README.atmel_pmecc 2.34 KB
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How to enable PMECC(Programmable Multibit ECC) for nand on Atmel SoCs
2012-08-22 Josh Wu <>

The Programmable Multibit ECC (PMECC) controller is a programmable binary
BCH(Bose, Chaudhuri and Hocquenghem) encoder and decoder. This controller
can be used to support both SLC and MLC NAND Flash devices. It supports to
generate ECC to correct 2, 4, 8, 12 or 24 bits of error per sector (512 or
1024 bytes) of data.

Following Atmel AT91 products support PMECC.
- AT91SAM9X25, X35, G25, G15, G35 (tested)
- AT91SAM9N12 (not tested, Should work)

As soon as your nand flash software ECC works, you can enable PMECC.

To use PMECC in this driver, the user needs to set:
	1. the PMECC correction error bits capability: CONFIG_PMECC_CAP.
	   It can be 2, 4, 8, 12 or 24.
	   It only can be 512 or 1024.

Take AT91SAM9X5EK as an example, the board definition file likes:

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How to enable PMECC header for direct programmable boot.bin
Andreas Bießmann's avatar
Andreas Bießmann committed
2014-05-19 Andreas Bießmann <>
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The usual way to program SPL into NAND flash is to use the SAM-BA Atmel tool.
This however is often not usable when doing field updates. To be able to
program a SPL binary into NAND flash we need to add the PMECC header to the
binary before. Chapter ' NAND Flash Boot: NAND Flash Detection' in
sama5d3 SoC spec (as of 03. April 2014) defines how this PMECC header has to
look like. In order to do so we have a new image type added to mkimage to
generate this PMECC header and integrated this into the build process of SPL.

To enable the generation of atmel PMECC header for SPL one need to define
CONFIG_SPL_GENERATE_ATMEL_PMECC_HEADER. The required parameters are taken from
board configuration and compiled into the host tools atmel_pmecc_params. This
tool will be called in build process to parametrize mkimage for atmelimage
type. The mkimage tool has intentionally _not_ compiled in those parameters.

The mkimage image type atmelimage also set the 6'th interrupt vector to the
correct value. This feature can also be used to setup a boot.bin for MMC boot.