Technologic TS-7800 single-board PC boots Linux in 0.69 seconds

Chris Davies - Jun 19, 2008, 1:02 pm CDT
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Technologic Systems have unveiled their latest single-board computer (SBC) which, although they’re not doing the usual and reaching for a title, must surely be a strong contender in the “fastest boot time” charts.  This latest incarnation of the TS-7800 can load Linux 2.6.21 from NAND flash in 0.69 seconds, despite being powered by a relatively lowly 500MHz Marvell ARM9 CPU.

In fact, the specs generally are pretty weedy: 128MB of DDR-RAM and 512MB of onboard NAND flash, expandable via dual SD card slots.  You won’t be taking advantage of the super-speedy boot to play the latest games, then; in fact, Technologic Systems envisage the TS-7800 as handling remote embedded real-time applications. The example they give is a solar-powered sensor device, which quickly boots to record and transmit readings; here, the sub-1s start-up saves power.

“To break the one-second boot barrier, Technologic improved the TS-7800’s bootup firmware by implementing kernel simplifications, reducing the Busybox filesystem, and improving the LinuxRC initialization script, says the company. The board boots to a minimal kernel, and then loads an initial RAM disk that is said to provide access to full-Debian binaries and libraries. After 0.69 seconds, the user receives a Linux shell prompt and access to a Busybox filesystem, enabling network services and driver access to most of the SBC’s hardware. The initialization process is then completed in the background in under two seconds” Linux Devices

When first launched, at the tail-end of last year, the TS-700 could boot in a mere two seconds. Owners of the original SBC can update to the new firmware. 

[via Linux Devices]


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