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# SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0+
# Copyright (C) 2018 MediaTek Inc.
# Ryder Lee <>
This document describes how to compile the U-Boot and how to change U-Boot
configuration about the MediaTek SoCs.
Build Procedure
-Set the cross compiler:
# export CROSS_COMPILE=/path/to/toolchain/arm-linux-gnueabi-
-Clean-up old residuals:
# make mrproper
-Configure the U-Boot:
# make <defconfig_file>
# make
- For the MT7623n bananapi R2 board use "mt7623n_bpir2_defconfig"
- For the MT7629 reference board use "mt7629_rfb_defconfig"
Boot sequence
-Bootrom -> MTK preloader -> U-Boot
- MT7623n
This version of U-Boot doesn't implement SPL. So, MTK preloader binary
is needed to boot up:
-Bootrom -> SPL -> U-Boot
- MT7629
Configuration update
To update the U-Boot configuration, please refer to doc/README.kconfig
MediaTek image header
Currently there are two image headers used for MediaTek chips:
- BootROM image header. This header is used by the first stage bootloader. It records
the desired compatible boot device, integrity information and its load address.
The on-chip BootROM will firstly verify integrity and compatibility of the bootloader.
If verification passed, the BootROM will then load the bootloader into on-chip SRAM,
and pass control to it.
Note that this header is actually a combination of three independent headers:
Device header, BRLYT header and GFH header.
Used by U-Boot SPL of MT7629 and preloader of MT7623.
- MediaTek legacy image header. This header was originally used by the legacy image. It
basically records the load address, image size and image name.
After all low level initializations passed, the preloader will locate the LK image and
load it into DRAM, and pass control to it.
Now this header is used by U-Boot of MT7623.
To generate these two headers with mkimage:
# mkimage -T mtk_image -a <load_addr> -n <option_string> -d <input_file> <image_file>
- mtk_image means using MediaTek's header generation method.
- load_addr is the load address of this image.
For first stage bootloader like U-Boot SPL or preloader, it usually points to the
on-chip SRAM.
For second stage bootloader like U-Boot, it usually points to the DRAM.
- option_string contains options to generate the header.
The option string is using the follow format:
The following key names are valid:
lk: If lk=1, LK image header is used. Otherwise BootROM image header is used.
lkname: The name of the LK image header. The maximum length is 32.
The default value is "U-Boot".
media: Desired boot device. The valid values are:
nand : Parallel NAND
snand: Serial NAND
nor : Serial NOR
emmc : eMMC
sdmmc: SD
nandinfo: Desired NAND device type, a combination of page size, oob size and
optional device capacity. Valid types are:
2k+64 : for Serial NAND, 2KiB page size + 64B oob size
2k+120 : for Serial NAND, 2KiB page size + 120B oob size
2k+128 : for Serial NAND, 2KiB page size + 128B oob size
4k+256 : for Serial NAND, 4KiB page size + 256B oob size
1g:2k+64 : for Parallel NAND, 2KiB page size + 64B oob size, total 1Gbit size
2g:2k+64 : for Parallel NAND, 2KiB page size + 64B oob size, total 2Gbit size
4g:2k+64 : for Parallel NAND, 2KiB page size + 64B oob size, total 4Gbit size
2g:2k+128: for Parallel NAND, 2KiB page size + 128B oob size, total 2Gbit size
4g:2k+128: for Parallel NAND, 2KiB page size + 128B oob size, total 4Gbit size
MT7629 partitions on Serial NOR
Start End Size Description
00000000 - 0000ffff: 64KiB U-Boot SPL
00010000 - 0005ffff: 320KiB U-Boot
00060000 - 0006ffff: 64KiB U-Boot env / MediaTek NVRAM
00070000 - 000affff: 256KiB RF calibration data
000b0000 - xxxxxxxx: all left Firmware image
BPi-R2 (MT7623N) partitions on SD
Please note that the last two partitions can vary from different Linux distributions
depending on the MBR partition table.
Start End Size Description
00000000 - 000001ff: 512B Device header (with MBR partition table)
00000200 - 000007ff: 1536B BRLYT header
00000800 - 0004ffff: 318KiB Preloader (with GFH header)
00050000 - 000fffff: 704KiB U-Boot
00100000 - 063fffff: 99MiB Reserved
06400000 - 163fffff: 256MiB Partition 1 (FAT32)
16400000 - xxxxxxxx: all left Partition 2 (ext4)
Upgrading notice on Serial NOR
Example: MT7629
The command sf is used to operate the Serial NOR device:
- To probe current NOR flash:
# sf probe
- To erase a region:
# sf erase <offset> <len>
- To write data to an offset:
# sf write <data_addr> <offset> <len>
- To boot kernel:
# bootm 0x300b0000
The memory address range 0x30000000 - 0x3fffffff is mapped to the NOR flash.
The DRAM starts at 0x40000000.
Please note that the output binary u-boot-mtk.bin is a combination of SPL and U-Boot,
and it should be write to beginning of the flash.
Otherwise you should use standalone files:
spl/u-boot-spl-mtk.bin for SPL,
u-boot.img for U-Boot.
Upgrading notice on SD / eMMC
Example: MT7623
Normally only Preloader and U-Boot can be upgraded within U-Boot, and other partitions
should be written in PC.
- To probe current SD card / eMMC:
# mmc dev 0 for eMMC
# mmc dev 1 for SD
- To erase a region:
# mmc erase <blk_offset> <blk_num>
- To write data to a block offset:
# mmc write <data_addr> <blk_offset> <blk_num>
- To load kernel image from partition 1:
# fatload mmc 0:1 <load_address> <path_to_kernel_uImage> for eMMC
# fatload mmc 1:1 <load_address> <path_to_kernel_uImage> for SD
- To boot kernel:
# bootm <load_address>
The DRAM starts at 0x80000000.
Please note that we use block offset and block count for SD card, not the byte offset.
The block size is always 512 bytes for SD card.