my lame 
> ancient web
> site.
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