GPMC Parallel NOR boot using BeagleBone Black.


Can I do GPMC XIP parallel NOR boot using Beagle Bone by using the expansion headers of the beagle bone and making my own custom board for NOR / OTP Flash and check it.

What can be the probable issues which I can face in doing this as most of the header signals are shared on BBB? When I discussed this on TI community, I received a reply that eMMC chip in that case needs to be removed. Is it essential to Remove eMMC. Can’t it be erased and then hardware lines used in parallel? Can other shared lines used on the expander head for GPMC also create problem.

I want to use MUX1 or MUX2 XIP Boot Mode, 16 bit Address Data Multiplexed, with an OTP / Parallel NOR Flash booting.

Kindly help as this will help me to reduce m design time and cost to a minimum.


Read all the post as BBB instead of Beagle Bone Please. Thanks for patience.

Yes. There is a cape for adding memory and a NOR module.


Hi Gerald,

Thanks for the reply. But can it be used with BBB or only with BB White?

I have BBB and not BB White but I want to add something of this sort on it.


say is it possible that I use the following signals of BBB:-

  • GPMC_AD[15…0]
  • GPMC_CS0
  • GPMC_OEn
  • GPMC_WEn
    and design my own custom cape with 16 bit NOR Flash in BB BLACK. Here there is a conflict on board with eMMC on BBB? Can I work around that ?


It will work with either one. The BBB needs to have the DT file set to disable the eMMC.


What is DT File? Please do not mind my ignorance.



Device Tree. It is what sets up the pin mux function of all the pins. You will need to reconfigure the pins to support the module instead of the onboard eMMC.



By changing the SYSBOOT configuration on the hardware of BBB, Booting will start from GPMC is what I know but will the physical connections of eMMC cause any trouble still at electrical level? Or NOT … once the SYSBOOT is reconfigured, things should work perfectly if the custom board is fine is it what you mean?

The reason I repeat is TI people, BISER from sitaraware informed me that eMMC card should be removed anyhow.

I will be more than happy if it works…

Thanks Robert for the info…

More so, I want to configure all bare metal using starterware…

OK. The fix it in Starterware. Be sure an enable the reset function in eMMC and set the reset line.


emmc card can't be removed. Did you mean SD card has to be removed?

Sysboot will ensure that BOOT-ROM will setup the peripheral/pinmux rightly to boot from that medium. But after the OS starts it might have its own set of pinmux which needs to be set rightly to access that medium.


I meant eMMC can be disabled.allowing for the use of those pins as required for use with NOR or NAND devices.

And yes, they can be soldered and physically removed as well.


We are not using OS but we will be using starterware. So What I have understood is that on power on I will hard reset eMMC reset line to active low through a GPIO and will not touch it anywhere after that and use the GPMC lines for NOR Flashing and Booting as well through starterware.I hope i have understood gerald.

I do not need eMMC for my requirement as of now. Rather I will use my custom board / custom cape on expander header with two chips one OTP and other parallel NOR Flash controlled by CSn0 and CSn1 and used for storing boot program and application software respectively. OTP will test the content of NOR Flash [checksum] and then application will be executed from NOR.