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Thread: Internal SD replacement

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    Internal SD replacement

    is the internal memory; soldered memory or is it an actual SD card. If it's an SD card can it be "upgraded"? I'd like to put in another 16gb.
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    You will not be able to change the internal memory. It's part of the SOC if I remember correctly.
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    The internal memory is not part of the Tegra SOC, but it's also not an SD card.

    Basically, there's one 8GB flash chunk on the main board... soldered on. This is partitioned... some holds the "ROM" that you flash (Eden, Beast, AdamComb, etc), about a gigabyte's worth. Then there's a 1.5 gigabyte Linux file system partition, the root file system, which is where programs live, etc. Then finally, the remaining 5.5GB or so is partitioned as a FAT32 drive, and this is what appears to the be "internal" SD card.

    This, of course, is a very stupid partitioning -- the root file system is the most valuable storage in an Android system. All 7GB ought to be part of the root file system. That also will allow the actual microSD card to be treated as a proper "first" SD card by Android, which doesn't really do much with a second SD Card. It's easy to hack the external SD Card to be the primary, but not so easy to reformat the internal memory partitions (well, I haven't found an Android tool for it yet... GPartEd would be the right tool in normal Linux). This really suggests that no one at Notion Ink is much of an Android user, which is fairly worrisome. Well, that, and the whole Eden interface, which I find in every possible way inferior to a normal Android launcher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hazydave,15534
    the root file system is the most valuable storage in an Android system.
    On the Adam, the root file system is tiny. [I'm not sure where it physically resides.] All it contains is several control files, and mount points for other filesystems where the actual code/data resides. I believe the intent was to have '/' be as unchangeable as possible (it's not normally user-writeable) - so as not to create opportunities to mess up the android system.

    The internal memory is not part of the Tegra SOC, but it's also not an SD card. Basically, there's one 8GB flash chunk on the main board... soldered on. This is partitioned... some holds the "ROM" that you flash, about a gigabyte's worth... Then finally, the remaining 5.5GB or so is partitioned as a FAT32 drive, and this is what appears to the be "internal" SD card.
    On the Adam, this 8GB flash chunk only holds two (normally user-writeable) partitions:
    • The /data partition. Examples of content are customization parameters for apps. [Also contains user-installed apps themselves.]
    • The /sdcard partition ("internal"). Primarliy provides data storage for all apps. [This is where "switch programs" might substitute the external SD card.]
    The only reason for "holding the ROM that you flash" is that the stock recovery kernel provides a facility to install the operating system (i.e., a ROM) from the "internal" /sdcard filesystem. Once that ROM has been installed, the input file will no longer used (except if a need arises to re-install).

    The <8GB flash> is partitioned... Then there's a 1.5 gigabyte Linux file system partition, the root file system, which is where programs live, etc.
    Not quite accurate. On the Adam, the system-related partitions (i.e., filesystems) all are located on the *separate* SLC chip. That is where the Linux system.img (and the recovery.img, and the boot.img , etc.) physically reside. [When the user flashes a "ROM", that procedure normally replaces the content of the Linux system.img.]

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    What's that SLC chip doing there?

    This is the first place I've ever seen this 1GB SLC chip mentioned outside the specs list on the NI site...
    And I've never come across any other device mentioning the existence of a separate piece of Flash, SLC at that apart from a built-in SD card equivalent.
    Since SLC seems to imply "flashed so frequently an MLC may not last the life-time of the device" in the SSD camp, I wonder why it's there (and separate):
    Can you shine any light on that?
    I can't even see it mentioned in the Nvidia development kit specs, although I only scanned through that stuff and may have missed it.
    Is the presence or not of that SLC one of the famous differences between Harmony and Ventana?
    Do 2.x version of Android require such an SLC chip, while 3.x versions do not?
    Does Android execute code directly from flash (which could explain the SLC choice perhaps) in the older Androids, while it switched to DRAM only for the (faster) tablets?
    I guess an ordinary Linux would always execute from DRAM, but then Android isn't all that ordinary a Linux.

    All in all I've always felt that these Android devices have far less RAM than I'd like them to have. I keep running out of RAM space on my Samsung Galaxy, where only some 380MB are usable for process memory after kernel and hardware have taken their cut. And while my Adam starts at 780MB it also easily drops to 200MB of free space or less with heavy multi-tasking. That can only get worse, once virtualization hits Android.

    So if one would have to swap and if that chunk of 1GB SLC wasn't used any more with HC, I thought it should be the better choice than the built-in sdcard and safer to use than any external SD.

    Please tell me, when I've got it all wrong!
    Last edited by abufrejoval; 08-07-2011 at 05:04 PM.

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    Buying an Adam was my first exposure to android. Since I like to know "how things work", I've been looking at where the Adam keeps its code and data - but I have not bothered to learn the ins and outs of Google's "android architecture". You mention SLC being able to take "more flashes" -- I imagine that's one reason why the Adam designers put it in - and I expect the SLC has an acccess speed advantage over a plain "SD card". [To the best of my knowledge, this SLC chip is used in the __Adam__ implementation as a "flash" storage extension -- it has nothing to do with Google's android implementation (such as 2.x vs. 3.x), nor with NVidia's Tegra implementation (such as Harmony vs. Ventana).]

    My impression is that the "android architecture" goes in for a lot of partitions - they all reside on the device's non-volatile storage (such as an "internal" SD card). The Adam designers decided to put two of these partitions (/data and what many Adam ROMs call /sdcard) onto the 8GB "internal" SD card, but to put the rest of the operating system partitions onto a separate SLC chip (an additional 1 GB). Note that among what is on Adam's SLC chip is the operating system's /cache partition (which certainly receives a lot of writes). Adam's /system partition (where modules in both /bin and /lib get executed from) is also on that SLC chip.
    Last edited by mikus; 08-08-2011 at 06:49 AM.

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