LG Electronics, a well-known Korean-based manufacturer of consumer electronics, created a multimedia-enabled portable navigator for the North American market. The LN790 features a 4.3” LCD screen, Bluetooth hands-free functionality, and video-enabled playback. Ruggedness and fast access to data are important to consumers in this market, so the device was designed to boot directly from a NAND mass storage environment using Windows CE. Unfortunately, LG product engineers had a difficult time getting the device to boot fast enough using CE’s FAL/FMD flash drivers. At just over two minutes, the startup time did not match LG’s reputation for high-performance consumer devices.

The Tuxera solution

As LG engineers went searching for solutions to the boot speed problem, they discovered that Tuxera’s FlashFX® Pro uses a more efficient approach to managing bad blocks than CE’s standard FMD/FAL drivers, which can speed boot time significantly. This difference is especially apparent when the device is using a large NAND disk, because boot time is somewhat proportional to the size of the flash.

Why is FlashFX Pro more efficient? Startup with FAL requires the driver to read more data as part of its mount sequence, a lengthy process particularly if the disk is large. In contrast, FlashFX Pro requires a much simpler check of the media to complete the initial mount.

The customer payoff

After implementation of FlashFX Pro, LG engineers were delighted to discover that the device’s boot time was cut by more than half. By using FlashFX Pro instead of the native Windows CE drivers, LG designers were able to achieve the performance their customers expect from a premium-quality personal navigator. There was also an additional benefit they hadn’t counted on – FlashFX Pro support for over 200 flash parts means that the LN790 will be future-proof from flash parts going on allocation, unexpected price fluctuations, and end-of-life issues.