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Multimedia device OS protects files in flash storage

Posted: 18 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OS? operating system? multimedia devices? embedded devices?

An OS that ensures file protection during power-failure for multimedia devices has been launched by Mentor Graphics Corp. Dubbed the Nucleus OS, the system features a Safe File System capability for devices using resident NOR, NAND and DataFlash flash storage.

"With the usage of flash storage in multimedia and portable devices exploding, users expect their applicationbe it an MP3 player or a medical monitoring deviceto recover gracefully when the battery runs out," said Neil Henderson, general manager, Mentor Graphics Embedded Systems Division. "By incorporating capabilities such as the Safe File System, Mentor's Nucleus OS is steadily evolving into a full-featured and robust platform, delivering value to a broad base of embedded device manufacturersfrom mobile handsets, to consumer electronics, to medical devices."

Traditionally, embedded devices were susceptible to unexpected system interruptions e.g., when a device's battery ran out, causing a device to lose a sector or become non-operational. The Safe File System feature eliminates file glitches associated with such abrupt system terminations, effectively improving customer experience, reducing the need for field repair and avoiding unnecessary warranty returns.

How it works
The basic method of operation of the Nucleus OS Safe File System is relatively simplea complete new file system must be made available for use before any information is erased. In this way, if the worst happens, the system can be rebuilt either in its pre-write form (as if the write had never started) or with the new modifications included. This is not possible to guarantee with a DOS compatible file system and with many other file systems. While the concept is simple, write and erase times can be relatively long on flash devices. It is extremely important to ensure the number of these operations is minimized. The Nucleus OS Safe File System solution is highly reliable, the system architecture is fast and efficient, and the file system enables fast boot. The royalty-free Nucleus OS Safe File System for flash devices is available immediately.

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