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Linux gains high-performance flash filesystem

Jan 29, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 16 views

Flash filesystem and management software specialist Datalight has ported its commercial flash filesystem to Linux. The Bothell, Wash. firm claims that Datalight Flash File System for Linux offers 400 percent faster write performance and five times faster mount speeds than JFFS2.

(Click for larger view of the Datalight Reliance architecture)

The Linux version is a response to the increasing number of its customers who are developing on Linux, but are “disappointed with the currently available flash support,” says the company. Datalight boasts ten years of experience selling flash file systems, and says it offers superior tech support compared to open source options. The company touts its file system's support for over 200 flash parts, including NAND, NOR, fusion flash, and flash memory controllers, and says device developers can use its technology to tune performance for each unique usage case.

The new product combines a Linux version of the Datalight Reliance file system with DataLight's FlashFX Pro flash media manager and and block device driver. FlashFX Pro has been available for Linux for several years.

FlashFX Pro architecture

The company claims that its test results for Datalight Flash File System for Linux show mount times of 0.44s on a 56MB NAND Flash chip, compared to 2.32s for JFFS2 and 0.69s for YAFFS2. Raw sequential write speeds are said to be 2.56MB/s, compared to 0.63MB/s for JFFS2 and 1.09MB/s for YAFFS2.

Datalight Reliance dataflow: At each transaction point, the previously valid data blocks can be reused.
(Click to enlarge)

Stated Datalight president Roy Sherrill, “Our Linux products represent a new phase in the evolution of embedded Linux and flash memory. First JFFS simply allowed Linux developers to work with flash; later YAFFS eased some of the complexities of NAND. The Datalight platform is a full-featured, proven commercial solution.”


Datalight Flash File System for Linux will be available in February, says Datalight, which did not disclose pricing. Its products are used by four of the top six handset manufacturers, says the company, and its Flash File System is now available on Linux, Microsoft Windows CE, Wind River VxWorks, and Mentor Graphics NucleusPLUS.

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