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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
991 Views

Moving from Cyclone III to MAX10.

We run out of LEs on Cyclone III so we decided to move to MAX10. Is it straight forward or it has some issues we should pay attention? 

One of the problems – Cyclone III has an external program memory. We have a program written in C# that loads the *.rpd file into the memory. MAX10 on the other hand has internal program memory. What should we do in order to download *.rpd file. Do I need a bootloader for MAX10?  

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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
64 Views

You should pay attention to: 

1- Number of PLLs. If you will use max10 of 144-pin package, it has one PLL only. 

2- Some members of the MAX10 does not support pre-initialized memory. So if you have a ROM or NIOS (program is inside the on-chip RAM) you will need to use the chip number that supports the pre-initialized memory. 

3- Refer to https://www.altera.com/en_us/pdfs/literature/an/an741.pdf (https://www.altera.com/en_us/pdfs/literature/an/an741.pdf

to know the remote update for the MAX10 family. I don't know if that document will help with rpd programming file issue. 

4- From my experience, the single supply Max10 consumes large power. Note that the current is consumed from 3/3.3V supply not from 1.2V like Cyclone 3
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
64 Views

Thank you for the reply. The document refers to a programming with Nios II witch we don't have.  

I'd like to understand the general concept. The program is stored in CFM0-CFM2. So we can program it with JTAG or "remotely" as the document implies? 

 

What for do I need pre-initialized memory? Is the program memory volatile? 

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
64 Views

The pre-initialized memory is useful in some cases like: 

1- Blocks that needs ROM memory. For ex, Numerical Controlled Oscillator (NCO). If you wanted to generate Sin and Cos values from the FPGA and sin and cos values are stored in a ROM. 

2- If you used NIOS processor and the program is in an on-chip memory. The on-chip memory will be pre-initialized with the NIOS software. 

 

The flash program memory of the max10 is not volatile of course. 

 

I am sorry I did not try the method in the document of the remote update. I only program the FPGA with the JTAG only. 

 

"so we can program it with jtag or "remotely" as the document implies?". I think the document explains programming with the NIOS processor and the programming files comes from UART interface which can be connected to external device.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
64 Views

Sadly enough I found no guide or application note how to program the chip through UART without Nios II.

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