CM-T3x: U-Boot: Firmware Overview

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This article describes firmware for CM-T3x system-on-module product line. The CM-T3x product line includes the following modules:

CM-T3x firmware consists of two components: X-Loader and U-Boot. X-Loader is the bootstrap utility invoked by the boot ROM code of the OMAP3x SoC. X-Loader performs minimal hardware initialization and loads stage two bootloader, namely U-Boot. U-Boot initializes hardware modules necessary for system boot and loads the operating system.


X-Loader resides in the first erase block of the system NAND flash or in a file on MMC/SD card. It is loaded into the CPU internal SRAM immediately after system reset. The CPU internal boot ROM determines what storage media to use in accordance with BOOT_SOURCE signal value (pin 65 of connector P1 on CM-T3x). SB-T35 allows easy switch between NAND and MMC/SD boot.

X-Loader is responsible for initial clock setup, DDR initialization and boot media controller initialization. After basic hardware setup X-Loader loads U-Boot bootloader into the system RAM and transfers control to the U-Boot bootloader.


U-Boot is the stage two bootloader used on CM-T3x. It allows flexible selection of operating system boot modes, provides scripting facilities and command line interface through serial port.

U-Boot resides in the system NAND flash starting from offset 0x80000 or in a file on MMC/SD card. In case an MMC/SD card is used as boot media, U-Boot binary should be present in card's root directory and named u-boot.bin.

U-Boot allows booting operating system from the on-board NAND flash, MMC/SD card or from network. Please consult U-Boot quick reference and U-Boot project documentation for U-Boot features and commands description.

U-Boot environment

U-Boot environment can reside on the NAND flash or on the MMC/SD card. In case the NAND flash is used, two blocks at offset 0x260000 are used for the U-Boot environment.
In case the MMC/SD card is used, 32 sectors (512 byte) at offset 0x400 are used for the U-Boot environment.

Boot sources

CM-T3730 with on-board NAND flash, CM-T3530 and CM-T3517 can boot either from on-board NAND flash or from MMC/SD card. The boot source can be selected using jumper E6 or button SW1 on SB-T35:

  • To boot the system from the on-board NAND flash make sure that jumper E6 is not present.
  • To boot the system from the MMC/SD card install jumper E6 before power-on or hold button SW1 during system startup.

Admolition note.png Make sure the E6 jumper is not installed for CM-T3730 with on-board micro SD card.

Please refer to CM-T3x: Linux: Booting from MMC/SD card for further details.

Default NAND flash mapping

CM-T3x NAND flash mapping
Offset Description Size (kilobytes)
0x0 X-Loader 512
0x80000 U-Boot 512
0x100000 Splash Screen image 1408
0x260000 U-Boot environment 256
0x2a0000 Linux kernel 4096
0x6a0000 Linux filesystem remaining NAND flash space

Default MMC/SD card mapping

CM-T3x MMC/SD card mapping
Partition Description Offset (Bytes) Size (Bytes)
/dev/sdc U-Boot environment 0x400 0x4000
/dev/sdc1 Boot 0x100000 0x75A2000
/dev/sdc2 Linux file system 0x7700000 remaining MMC/SD card space

fdisk output for the 8GB sample MMC/SD card:

Disk /dev/sde: 8035 MB, 8035237888 bytes
32 heads, 32 sectors/track, 15326 cylinders, total 15693824 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x710ab397

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sde1   *        2048      242959      120456    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sde2          243712    15693823     7725056   83  Linux

Admolition note.png Offset and size of the first partition must match! Otherwise U-Boot can damage files that will overlap with U-Boot environment!
Admolition note.png Micro SD card supplied from CompuLab with CM-T3x modules may not have the second partition. In such case the partition can be created with fdisk utility.

See also