Some thoughts: "1GB flash hack possible? Or why not shipping 1GB directly?"

Justyn Butler justynbutler+openmoko at
Wed Jan 24 01:47:07 CET 2007


Firstly apologies if I've misunderstood what you're saying. But I think it
is: "can I use the flash chip from inside a USB memory stick to upgrade the
neo1973 flash?"

Once I get my hands on one of these babies the first thing I'm going to be
doing is taking it to pieces, and I can pretty much guarantee once we see
the flash chip we'll be able to find a compatible replacement. But surface
mount soldering/desoldering is a sensitive process and takes practice, and
you do not want to be practicing on your $350 phone.

So my answer to your question is: perhaps not from your USB memory stick,
but you will be able to upgrade the flash chip if you've a little experience
with surface mount hacking.

But I have a more important question: why do you want to do this? I don't
see the 64MB as at all limiting when there's a microsd slot to hand, and 4GB
microsd cards almost available to buy.

Lastly, what is meant by the comment about FPGAs? I kind of got the
impression that you're suggesting the main SoC is replaced with an FPGA,
which is currently totally out of the question. Believe me, FPGAs use waaay
too much power for that kind of use in a phone.

I hope this is of some help.


On 23/01/07, Robert Michel <openmoko at> wrote:
> Salve,
> Just some question and possible answer (I'm no expert):
> what will be the difference beween the 64MB NAND Flash memory of the Neo
> and 1GB NAND Flash inside a USB memory device I have bought for 12 Euro
> like: ?
> So in case there will no nice surprice and the Neo1973 will be shipped
> with 1GB,
> will it be possible to hack it ourself to 1GB and have an advice like
> "buy this USB Flash memory...."?
> I found no hack with buying an usb flash device for upgrading a phone,
> a NSLU2 or a MP3 player - only this:
> The link to samsung's pdf isn't working anymore....
> On this page they have a Product Portfolio overview
> SLC(Small Block) 256,512Mbit and 1Gbit
> SLC(Large Block) 1-32Gbit
> Hmm 1GB SLC(Small Block) has 63 pins 8.5x15mm
> and 1GB SLC(Large Block) has 48 pins 12x17mm
> Beside the different Operating Voltage, do I guess right,
> that with 12x17mm = 204mm^2 and 8.5x15mm =127.5 size matters
> and it the flash chip is a Small Block - and 1GB would be the
> maximum for that design that samsung could offer?
> So that a hack could only upgrade to 128MB flash?
> And that Small Block with 1GBit are not normaly in USB flash devices
> and that this chips are much more expensive than 12 Euro?
> Ergo it would worth to hack it?
> Ah and when the flash will be FPGA like the SoC - there will be no
> memory hardware hacking for most of us...
> So when there will be no chance for us for hardware hacking the memory,
> maybe the restiction has a positive effect:
> 1. we will concentrate on software hacking
> 2. due the limitation we got a motivation to do this efficient
> :))
> Does anybody knows more?
> Greetings,
> rob
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