Bad block table support

Most NAND chips mark the bad blocks at a defined position in the spare area. Those blocks must not be erased under any circumstances as the bad block information would be lost. It is possible to check the bad block mark each time when the blocks are accessed by reading the spare area of the first page in the block. This is time consuming so a bad block table is used.

The nand driver supports various types of bad block tables.

nand_scan() calls the function nand_default_bbt(). nand_default_bbt() selects appropriate default bad block table desriptors depending on the chip information which was retrieved by nand_scan().

The standard policy is scanning the device for bad blocks and build a ram based bad block table which allows faster access than always checking the bad block information on the flash chip itself.

Flash based tables

It may be desired or neccecary to keep a bad block table in FLASH. For AG-AND chips this is mandatory, as they have no factory marked bad blocks. They have factory marked good blocks. The marker pattern is erased when the block is erased to be reused. So in case of powerloss before writing the pattern back to the chip this block would be lost and added to the bad blocks. Therefor we scan the chip(s) when we detect them the first time for good blocks and store this information in a bad block table before erasing any of the blocks.

The blocks in which the tables are stored are procteted against accidental access by marking them bad in the memory bad block table. The bad block table managment functions are allowed to circumvernt this protection.

The simplest way to activate the FLASH based bad block table support is to set the option NAND_USE_FLASH_BBT in the option field of the nand chip structure before calling nand_scan(). For AG-AND chips is this done by default. This activates the default FLASH based bad block table functionality of the NAND driver. The default bad block table options are

User defined tables

User defined tables are created by filling out a nand_bbt_descr structure and storing the pointer in the nand_chip structure member bbt_td before calling nand_scan(). If a mirror table is neccecary a second structure must be created and a pointer to this structure must be stored in bbt_md inside the nand_chip structure. If the bbt_md member is set to NULL then only the main table is used and no scan for the mirrored table is performed.

The most important field in the nand_bbt_descr structure is the options field. The options define most of the table properties. Use the predefined constants from nand.h to define the options.