[RFC PATCH 0/3] mtd: nand: add randomizer support

Boris BREZILLON boris.brezillon at free-electrons.com
Thu May 1 10:31:13 PDT 2014

On 01/05/2014 18:34, Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
> On Thu, May 01, 2014 at 03:09:49AM +0200, Boris BREZILLON wrote:
>> Hello,
>> This series is a proposal to add support for randomizers (either software
>> or hardware) to NAND flash controller drivers.
> FWIW, I think the term for reversibly combining a PRBS with data is
> 'scrambling', it is often used in communication systems for similar
> reasons - probabilisticly increasing transition density.
> randomizing is something else entirely :)

I totally agree with you, this is not a randomizer but rather a scrambler.
The reason I chose the "randomizer" word is that all the documents I
read are talking about randomizers.
But, other than I don't have any concern about changing all references
to "randomizer" into "scrambler" ;-).

> BTW, there are security concerns here. The scrambler PRBS must not be
> predictable by the user, otherwise they can write data that undoes the
> scramble and defeat it, ie deliberately writing the last 2k of a 4k
> write block as all 0's after scrambling could cause the first 2k to be
> lost. That feels like something that could be scary ..

AFAICT, the scramblers/randomizers used in NAND applications are all
predictable, which means the scrambler state does not depend on the last
data being scrambled.
For example, the sunxi HW scrambler is using a Fibonacci LFSR [1].
Do you have any example of non predictable scrambler that are used to
scramble NAND data ?

Best Regards,


Boris Brezillon, Free Electrons
Embedded Linux and Kernel engineering

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