Recommended LPC32x0 NAND boot process

Document created by jorge_plascencia Employee on Apr 25, 2016
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If you plan on using NAND FLASH for booting your system, the recommendation is to use the MLC NAND controller for initially booting a small 'kickstart' image from block 0, and then using the loaded kickstart image to boot and load a full image from blocks 1 and on using the NAND SLC controller. The kickstart image cannot exceed 56K bytes in size on a large page FLASH device or 15.5K bytes in size on a small page device.

A question often asked is "Why isn't the MLC NAND controller just used for everything?". The MLC NAND controller has stronger ECC support, but is limited on data layout. The minimum transfer size when using ECC is 528 bytes. Because of this 528 bytes transfer size, the ECC is also computed on the non-payload data area. Operating systems that use the spare area in NAND FLASH (such as the Linux MTD OOB area) will not be able to actively alter just the spare area without erasing and altering the entire block. This means that items such as bad block markers, JFFS2 clean markers, or block leveling data can't be stored outside the main page data's ECC algorithm. Because of this, the MLC controller can't readily be used for normal data operations.