Looks nice. But I don't like the absence of internal NAND flash. Internal Micro-SD card is not quite the same.
Whats the problem with internal MicroSD in your opinion?
From my point of view its seems to be better...
- you could swap it if it get faulty
- you could reprogram it externally it the content goes bad (no need for a jtag)
- you could upgrade(?) the size
I think the main problem is reliability:
- the mechanical contacts are not as reliable as soldering
- I have read here many people complaining about faulty, slow or just incompatible SD-cards, but I can't remember anyone complaining about faulty internal flash
- internal flash should be considerably faster, as it uses much wider internal bus (although I don't have numbers at hand to compare)
- SD-card is typically used with "normal" file systems (such as ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, etc) originally meant for hard drives. While the internal FTL in the card may be doing good wear-leveling job, but I doubt it can be better than a flash-aware filesystem, such as UBIFS. Although, if the rootfs is read-only most of the time (which I believe it should be) then this won't matter that much.
What's wrong with JTAG? I like JTAG
. By the way, you would need JTAG anyway to re-program U-Boot. And if you have U-Boot working then you don't really need JTAG to flash kernel or rootfs.
As for the size upgrade, IMO, if 512MB is not enough that means there is too much bloatware installed. My complete system used as network gateway/router/server/etc occupies under 100MB (of which about 40MB is occupied by Samba - a piece of bloatware I couldn't do without). I strongly doubt I will ever need to upgrade the size.
In the end of the day I have to agree that this is largely a matter of opinion.