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SD Cards and filesystems for Embedded Systems

Modern embedded systems (such as your Android phone) extensively use SD cards for secondary storage.

You can buy a cheap 32G microSD card for under $16 --- or you can spend $100s on an ultra-high-speed card.

Does it make a difference to your phone's performance? Can filesystems be tweaked to get better performance on cheap cards?

We've been benchmarking some cards, with different filesystems (including the new F2FS that is intended for optimal performance on SD cards) on a variety of embedded systems.

Short answer: it makes a difference, but you can get 90% of the bang for 15% of the buck if you're prepared for a bit of work.

You can download slides and notes for this talk from http://ssrg.nicta.com.au/publications/nictaabstracts/Chubb_15.abstract.pml after the talk.

Peter Chubb

Peter has been hacking on UNIX since 1979, and has never used Windows. He currently does system (kernel and low-level) programming in a Linux environment for NICTA.