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'[EE] 32megabyte serial memory'
2004\10\13@144716 by Support - KF4HAZ

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We have a project (150 units initial order) which requires a small datalogging device with large capacity.
Would need a minimum of 32Meg by 8 bits storage, preferably serial eeprom.
Anyone know of a serial eeprom this large?
What is in the little USB memory drives?
Could one of those little USB keyfob memory drives be interfaced to a microcontroller?
Speed requirement would be a minimum of 4800bps but the faster the better.
KF4HAZ - Lonnie


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2004\10\13@150330 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ"
<spam_OUTtechsupportTakeThisOuTspamfalconwireless.net>
Subject: [EE] 32megabyte serial memory


> Anyone know of a serial eeprom this large?

Seems big for a serial EEPROM

> What is in the little USB memory drives?

Flash memory, typically

> Could one of those little USB keyfob memory drives be interfaced to a
microcontroller?
> Speed requirement would be a minimum of 4800bps but the faster the better.

A while back there were quite a few threads on interfacing Flash (CF) cards
to the PIC, and certainly they will be in the PIClist archives.  CF cards
are available up into the gigabyte range these days.

The little keyfob drives are typically interfaced by USB, and there is quite
a discussion recently on the cost of USB.  I would think that the CF card
approach (or one of the other flash memory card formats) might be a little
simpler.

--McD


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2004\10\13@150458 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2004-10-13 at 14:47, Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ
wrote:
> We have a project (150 units initial order) which requires a small datalogging device with large capacity.
> Would need a minimum of 32Meg by 8 bits storage, preferably serial eeprom.
> Anyone know of a serial eeprom this large?
> What is in the little USB memory drives?
> Could one of those little USB keyfob memory drives be interfaced to a microcontroller?
> Speed requirement would be a minimum of 4800bps but the faster the better.
> KF4HAZ - Lonnie

Hmm, 4800bps huh? GPS?

Anyways, I'd suggest an SD Card, SPI interface, dead simple to work
with, more then fast enough for your purpose. TTYL

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2004\10\13@161059 by Ake Hedman

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> Hmm, 4800bps huh? GPS?
>
> Anyways, I'd suggest an SD Card, SPI interface, dead simple to work
> with, more then fast enough for your purpose. TTYL
>
Sorry for jumping into your thread...

Is SD and MMC the same thing? Standard SPI i/f?

Regards
/Ake

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2004\10\13@161510 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>Hmm, 4800bps huh? GPS?
>
>Anyways, I'd suggest an SD Card, SPI interface, dead simple to work
>with, more then fast enough for your purpose. TTYL

It's just SPI?  Got a link for pinout and protocol?

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2004\10\13@162737 by Support - KF4HAZ

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Sounds like an interesting approach.
OTOH my vacation starts next week so I will also consider the USB PICs that are due out soon coupled with a Flash (CF) card.
The R&D money on this one should cover a twofold approach to determine which is better suited.
The USB approach would have the advantage of being  able to unplug the memory and dump it to a computer,
will have to check with the customer to see if his app is USB capable.

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Herbert Graf" <mailinglist2@
{Quote hidden}

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2004\10\13@163952 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 03:11 PM 10/13/2004 -0500, you wrote:


>>Hmm, 4800bps huh? GPS?
>>
>>Anyways, I'd suggest an SD Card, SPI interface, dead simple to work
>>with, more then fast enough for your purpose. TTYL
>
>It's just SPI?  Got a link for pinout and protocol?

Check the manufacturers such as Sandisk. SPI is one of the modes
that is supported on some (all?) SD & MMC cards

Eg. (in German): http://home.wtal.de/Mischka/MMC/

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com




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2004\10\13@164708 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2004-10-13 at 16:10, Ake Hedman wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > Hmm, 4800bps huh? GPS?
> >
> > Anyways, I'd suggest an SD Card, SPI interface, dead simple to work
> > with, more then fast enough for your purpose. TTYL
> >
>
> Sorry for jumping into your thread...
>
> Is SD and MMC the same thing? Standard SPI i/f?

SD is an expansion of MMC, all SD cards AFAIK support the MMC way of
doing things, and one of those ways is SPI. TTYL

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2004\10\13@164759 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2004-10-13 at 16:10, Ake Hedman wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > Hmm, 4800bps huh? GPS?
> >
> > Anyways, I'd suggest an SD Card, SPI interface, dead simple to work
> > with, more then fast enough for your purpose. TTYL
> >
>
> Sorry for jumping into your thread...
>
> Is SD and MMC the same thing? Standard SPI i/f?

