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Thread: Any limitations on SPI flash size/format/etc?

  1. #1

    Any limitations on SPI flash size/format/etc?

    Hi everyone,

    For the audio library, I'd like to use a massive flash chip (like 4Gbit for under 10USD!) for storing and playing back samples. I see reasonably small ones are recommended for adding directly on the audio board, but I was wondering if there is any general limitation (I can't think why) on the size and type of flash. Otherwise I am happy to use a few lower-sized chips.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Yes, there are limits on the type & format of flash.

    Currently the audio lib only has code for serial "nor" type flash, and for the small amount of leftover flash inside the microcontroller. Any other type would require substantial software work to support.

    Especially "nand" type flash is quite difficult.

  3. #3
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Which chip, for example? Would be good to see a datasheet!
    Last edited by Frank B; 11-29-2018 at 09:39 AM.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the quick responses. I'll stick to nor, thanks. I was considering some of these, for example: http://static6.arrow.com/aropdfconve...01gb20v1.3.pdf

  5. #5
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Is there a distributor in Europe where I can order some? I think it's possible to use this chip, and/or I can make it work - with Paul's SerialFlash library. Or, better, If you order them anyway, can you send me two or three (SO16) ? Would save shipping costs.. Pls contact me via mail
    Last edited by Frank B; 11-29-2018 at 01:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the offer, Frank B. I get my boards made at macrofab.com, so I never see any non-prototyping parts until they are on the boards.

  7. #7
    Sorry, I also had a follow up question: Can the library handle multiple flash chips together, assuming I have separate chip select pins for each?

  8. #8
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Oh, just looked at the design tool docs. I thought there was a link in there to Frank's Memoryboard, but looks like it never got added.

    Frank, do you have a page somewhere with all the details? Or should I find the old forum threads?

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Frank B, that is really cool. Could I ask the purpose of the buffer chip please?

  11. #11
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alialiali View Post
    Frank B, that is really cool. Could I ask the purpose of the buffer chip please?
    @Paul: There is no page - only the repository. But somehow it is found, because I get emails from users from time to time.
    But you should also mention F-RAM (https://github.com/PaulStoffregen/Au...d16246a36cL235) because it might be an alternative.

    @alialiali:
    The buffer is more for the case that other SPI hardware is also connected to the teensy pins. I've connected a display there, and I'm routing the pins to a pin header. I thought it would be better to insert a buffer there so that it works a bit more reliably at high speeds. After all, without it six gates would already be connected to each SPI-Line. It adds only a few cents and has no negative effects.
    If you make your own hardware, you can probably do without it.

  12. #12
    Thanks for the advice. I'm going to copy your schematic two times, because I also quite like the sound of a long delay with RAM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alialiali View Post
    copy your schematic two times
    I don't quite understand. Does this mean you intend to connect 12 of those memory chips?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    I don't quite understand. Does this mean you intend to connect 12 of those memory chips?
    Well, 6 flash chips, and 6 ram chips - for delay and samples.

    p.s. for context, I've built a midi-only version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aXa6NtheTw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwFLVqQNV5U but I'd like to add real sounds on board, both synth and samples, with some effects.

  15. #15
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alialiali View Post
    Well, 6 flash chips, and 6 ram chips - for delay and samples.

    p.s. for context, I've built a midi-only version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aXa6NtheTw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwFLVqQNV5U but I'd like to add real sounds on board, both synth and samples, with some effects.
    There is no library that handles Flash on this board, but it's not too hard to modify an existing one. Its just switching the three chipselects correctly.

  16. #16
    Great, thanks. I think I can handle that.

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