Programmable Devices
CPLDs, FPGAs, SoC FPGAs, Configuration, and Transceivers
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19989 Discussions

Duplicating EPM7128?


I have a board with a seemingly failed EPM7128SLC84-15 in it**. I can easily source another device, but then I need to get the code onto it. The board has a JTAG connector for it.


So - I've programmed some 68 pin Altera chips years ago on a fairly regular EPROM programmer, and guess I could get one and an 84 pin socket, and maybe even source the code for it. But it would likely be much simpler to just get a ByteBlaster and program it in situ.


1) Can I program from scratch through the JTAG connector like this?

2) I assume if I can, then I could also pull the code out of a working chip (there's another working one of these sat next to it in case my "bad" chip is corrupted)?

3) what am I going to need to get to do this? I can get a USB - JTAG or old parallel port ByteBlaster easily enough too. Then what software am I going to need to get a license or find the floppies for? I'm happier doing it in windows, really, but that's unlikely to be the stalling point.




** I believe it's failed since it exhibits a number of issues that other Altera devices we've used in instruments over the years exhibit when they fail. Tends to be a partial failure, will control some elements but not others any more.

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Valued Contributor III

Quartus 13.0sp1 supports compiling code for and programming the EPL7128SLC84-15 (I know because I have devices and do this). A USB Blaster JTAG programmer can program the devices, assuming you can get the requisite .pof file.


However that version of Quartus cannot read a device and save the programmed contents as a .pof. It can only program a device and then verify the programming. I believe you have to go back to MaxPlus 9.0 or so to get a version of the tools that can read a device contents.


In any event if the security bit is set in the device programming you will not be able to read the contents no matter what. Only erase and reprogram.


From your description it appears you are a customer of this design, and not the original developer who might have the .pof file. Which means you are likely SOL.


Thanks for this.


> From your description it appears you are a customer of this design, and not the original developer who might have the .pof file.


It's all been a bit scattered to the winds, but I may be able to get the pof file. I have no idea if we'd have set the security bit back in the day. I've no interest in messing with code, merely programming the devices, so in that respect, yes, I'm essentially a customer. The company is technically still the same, but it's not easy to deal with older stuff any longer there. So basically if I have the pof file and a suitable JTAG device a recent Quartus can sort me out fine. Can I easily get hold of MaxPlus 9.0?



Valued Contributor III

Quartus 13.0sp1 is the last version to officially support these parts. It allows you to compile code from source and program parts. I don't know if later versions of Quartus (it is up to 18.0 I think) would allow you to just program from .pof; never tried it. I just have a 13.0sp1 install I use for these legacy parts.


Look here for MaxPlusII:

This is for 10.2; don't know if 9.0 is still available. Maybe 10.2 will do what you need, I don't know. Will require WinXP system or earlier as well.