pbisiac
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Using a Pi zero with emmc

Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:47 pm

Hi all,
I want to boot my Pi zero from an emmc. In the first step I wish to use an sd to emmc adapter, and upon successful boot I will design a little pcb soldered in place of sd connector with an emmc on top. Unfortunately my PI zero won’t boot from emmc (I cloned a working SD card with Etcher), so.....shall I add some driver to my kernel ?
Thanks

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:48 pm

What are you trying to achieve by using eMMC?

Do you know that eMMC stands for embedded Multi Media Card, and uses similar tech to SD cards?
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:16 pm

Wonder if it gets a different device name from the SD Card and the boot code is hardwired to look for that?

It would be interesting to see what the device you created the data on reports for the SD card and the eMMC card - I guess these are different.

Possibly setting OTP bit 29 may help - this is a guess and remember its one time program :D
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:24 pm

It's my understanding the eMMC to micro SD adapters are just for flashing the OS onto the eMMC module, which is then removed from the adapter and plugged into the support SBC. They are not to replace a micro SD card with eMMC.
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pbisiac
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:16 am

I think youre right, my emmc is recognised by Windows/Mac but not by RasPi. What am I trying to acheive? To free from unreliable sd card connector by plugging a little emmc module on my RasPi. Moreother, as I understand, emmc are far more reliable in terms of wear resistance/write cycles. I want my device to work H24/365 for years...like my Beaglebones

jahboater
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:02 am

pbisiac wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:16 am
I think youre right, my emmc is recognised by Windows/Mac but not by RasPi. What am I trying to acheive? To free from unreliable sd card connector by plugging a little emmc module on my RasPi. Moreother, as I understand, emmc are far more reliable in terms of wear resistance/write cycles. I want my device to work H24/365 for years...like my Beaglebones
Just get a decent A1 class SD card (Sandisk 32GB to 64GB are cheap).
Take a couple of simple steps to reduce the writes and you will be fine, it will last for years.

I use an eMMC card in my Odroid N2 because its faster, not because eMMC lasts longer.
But in normal usage I cant even tell the difference in speed - the Linux disk cache is very effective.

pbisiac
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:41 am

My devices will work in harsh environment, vibrations, temperature etc. I am designing a little industrial PLC and I won't rely on SD cards.
My concern is only if emmc is suitable as a boot+storage device for a Raspberry Zero.
BTW: I won't use compute module (which uses emmc if I am right...) because of cost

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DougieLawson
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:03 am

You should switch to a compute module 3+ which has the EMMC on the board and is designed for industrial use.
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Imperf3kt
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:30 am

Just an anecdotal remark about emmc longevity.

I have owned several devices (including mobile phones, laptops and other devices) that the emmc has surpassed its lifetime in less than 3 years use rendering the entire device inoperable and irreparable.

In contrast, I've never had any SD cards reach end of life (yet) and some of the more high use cards I have are multiple years old.
In the event they do wear out, I rather like the (hassle-free) ability to replace them.
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pbisiac
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:02 am

Compute module uses emmc. Obviously it's hardware designer estimated that emmc is more reliable, it's availability is better, qualified suppliers, no sockets....I do agree.
The question now should not be: "Why don't you use SD card instead ?". The question is "Is it possible to use an emmc instead of a SD card on a Raspi zero (1, 2, 3) ? And if yes (Compute module docet), how ?"
I didn't mean to start a debate between SD and emmc...

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DougieLawson
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:20 am

The Zero isn't a suitable device, too many of the interfaces are missing. You should change the project budget/costs to allow a move to the CM3+ and do the job properly - probably with a custom made CM3+ carrier.
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pbisiac
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:09 pm

PI Zero IS perfect for my application:
https://ibb.co/D9MK9Nw
The only thing I'd like to add is EMMC support. Nobody out there has tried this ? Weird...

aBUGSworstnightmare
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:15 pm

How do you want to add an eMMC to a Pi Zero when the required signals are not available?

As said already either use a Compute Module or live with uSD.

pbisiac
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:25 pm

I did not dig into hardware details of EMMC interfacing, I supposed that if a normal SD card interface (Mac) can read and program EMMCs (via my adapter) this should be possible for a Raspberry Pi Zero too.
Probably it' all about configuring EMMC internal state machine/controller at bootstrap (here the binary blobs could be the problem).
Am I wrong ? If so, what are the required signals in addition to SD card ones ?
If I were to choose a SOM instead of a PI zero, considering price of CM...there are MANY SOMs on the market.....

