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> SL-5500 Memory Limits?, What are the limits on SD/CF memory
John Smith TIF
post Nov 2 2004, 05:07 AM
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This is a bit of a Newbie question, so apologies if I should have posted it elsewhere.

I've just bought a second-hand SL-5500 with a 64MB SD card and a 32MB CF card.

I would like to expand the system memory/storage considerably but I'm not sure what limits there are on the size of SD/CF memory I can use. I don't want to spend lots of money on cards if (a) the Z can't use them at all or (cool.gif the Z can only address a small part of them.

I contacted Sharp Service and was told that the limits are 128 and 192 for SD RAM and CF RAM respectively. I presume that these figures are in MB and only apply to memory (RAM/ROM) rather than storage (disk) devices.
However, this doesn't seem to stack-up with various comments I've read on the ZUG mailing lists and other places, which seem to indicate that people are using up to 1GB SD card and 512MB/1GB CF cards and also using up to 4GB CF microdrives. unsure.gif

Is there a FAQ somewhere which details what the limits are (if any) and what devices do/don't work with the Z?

Many thanks in advance,

John (slightly confused but fascinated with the idea of Linux of a handheld!)
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John Smith TIF
post Nov 4 2004, 01:52 AM
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Thanks for the explanation shdwdrgn (ShadowDragon?).

Since, as you say, the SD card is serially addressed, then it seems reasonable to suppose that the limitations are down to the driver (since the device would generally expect an address length capable of addressing its full size). However, this implies that the driver knows how long the address field must be for the particular device in question (i.e. must know the size of the memory). I haven't played with SD devices, so I don't know if there's a standard way of finding this out (it may be in the SD spec somewhere), but if the driver needs to do this in different ways for each manufacturer/device or needs to infer the size from some sort of device ID, then the drivers would have to be updated from time to time, to add new devices/sizes to its list of supported devices. So, it is quite possible that the initial drivers only supported devices and address spaces up to the maximum device size known at the time they were written (e.g. 128MB or 256MB).
Having said that, since 128MB and 256MB would require 27 and 28 bits of address respectively anyway, the address parameters would almost certainly be passed as 32-bit unsigned (or possibly signed) integers, giving address spaces of up to 4GB (or 2GB if signed integers are used and -ve values are ignored (sometimes -1 is used as a special value)). So, the interface probably wouldn't need to be changed to support devices up to 4GB (or 2GB). However, after this limit is reached, the interface would no doubt need to changed (e.g. to use a 64-bit address or some sort of paging system).

The CF cards may be slightly different, in that the CF slot supports microdrives (which currently appear to go up to 5.5 or even 8GB) and may be treated more like disk drives than memory, with different addressing mechanisms (especially if, as you say, the CF spec. says sizes up to 127GB are supported), although I haven't seen any indication that anyone has got anything above 4GB working with the Z (although some people appear to be trying)).

Thanks for the advice about moving away from the Sharp ROM. I've already switched to OpenZaurus 3.5.1 with Opie 1.1.6, as I wanted more Open Source Linux compatibility (although some of the Sharp supplied applications might be nice to try to retrofit once I've got everything working as I want it).

Now, to try to figure-out what software I need on the PC to sync the upgraded Z with LookOut!... blink.gif

(having fun and learning lots along the way... biggrin.gif )
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Posts in this topic
John Smith TIF   SL-5500 Memory Limits?   Nov 2 2004, 05:07 AM
Mitch   I've got a 5500 and have a 512mb CF card, whic...   Nov 2 2004, 06:16 AM
tumnus   You cannot physically expand the RAM in the 5500. ...   Nov 2 2004, 07:04 AM
John Smith TIF   Thanks for the help Mitch and Tumnus. I don't...   Nov 2 2004, 03:07 PM
Shdwdrgn   I believe the confusing numbers that Sharp reporte...   Nov 3 2004, 03:17 PM
John Smith TIF   Thanks for the explanation shdwdrgn (ShadowDragon?...   Nov 4 2004, 01:52 AM
Shdwdrgn   Actually the spec for the CF slot really did say 1...   Nov 4 2004, 02:14 PM
OttoAcuna   Hello!! from a Newbie from the Tropics. I...   Dec 5 2004, 09:39 PM
John Smith TIF   Hi Otto, I haven't used a microdrive myself (...   Dec 6 2004, 02:58 AM
kybKenny   Hi I used a 2GB Hitachi Microdrive with my SL-55...   Aug 1 2005, 07:48 AM
dlichterman   Ive got a 1 gig SD card and a CF Ambicom Wifi card   Sep 25 2005, 12:24 PM
nick88   Has anyone tried a 2GB SD card? I'm thinking ...   Mar 31 2006, 09:54 AM
telemetric_au   i believe i recall reading in other threads that t...   Apr 4 2006, 06:52 PM
nick88   Well, I got two SD cards: 1 1GB and 1 2GB cards. ...   Apr 6 2006, 05:43 AM
Sharpspark   I have a SL-5500 with stock rom and I've been ...   Aug 3 2006, 05:20 AM
telemetric_au   http://www.tyrannozaurus.com/?q=wiki/SDCompatList ...   Apr 17 2007, 11:39 PM
jocasmi   And so, what's about?   Jun 29 2007, 05:46 PM
telemetric_au   the 2gb sd kingston didnt work, not that ive had a...   Jun 30 2007, 07:11 PM
chrisl   QUOTE(telemetric_au @ Jun 30 2007, 09:11 PM)t...   Jun 30 2007, 08:42 PM
telemetric_au   QUOTE(chrisl @ Jul 1 2007, 03:42 PM)QUOTE(tel...   Jul 2 2007, 03:06 PM
chrisl   QUOTE(telemetric_au @ Jul 2 2007, 05:06 PM)QU...   Jul 2 2007, 04:59 PM
telemetric_au   It Works !!, thanks a bunch !! ...   Jul 2 2007, 09:39 PM
jackschmidt   I want to dig this thread back up because I have a...   Oct 25 2008, 04:39 AM
telemetric_au   largest ive tried is 1gb and had no trouble with t...   Oct 25 2008, 06:29 AM
jackschmidt   QUOTE(telemetric_au @ Oct 25 2008, 06:29 ...   Oct 25 2008, 08:36 AM

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