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Error in MAX+PLUS II software with MAX7000 .pof files

prof__paradox
Novice
499 Views

Hi there, we have very very old system which is using few MAX7000 CPLDs. Now, the people who developed that system and programmed all the CPLDs are retired and not at all interested in helping us to modify the system with new technology. Now, we have the .pof files for all the CPLDs and we tried using the MAX PLUS II software to see into those files, but it showed an error "Cannot edit MAX+PLUS II system files". To be honest, the system is quite complicated for us to study and understand every part of it.  Is there anyway that we can use these .pof files in some new CPLDs or is it possible to understand the logic with these .pof files?? Any sort of help will be appreciated. Thank you!

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1 Solution
ak6dn
Valued Contributor II
485 Views

POF files can't be disassembled, at least with any publicly available tools (Altera probably had some internal tools a long time ago, but they never released them to my knowledge). I see folks asking to do this all the time now, because all they have is a programmed device or a POF file, but have lost the source code.

So unless you can convince the retired folks to track down the source code for you, or you can, you are basically out of luck.

There is one suggestion I can make that allows you to, more or less, see inside a POF file.

Atmel (now MicroChip) offers a function compatible drop in replacement for many of the MAX7000 series CPLD parts. It is their ATF15xxAS series. To support this they have their POF2JED tool that reads an Altera POF file for a supported device, and produces the equivalent JED file for one of their ATF15 series parts. Now the POF file is binary and not readily decipherable, but the JED file is ASCII text only, and is formatted and commented. Along with the datasheet for the fuse layout of the ATF15 series part, looking at this JED file will give you a lot of info what is going on inside the device.

Best solution I know of other that tracking down the original device source code(s).

View solution in original post

8 Replies
ak6dn
Valued Contributor II
486 Views

POF files can't be disassembled, at least with any publicly available tools (Altera probably had some internal tools a long time ago, but they never released them to my knowledge). I see folks asking to do this all the time now, because all they have is a programmed device or a POF file, but have lost the source code.

So unless you can convince the retired folks to track down the source code for you, or you can, you are basically out of luck.

There is one suggestion I can make that allows you to, more or less, see inside a POF file.

Atmel (now MicroChip) offers a function compatible drop in replacement for many of the MAX7000 series CPLD parts. It is their ATF15xxAS series. To support this they have their POF2JED tool that reads an Altera POF file for a supported device, and produces the equivalent JED file for one of their ATF15 series parts. Now the POF file is binary and not readily decipherable, but the JED file is ASCII text only, and is formatted and commented. Along with the datasheet for the fuse layout of the ATF15 series part, looking at this JED file will give you a lot of info what is going on inside the device.

Best solution I know of other that tracking down the original device source code(s).

View solution in original post

prof__paradox
Novice
471 Views

Thanks a lot Sir. I'll try POF2JED and post the outcomes. Thanks once again!

prof__paradox
Novice
391 Views

Hello there again, there's a tiny problem that we ran into while implementing the solution you provided. The POF2JED utility only accepts .pof file generated from the MAX software, and the files that we have are the ones which we extracted from the existing CPLD with the help of ALL-100 programmer. So, is there even a slightiest possibility that we can get the system up and running, without reverse engineering every piece of hardware?

ak6dn
Valued Contributor II
385 Views

Unfortunately I can't help you with that issue. I am unfamiliar with the ALL-100 programmer (never heard of it to be honest) so do not know if it generates a 'well formed' POF file on readback.

Can you read back the POF file with the programmer, and then use that POF file to verify a device?

Does POF2JED output any meaningful error message when reading the file?

I can only suggest contacting Atmel/Microchip support re: using POF2JED in this instance.

prof__paradox
Novice
379 Views

Yeah we did contact Microchip. They said the pof file generated by ALL-100 is not compatible with POF2JED. So it cannot convert the file to JED format. So I guess we'll have to start with probing the ICs now xD.

Anyways, you have been a great great help my friend. Thank you so much!!! Every community prospers because of members like you!

JohnT_Intel
Employee
482 Views

Hi,


POF file is a bitstream filed which is use to program into the flash. I would recommend you to check if you are able to discover the project file in order for you to update your design.


prof__paradox
Novice
468 Views

Umm. Okay, I'll look into the archives to see if any project files exist. I think no one found them, but still I'll look once again. Thanks for the help!

JohnT_Intel
Employee
458 Views

Sorry for not able to help as the POF is just the bitstream file. You will need to have the Quartus project file for modification or update.


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