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:26 pm

No, you can't use eMMC on the Pi Zero. And your speculation that eMMC is more reliable is just that, speculation.

There are High Endurance micro SD cards designed for long term, heavy I/O use cases, and even industrial rated SD cards.
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aBUGSworstnightmare
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:38 am

Sorry, but I'm confused now! You have an adapter for eMMC which has shape/interface as a uSD card? So you want to stick this into the uSD card socket of a Pi Zero?

If yes for both this should work. People here - me included - were expecting that you want to add the component (eMMC) itself to your baseboard and access it from the Zero.

So, why don't you simply test and report back? Nevertheless, don't understand why you refuse to use industrial grade uSD.

hippy
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:03 pm

aBUGSworstnightmare wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:38 am
People here - me included - were expecting that you want to add the component (eMMC) itself to your baseboard and access it from the Zero.
It seemed pretty clear to me -

"In the first step I wish to use an sd to emmc adapter, and upon successful boot I will design a little pcb soldered in place of sd connector with an emmc on top".

Little different to 'I don't trust the SD card socket's reliability for my intended environment, so I'm going to remove the card socket and solder the card direct to the board', with the added desire to replace that card with an emmc chip.
aBUGSworstnightmare wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:38 am
So, why don't you simply test and report back?
I thought they had. The first post is also pretty clear; 'didn't work'.
aBUGSworstnightmare wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:38 am
Nevertheless, don't understand why you refuse to use industrial grade uSD.
More expensive than emmc, more difficult to connect if wanting to avoid using an SD card socket ?

Whatever the OP is doing, the issue really is 'will that work?', and if it should, 'why doesn't it?'. As the OP says, the issue is about what they want, not how they could be doing it some other way, or what others think may be better for the OP.

If an emmc mounted to an SD card adapter can be read using an SD card reader, I would also have expected it to have worked when plugged into a Zero's SD card socket, with the Pi able to read it and boot from it. But it's not a technology I am familiar with.

Andyroo
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:14 pm

I’m still intrigued if it has a different name :?:
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

aBUGSworstnightmare
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:30 pm

OP has pictured a Pi Zero on 'his device' ... So he may assume he can order it at USD5 in volumes. But only Zero WH can be purchased in volumes, hence total cost of ownership (Pi 0 WH + eMMC) becomes different (some example prices for 32GB eMMC https://www2.mouser.com/ProductDetail/T ... ABjEGvnw==). So stil don't understand why Compute Module is too expensive.

But , do whatever you want!

pbisiac
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:07 pm

@aBUGSworstnightmare:
Yes, I bought an 8GB emmc and an emmc to sd card adapter. this to test the readability of my “fake sd card” from PI zero (failed).
In case of success, I would design a little pcb, soldered in place of sd card connector, which will accept the emmc module. I just need to intercept relative signals. This could be done for every Raspberry, not only zero, obviously....
The result ?
SMT connector (sturdy and reliable) to hold my storage chip, right price (industrial grade sd card are ridiculously expensive), and, still, I could take away my emmc module and use my adapter to put in into a Mac.
To me this was a very good idea….but I am stuck.
Here is an image of emmc and adapter:
https://ibb.co/qx6KC98

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Using a Pi zero with emmc

Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:53 pm

pbisiac wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:07 pm
@aBUGSworstnightmare:
Yes, I bought an 8GB emmc and an emmc to sd card adapter. this to test the readability of my “fake sd card” from PI zero (failed).
In case of success, I would design a little pcb, soldered in place of sd card connector, which will accept the emmc module. I just need to intercept relative signals. This could be done for every Raspberry, not only zero, obviously....
The result ?
SMT connector (sturdy and reliable) to hold my storage chip, right price (industrial grade sd card are ridiculously expensive), and, still, I could take away my emmc module and use my adapter to put in into a Mac.
To me this was a very good idea….but I am stuck.
Here is an image of emmc and adapter:
https://ibb.co/qx6KC98

Please note: Not all microSD readers are compatible with the eMMC adapter modules and may result in non-bootable images.

https://ameridroid.com/products/emmc-adapter
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