Mini2440 FAQ

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Usage Information

FAQ for beginners on embeded technology and the mini2440 $99 single-board computer

What is JTAG? Do I need it for anything?

JTAG is a common low level debug interface. you can operate cpus in single step mode and flash nand/nor that way and do low level debugging.

It is generally what developers use when developing low-level drivers, or as a recovery tool if you somehow destroyed your NOR flash (that's the code your embedded computer runs when you 1st turn it on)

What is vivi and u-boot?

vivi is the old bootloader.

uBoot is the new one - and can boot from SD cards.

These are kindoflike grub - code which runs at startup and helps with loading or booting the operating system - but can do other exciting stuff like flash new bootloaders into the NAND memory etc.

You hook your mini2440 serial cable (striaght-through - not a crossover) up to a terminal emulator on your desktop PC to access vivi or u-boot.

Does Android run on the Mini2440?

There are no working ports to this platform yet - rumours exist of a mostly-working port having been achieved to a similar platform recently, so it's probably not far off.

What is emdebian-grip-090306-armel-lenny-installed.tar.bz2 for ?

thats a fantastic linux distribution and content base you can run with your kernel

How do I see my mini2440 boot screen?

Hook up the serial port to a PC using 115200 baud (no flow control) - this is how you access vivi and u-boot.

What compiler switches do I need to build working code on a mini2440?

If you're staring at "illegal instruction error" problems, and using arm-none-linux-gnueabi-gcc (Sourcery G++ Lite 2008q3-72) 4.3.2, you need this:

-msoft-float -D__GCC_FLOAT_NOT_NEEDED -march=armv4 -mtune=arm920t

Where do I get a mini2440?

As of March '09 - there's 1 distributer in each of the USA, Japan, and Europe. The mini2440 is made in China, and many sellers on eBay provide (unsupported) units, with Chinese instructions. I know of only 2 distributer with English tools ( http://www.developmentboard.net, http://www.andahammer.com/ ) - please update this list if you can.

How easy is it to "brick" a mini2440?

Basically you cannot really brick (kill) the unit - there is a NOR switch where you can boot from NOR in emergencies. The rest of the time, you store new bootloaders etc in the NAND flash, and set the switch to boot from that. If you kill your NOR too - you use the JTAG to fix that.

Where can I find out more info and get downloads for the mini2440?