SD is an expansion of MMC, all SD cards AFAIK support the MMC way of
doing things, and one of those ways is SPI. TTYL

-----------------------------
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http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

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2004\10\13@165458 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2004-10-13 at 16:10, Ake Hedman wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > Hmm, 4800bps huh? GPS?
> >
> > Anyways, I'd suggest an SD Card, SPI interface, dead simple to work
> > with, more then fast enough for your purpose. TTYL
> >
>
> Sorry for jumping into your thread...
>
> Is SD and MMC the same thing? Standard SPI i/f?

SD is an expansion of MMC, all SD cards AFAIK support the MMC way of
doing things, and one of those ways is SPI. TTYL

-----------------------------
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http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

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2004\10\13@172402 by Mike Harrison

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On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 13:47:34 -0500, you wrote:

>We have a project (150 units initial order) which requires a small datalogging device with large capacity.
>Would need a minimum of 32Meg by 8 bits storage, preferably serial eeprom.
>Anyone know of a serial eeprom this large?
>What is in the little USB memory drives?
>Could one of those little USB keyfob memory drives be interfaced to a microcontroller?
>Speed requirement would be a minimum of 4800bps but the faster the better.

If small size is especially important, I'd be inclined to look at using parallel flash chips as
these are used by the zillion in phones etc. (but check availability in smaller qtys.)  
CF or other memory cards would be another approach, with the advantage that you could read them in a
standard reader, but this may involve some work in making them look at least vaguely like a FAT
filesystem.
For a simple logger, you could probably cheat your way out of doing all the FAT stuff by
preformatting with one big 'file' with known sector start & end addreesses into which your app fills
the data. This file is then read into the PC an decoided by your application.



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2004\10\13@204919 by Ben Hencke

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SD is smaller and can fit into usb adapters too. Also it uses a lot
less pins than any parallel sollution.

CF also has an annoying 512 byte block/buffer. You can cheat & skip
around while reading, but you have to write 512 bytes at a time. Fine
for data loggers, but a pain if you need to change small bits at a
time (ie editing FAT tables).

- Ben

On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 22:26:47 +0100, Mike Harrison <mikespamKILLspamwhitewing.co.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\10\13@212844 by Stephen R Phillips

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--- Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ
<.....techsupportKILLspamspam.....falconwireless.net> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

If you can stand having to do some FAT work then you could use a DS/SMC
card.  They will work with an SPI interface.  Your big issue however is
having enough memory to store a sector inside your pick.  OR having to
write to your sector a few times intermittently. You will have to
implement an FAT system to deal with the file structure. However if
it's just a linear log you need shouldn't be a problem really.

The FAT is the hard part really.

Stephen R. Phillips


               
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2004\10\13@220029 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2004-10-13 at 20:49, Ben Hencke wrote:
> SD is smaller and can fit into usb adapters too. Also it uses a lot
> less pins than any parallel sollution.
>
> CF also has an annoying 512 byte block/buffer. You can cheat & skip
> around while reading, but you have to write 512 bytes at a time. Fine
> for data loggers, but a pain if you need to change small bits at a
> time (ie editing FAT tables).

AFAIK SD is the same in this regard, everything is done on the sector
level. TTYL

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2004\10\13@225416 by Jake Anderson

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take a look at dataflash cards,
same form factor as mmc and electrically compatible
but they come with 2 built in ram buffers

more expensive though :-<

> {Original Message removed}

2004\10\14@000753 by Stephen R Phillips

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--- Jake Anderson <EraseMEgrooveeespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuToptushome.com.au> wrote:

> take a look at dataflash cards,
> same form factor as mmc and electrically compatible
> but they come with 2 built in ram buffers
>
> more expensive though :-<

Are they common? The MMC is no longer made I think SD cards have
preempted them I believe.  He'll have to ponder if it's worth it or not
:)  I thought data flash was something made by ATMEL only?

Mostly it depends one how much memory he has available though. Large
18F series pics should fit the bill (at more cost as well).

Stephen R. Phillips


               
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2004\10\14@042608 by Alan B. Pearce

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>The FAT is the hard part really.

Not really - follow the link Spethro posted, it is full of FAT code.
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2004\10\14@045255 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu [@spam@piclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu]
>On Behalf Of Stephen R Phillips
>Sent: 14 October 2004 05:08
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: RE: [EE] 32megabyte serial memory
>
>
>--- Jake Anderson <KILLspamgrooveeeKILLspamspamoptushome.com.au> wrote:
>
>> take a look at dataflash cards,
>> same form factor as mmc and electrically compatible
>> but they come with 2 built in ram buffers
>>
>> more expensive though :-<
>
>Are they common? The MMC is no longer made I think SD cards
>have preempted them I believe.

