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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
1,513 Views

Gigabit Ethernet on Cyclone IV / Cyclone V boards

I'm looking for an inexpensive Cyclone IV or Cyclone V board that has (non-DDR) SDRAM and (FPGA-connected) Gigabit Ethernet. Unforunately, 'inexpensive' means less than the $555 for a Terasic DE2-115. 

 

Several other boards come close : the Terasic DE0-Nano and DE0-CV (SDRAM, no Ethernet); the BeMicro CV A9 (1G Ethernet but DDR3 SDRAM); the ORSoC OpenRISC Cyclone IV board (nearly ideal, but has been out-of-stock for years, I think). 

 

I've also ruled out boards such as the Terasic DE0-Nano-SoC and DE1-SoC which have 1G Ethernet connected to the HPS, not FPGA, of Cyclone V 'SE' parts. 

 

Can anyone suggest any alternatives that I've missed ? 

 

Failing that, I've seen this 1G Ethernet add-on board which provides an RGMII interface to a Micrel PHY and RJ-45 : 

 

www.enterpoint.co.uk/products/modules/gigabit-ethernet-phy (http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/products/modules/gigabit-ethernet-phy

 

In theory, I believe this could be connected to the 2x20 pin I/O headers on (say) a DE0-Nano, emulating the RGMII connections found on both the DE2-115 and the Altera Cyclone III Development board. What I don't know is what kind of physical connection would be required, given that RGMII is essentially a pair of 4-way 125 MHz DDR signals, and the 2x20 pin headers on the add-on board are not pin compatible with the DE0 headers ? For instance, I'm assuming that some IDC connectors and twisted ribbon cable might not work too well ? What would I need to reasonably expect decent signal integrity ?
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22 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

DE1-SOC has gigabit ethernet that you can use from Linux on ARM processor. I get 300+ MB/s. What do you want to do?

WKhad1
Beginner
45 Views

Hello

i'm working on a project and managed to transfer data from FPGA to the SDRAM of HPS in a good rate, now i want to transfer these data via the Gigabit Ethernet of the HPS but i couldn't find any example or explination about that. could you give me an example how to use the gigabit ethernet to transfer data to the pc?

 

Thanks a lot in advance

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

DE1-SOC has gigabit ethernet that you can use from Linux on ARM processor. I get 300+ MB/s. What do you want to do?  

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

I don't have any bandwidth requirement : this is purely for personal interest / hobby purposes. 

 

If Cyclone boards like I described don't exist, or can't be reasonably constructed by extending an existing board, it's no real problem - I'll just go with something else. However, having simple SDRAM and FPGA-connected (ie. driven by TSE IP core or similar) 1G Ethernet would give me the most scope for experimenting (or maybe 'playing' is more accurate) in areas that interest me.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

For many projects, there is no practical difference betweem SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3. The BeMicro A9 is probably the best fit, if you can compromise on the SDR vs. DDR3 issue.

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

DE1-SOC has SDRAM connected to FPGA, you can access ethernet via HPS-FPGA bridge and some glue logic

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

BeMicro CV A9 seem a good deal

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

BeMicro CV A9 seem a good deal 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

I agree - it is a good deal. The slight catch, as I think was already pointed out, is that the Cyclone V 5CEA9 part on that board is not supported by Quartus Web Edition. As I said previously, whatever board I get will purely be for personal interest purposes, so I'll be restricted to Web Edition. 

 

It's quite astounding really - a $149 FPGA board that requires ... well, whatever a Subscription Edition license costs, per year ! 

 

Can anyone give any insight into how viable attaching the 1G Ethernet add-on board I linked to in my first post might be ? Basically : any tips or advice on safely getting 4-way 125 MHz DDR data from one PCB to another ?
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

Quartus 15 Web Edition now support A9 (maybe pressure from Arrow?), enjoy it!

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

The slight catch, as I think was already pointed out, is that the Cyclone V 5CEA9 part on that board is not supported by Quartus web edition

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

Quartus 15 now support A9, enjoy it! 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Really ? Not according to https://www.altera.com/content/dam/altera-www/global/en_us/pdfs/literature/po/ss_quartussevswe.pdf ?
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

I have Quartus 15 Web Edition with update (can be downloaded from Altera website) and I can generate A9 bitstream. Do you want a screenshoot? 

 

https://www.alteraforum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=10746
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

I have Quartus 15 Web Edition with update (can be downloaded from Altera website) and I can generate A9 bitstream. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

OK - in that case flz4765, thanks very much for that very useful information. I have downloaded 15 and the 15.0.1 update. 

 

The good news is that the contributions to this thread have convinced me to go for a BeMicro CV A9; the bad news is that I've spent the last few days going round in circles with the local Arrow distributor in my (non-US) country, who despite having a CV A9 in stock, will not let me order it without a having a corporate credit account set up. It seems my only option is to order from the US, and accept that international shipping and domestic customs tax will push the price way beyond $149 :(
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

Check for terasic cyclone v GX board. $149.

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

I tryed to buy it from italy but there was no way 

Also contacting arrow Europe price is same that from usa+vat+USA 

You can combine shipping with friends and buy multiple items but there is save only from shipping. 

Also with +40$ shipping +vat is a good deal, it offer a lot of logic resource. 

Pay attention if there are free shipping offers in arrive... 

Pay attention also to heat, there are no holes to mount an heatsink and cyc v are very power hungry (static power 3x higher than cyc iv)
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

Today there is free shipping for BEMICROCVA9

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

Today there is free shipping for BEMICROCVA9 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Indeed there is - thank you very much for that heads-up. How did you find out, or did you just notice by chance ? 

 

Anyway, since free shipping seems to be a reasonable deal, I've finally ordered it. I'm a little uncertain that I'll have time to do much with it right now, but it'll be there for when things are hopefully (much) quieter in a month or two.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

In this period there are free shipping promotions in all web-stores so today I tried to simulate a purchase and noticed that shipping is free, why not give this news to forum? I think that there are a lot of people blocked by shipping costs.. :)

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

I think free shipping is until 31 August so I also have bought just one BEMICROCVA9 

 

@ajm: remember to mount an heatsink as soon as possible, I bought a ATS-54230W-C1-R0 with board to stay on the safe way
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

If you don’t mind controlling the Ethernet via FPGA, I think Terasic’s DE0-Nano-Soc will be a good fit for you. I have no problem accessing the Ethernet from the FPGA side. Plus, it's really very cost-effecitve for a student like me.

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

Hi, 

 

Can you give me some more details regarding configuring the Ethernet from the FPGA fabric on a DE1-SoC board. I am trying to access the Ethernet port from NIOS II processor.  

 

Thanks.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
133 Views

NIOS II = Hard way

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