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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
706 Views

TERASIC board warranty issues, beware

I want to warn fellow engineers about an issue I had with Terasic. I purchased a DE1 board from them and it promptly failed after using it only for 2 weeks. All I did with the board was turn it on and off and download to the FPGA. Did not attach anything to the board and did not touch the board except to take it out of the box. They stated that they supplied a 3 month warranty with the board with the initial purchase. I received an email that the board is NOT COVERED under warranty because it did not fail due to "natural causes". I have notified my credit card company and other people about this company and their fraudulent warranty statements. Please be careful when purchasing anything from this company. I believe they do not understand US law and I suspect that business in Taiwan is done differently than what we expect here in the US. 

 

Thanks 

 

Kuchinn
0 Kudos
8 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

All I did with the board was turn it on and off and download to the FPGA 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Speaking from the experience of having destroyed an FPGA board in my initial experiences with FPGAs ... 

 

I can understand why Terasic would have such a policy, as depending on what you downloaded, that would be enough to destroy your board. 

 

For example, lets assume you are new to FPGAs and you did not appreciate the importance of pin assignments. If you created an HDL design and synthesized it for the DE1, then the default pin assignments would be random. Quartus warnings would indicate that you have not assigned pins, but as a new user, you may have ignored these warnings or not appreciated their relevance. If the random pin assignments caused pin conflicts on the board, then you can potentially destroy the FPGA. 

 

So, did your design include pin assignments that matched the DE1 schematic? 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

Actually, after having personally done 10 production ASIC designs and 2 dozen production FPGA designs, I only recall one FPGA being destroyed due to mis-programming.  

 

Kuchinn
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

Hi Kuchinn, 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

Actually, after having personally done 10 production ASIC designs and 2 dozen production FPGA designs, I only recall one FPGA being destroyed due to mis-programming.  

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Ok, so you know what you are doing then. 

 

Assuming your board did not fail due to misprogramming and destroying the FPGA, were you able to determine what stopped working on your DE1 board? Perhaps it is something simple like a failed power supply. 

 

I think if you were able to identify a fault in your board Terasic would be willing to fix it. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

I wish it was as easy as a failed power supply. The FPGA has stopped working but the power supply is functional. Terasic has indicated that I must have zapped it with static. That is the easy response to any failed chip. Just want them to honor their warranty like any reputable US company would do. 

 

Kuchinn
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

I wish it was as easy as a failed power supply. The FPGA has stopped working but the power supply is functional. Terasic has indicated that I must have zapped it with static. That is the easy response to any failed chip. Just want them to honor their warranty like any reputable US company would do. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Did you provide this sort of debugging summary to Terasic? I can understand them refusing to replace a board damaged by the pin assignments error above, but I would hope that given a detailed failure analysis that you would be able to convince them it was not your fault. 

 

How about making a bargain with them - "Look, I'll buy a new board, and send you this old one. If you can determine the failure issue, and determine that it was not my fault, please reimburse me for the purchase of the new board". 

 

Yeah, I know, given a bad experience, its not like you want to buy a second bad experience ... 

 

What features did the DE1 have that you wanted to use? The Arrow BeMicro Cyclone V and MAX 10 boards are low-cost and good-enough for a lot of FPGA development. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

I've had Terasic do a warranty repair on a SocKit board I bought. The 3rd time I plugged in the JTAG USB cable, the connector came right off the board. Either the cable or connector must have been out of spec because it was much harder to plug in than other micro USB cables. They sent me a whole new board with a bracket in place to keep the connectors from coming off. I've plugged cables in dozens of times since and it's fine. Terasic is a good company that handled the issue properly. The only down side was that shipping to Taiwan and back was slow and expensive. A US based service option would be nice. I'm sure these boards get beat up in University labs.

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

We are sorry that this RMA case needs to come to this point. As there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding towards our company policy and our RMA flow. 

 

As stated very clearly on our website, our warranty only covers the natural defective product. Which, we never change our statement when we receive RMA.  

And, we are not able to work like those big whole sale companies that makes double or triple profit and can easily allow any return if the customer is not happy about the purchased items. 

Our margin simply can't allow or afford such policy.  

 

FYI, our pricing is always set at the promotional scale. This is to consider that a lot of academic users are using our DE product for learning or research propose who might have budget limitation.  

This is why, we have to be careful when handling our RMA case. However, we've never tried to play any tricks and cheat our way out from any RMA case.  

This RMA case is quite special, as we've never received such compliant before after shipping out so many around the world. 

When we received the RMA board, during the first open-short testing, we've gotten the result that VCC1P1 and VCC2P5 [VCCA_FPLL] IO pins are already NG and the FPGA is damaged.  

This is why we've asked if this DE1-SoC was connected with other board or card. From our past RMA experiences, such damage are closely related to connection problem to another card or board.  

To us, it is quite hard to accept if the board was just being turned on and off and then damaged.  

 

It is understandable how RMA could be a tiring process, and not fun when discussing about the possible root cause of the problem. We really don't want to offend any of our board users. 

This is why we are willing to make the exception this time as stated in today's reply to Mr. Kuchinn.  

 

We didn't have to make this public statement, as we try to treat everyone with equal treatment. And, we certainly hope by making the above statements, all the misunderstanding can be cleared.  

We also hope we can resolve this issue peacefully and quickly, so that Mr. Kuchinn could continue on with his work. 

 

Thank you everyone for your support. We really appreciate it. 

 

Terasic Inc. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
10 Views

To Terasic Inc, 

 

I did not want to make this public either but I was left with no choice. I DID NOT short anything like I said to you before. The only thing that I touched was the power on and off button. No other cards were plugged in. It is very offensive to me to indicate that I shorted two pins together. I am happy that you are going to replace my board under warranty and let's put this issue behind us.  

 

Kuchinn
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