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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
1,113 Views

EPCS flash problem @ DE0-Nano board

Hello , 

 

may be , I have posted my problem in the wrong section, sorry. 

I have 2 DE0-Nano boards. One is working fine, the the other  

makes problems, only when I try to flash my sof+elf design to EPC. 

More details on my post here: 

http://www.alteraforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38687 

Any help is welcome. 

Regards, Reinhard
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17 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

This is the correct forum. 

 

I tried it on my DE0-Nano, and your myTest.sof file loaded OK into the FPGA. I'm using 12.1, so I rebuilt the project using that. The resultant file was OK, as well. 

 

I can't think of a reason for the problem with that board of yours, but you should be able to return it for a replacement.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Many thanks for testing and your feedback !

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Today, I received my third DE0-Nano board. 

BUT ! 

It is also not working, same problem. Now, I have one working board and two failing boards. 

All 3 orders were placed by Digi-Key. The order from the good working board is about 1 year ago. 

Now I have no more idea. Manufactoring/revision problem ? 

Schould I contact now Altera or Terasic ?
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Check the flash memory chips, Terasic recently changed to a Spansion device. That might be relevant. 

 

I'd contact Terasic.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Good input and I agrree, they have changed the EPC Chip vendor. 

I checked the EPC-Chip, see attachment. 

A SR is already open by Altera. 

Additional, I will contact Terasic
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

There's an app note from Spansion on using their devices as EPCS replacements: 

 

http://www.spansion.com/support/application%20notes/configuring_altera_fpgas_via_spi_flash_an.pdf 

 

The app shows how to “Disable EPCS ID Check". 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Dave, 

that's a very interesting info. THANKS ! 

I will check it out tomorrow and give you feedback a.s.a.p . 

(In Germany it's already very late.) 

Regards, Reinhard
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

I bought mine from D-K about a month ago, and it has an EPCS64. It must be something to do with the Spansion chip on the latest boards.

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

I checked the notes from the Spansion dokument. For me, there was nothing special news included. 

The problem is still the same and I agree, it seems to be that this problem is related to the Spansion  

EPCS-16 chip integrated on some DE0-Nano boards. 

I have already opened a SR at Altera and did contact Terasic direct via E-Mail and I hope to receive 

a fix or at least a workaround.  

Reinhard
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Hi Reinhard, 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

I checked the notes from the Spansion dokument. For me, there was nothing special news included. 

The problem is still the same and I agree, it seems to be that this problem is related to the Spansion  

EPCS-16 chip integrated on some DE0-Nano boards. 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

This is something that you can figure out yourself fairly easily. 

 

1) Create a Qsys system according to this tutorial: 

 

http://www.alterawiki.com/wiki/using_the_usb-blaster_as_an_sopc/qsys_avalon-mm_master_tutorial 

 

2) Connect the PIO component to the Flash pins 

 

3) Write some Tcl to toggle the SPI signals to the serial flash, write routines to read the serial number, manufacturer details, and read and write flash. 

 

That will tell you whether or not the flash is actually working. If it is, then its a problem with the Altera tools. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Hi Dave, 

thank you for your well-meaning advice but I do not see any necessity  

to verify this. Sorry, I have not enough time and in my view it will not  

be purposeful. Maybe you have not read it yet, but I did open another 

thread: http://www.alteraforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38687 

I have attached a zip-file which contains the whole project to get the 

problem reproduced and it will only take 3 min to do this. Open the project, 

load the hardware, sof or jic down to the board via Quartus programmer. 

In the folder "flash", you will find a script "myflash.sh". If you have 

have a Spansion-EPC based board it will fail but it works fine on the 

other boards. leon_heller also has verified it and a friend in germany  

also today. Problem and symtom is always the same. 

In my opinion, the DE0-Nano boards must be compatible and I hope to get 

a solution from Terasic/Altera very soon. 

Anyway , thank you very much for your effort and all the infos you have provided. 

Cheers,  

Reinhard
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

thank you for your well-meaning advice but I do not see any necessity  

to verify this. 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

No problem. Just offering an option in case you were desperate :) 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Reinhard, 

 

Have you tried Quartus 12.1? You could just download the standalone programmer if you don't want to download the whole thing. 

 

Leon
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Leon, 

I was in the opinion , you tried it on your DE0-Nano with version 12.1 already ? 

Reinhard
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Yes, but my board has the EPCS64 rather than the Spansion chip. It would be a good idea to try it with your newer boards with the Spansion chip that have the problem.

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Hallo, 

very positive news: I got a solution from terasic support. 

Here is the solution message: 

 

>Yes, we do replace the EPCS chip with Spansion Flash, and the steps  

>to process the EPCS programming should be a little different. 

>Before programming the EPCS via nios-2-flash-programmer, users must  

>add an EPCS patch file nios-flash-override.txt into the Nios II EDS  

>folder. The patch file is available in the folder Demonstation\EPCS_Patch  

>of DE0-Nano System CD. It needs to copy this file to the folder  

>[QuartusInstalledFolder]\nios2eds\bin (e.g. C:\altera\11.1\nios2eds\bin),  

>then execute the flash-programmer.  

 

The override file was only included within the last shipment, 3 days ago, 

so I have attached this file. I also have tested it and now it is working 

fine. 

 

many thanks to terasic support ! "The service makes the difference" 

 

Also thanks to all other people here provided me with a lot of infos. 

 

Reinhard
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
231 Views

Yes, due the the difference between the EPCS and Spansion Flash, there would be a littler different on process the Flash programming.  

 

Terasic has updated the steps with its Usermanual: before programming, there is a EPCS patch file nios-flash-override.txt added into the Nios II EDS folder,which file can be found in the online CD resource.The patch file is available in the folder Demonstation\EPCS_Patch of DE0-Nano System CD. It needs to copy this file to the folder[QuartusInstalledFolder]\nios2eds\bin > (e.g.C:\altera\11.1\nios2eds\bin), then execute the flash-programmer. Thanks.
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