RedBoot Resource Usage

RedBoot takes up both flash and RAM resources depending on its startup mode and number of enabled features. There are also other resources used by RedBoot, such as timers. Platform-specific resources used by RedBoot are listed in the platform specific parts of this manual.

Both flash and RAM resources used by RedBoot depend to some degree on the features enabled in the RedBoot configuration. It is possible to reduce in particular the RAM resources used by RedBoot by removing features that are not needed. Flash resources can also be reduced, but due to the granularity of the flash (the block sizes), reductions in feature size do not always result in flash resource savings.

Flash Resources

On many platforms, a ROM mode RedBoot image resides in the first flash sectors, working as the board's primary boot monitor. On these platforms, it is also normal to reserve a similar amount of flash for a secondary RAM mode image, which is used when updating the primary ROM mode image.

On other platforms, a ROMRAM mode RedBoot image is used as the primary boot monitor. On these platforms there is not normally reserved space for a RAM mode RedBoot image, since the ROMRAM mode RedBoot is capable of updating the primary boot monitor image.

Most platforms also contain a FIS directory (keeping track of available flash space) and a RedBoot config block (containing RedBoot board configuration data).

To see the amount of reserved flash memory, run the fis list command:

RedBoot> fis list
Name              FLASH addr  Mem addr    Length      Entry point
RedBoot           0x00000000  0x00000000  0x00020000  0x00000000
RedBoot[RAM]      0x00020000  0x06020000  0x00020000  0x060213C0
RedBoot config    0x0007F000  0x0007F000  0x00001000  0x00000000
FIS directory     0x00070000  0x00070000  0x0000F000  0x00000000

To save flash resources, use a ROMRAM mode RedBoot, or if using a ROM mode RedBoot, avoid reserving space for the RedBoot[RAM] image (this is done by changing the RedBoot configuration) and download the RAM mode RedBoot whenever it is needed. If the RedBoot image takes up a fraction of an extra flash block, it may be possible to reduce the image size enough to free this block by removing some features.

RAM Resources

RedBoot reserves RAM space for its run-time data, and such things as CPU exception/interrupt tables. It normally does so at the bottom of the memory map. It may also reserve space at the top of the memory map for configurable RedBoot features such as the net stack and zlib decompression support.

To see the actual amount of reserved space, issue the version command, which prints the RedBoot banner, including the RAM usage:

RedBoot> version

RedBoot(tm) bootstrap and debug environment [ROM]
Non-certified release, version UNKNOWN - built 13:31:57, May 17 2002

Platform: FooBar (SH 7615)
Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, Free Software Foundation, Inc.

RAM: 0x06000000-0x06080000, 0x06012498-0x06061000 available
FLASH: 0x00000000 - 0x00080000, 8 blocks of 0x00010000 bytes each.

To simplify operations that temporarily need data in free memory, the limits of free RAM are also available as aliases (aligned to the nearest kilo-byte limit). These are named FREEMEMLO and FREEMEMHI, and can be used in commands like any user defined alias:

RedBoot> load -r -b %{FREEMEMLO} file
Raw file loaded 0x06012800-0x06013e53, assumed entry at 0x06012800
RedBoot> x -b %{FREEMEMHI}
06061000: 86 F5 EB D8 3D 11 51 F2  96 F4 B2 DC 76 76 8F 77  |....=.Q.....vv.w|
06061010: E6 55 DD DB F3 75 5D 15  E0 F3 FC D9 C8 73 1D DA  |.U...u]......s..|

To reduce RedBoot's RAM resource usage, use a ROM mode RedBoot. The RedBoot features that use most RAM are the net stack, the flash support and the gunzip support. These, and other features, can be disabled to reduce the RAM footprint, but obviously at the cost of lost functionality.

2017-02-09
Documentation license for this page: Open Publication License