Is this true?  MMC cards are still readily available.

Mike

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2004\10\14@115116 by Padu

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<snip>
> CF also has an annoying 512 byte block/buffer. You can cheat & skip
> around while reading, but you have to write 512 bytes at a time. Fine
> for data loggers, but a pain if you need to change small bits at a
> time (ie editing FAT tables).
>
> - Ben


Does that mean that if I'm implementing a data logger I have to store
information on an internal buffer memory until I have 512 bytes and then
move the whole block?
What's the best solution for such thing: a) choose a PIC mcu with enough
internal RAM? or b) use an external EEPROM or RAM memory?
The application logs data coming from another chip through serial
communication (Rx/Tx), I guess number of available pins could be a problem
in case I choose external memory to make a buffer?

Padu

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2004\10\14@120229 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2004-10-14 at 11:51, Padu wrote:
> Does that mean that if I'm implementing a data logger I have to store
> information on an internal buffer memory until I have 512 bytes and then
> move the whole block?

If you're only going to be pumping data in then no, you can just write
directly (however be warned, I'm not sure if all devices out there will
be happy with you taking over a second to clock in your data, I don't
think there would be any problem with flash cards, but some hard drives
may not be too happy).

However if you are going to be reading stuff you will likely need some
sort of buffer.

> What's the best solution for such thing: a) choose a PIC mcu with enough
> internal RAM? or

I would go with a PIC with enough memory, it's just easiest, 18F has
quite a few options.

> b) use an external EEPROM or RAM memory?

I went with an external EEPROM on my project:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/carmon/

> The application logs data coming from another chip through serial
> communication (Rx/Tx), I guess number of available pins could be a problem
> in case I choose external memory to make a buffer?

That's why I choose an I2C EEPROM, only two pins, connected to dedicated
I2C hardware. TTYL

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http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

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2004\10\14@125123 by Mike Harrison

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On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 08:51:10 -0700, you wrote:

><snip>
>> CF also has an annoying 512 byte block/buffer. You can cheat & skip
>> around while reading, but you have to write 512 bytes at a time. Fine
>> for data loggers, but a pain if you need to change small bits at a
>> time (ie editing FAT tables).
>>
>> - Ben
>
>
>Does that mean that if I'm implementing a data logger I have to store
>information on an internal buffer memory until I have 512 bytes and then
>move the whole block?
>What's the best solution for such thing: a) choose a PIC mcu with enough
>internal RAM? or b) use an external EEPROM or RAM memory?
>The application logs data coming from another chip through serial
>communication (Rx/Tx), I guess number of available pins could be a problem
>in case I choose external memory to make a buffer?

Depends on your application requirements. If you are doing nothing more than stuffing data into the
flash, then a low-end PIC with I/O expansion will be cheaper than a PIC with enough RAM and IO
onboard.
If you go for an external parallel flash chip, then it only needs one more IO line (for the chip
select) to add a parallel SRAM chip to it. Time overhead would be minimal as when writing data, the
lowest 9 address lines can be the same, and the SRAM can output data onto the data bus for the Flash
to write. You could also save some IO by using a 9 bit counter to drive the address lines of both
SRAM and Flash, as access to both will always be sequential.  

You can easily add external latches etc. to expand the I/O. A couple of 8-bit latches off the data
bus will give you 16 address lines from 2 I/O pins.


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2004\10\14@160514 by Jason Harper

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Herbert Graf wrote:
> On Thu, 2004-10-14 at 11:51, Padu wrote:
> > Does that mean that if I'm implementing a data logger I have to store
> > > information on an internal buffer memory until I have 512 bytes and then
> > move the whole block?
>
> If you're only going to be pumping data in then no, you can just write
> directly (however be warned, I'm not sure if all devices out there will
> be happy with you taking over a second to clock in your data, I don't
> think there would be any problem with flash cards, but some hard drives
> may not be too happy).

There can be a problem with writing to flash cards slowly, if you're
concerned about power consumption - the card may draw its full operating
current for the entire duration of the write, rather than its standby
current that would apply if you were able to buffer the data.
       Jason Harper
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2004\10\15@123854 by Peter L. Peres

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On Wed, 13 Oct 2004, Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:

> We have a project (150 units initial order) which requires a small datalogging device with large capacity.
> Would need a minimum of 32Meg by 8 bits storage, preferably serial eeprom.
> Anyone know of a serial eeprom this large?
> What is in the little USB memory drives?

A mmc card can be considered a 'serial eeprom'.

> Could one of those little USB keyfob memory drives be interfaced to a microcontroller?
> Speed requirement would be a minimum of 4800bps but the faster the better.

Making the host part could be hard.

Peter
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