It is a fairly old design and we bumped into the need to migrate EP1C3T100C6N to a device that is currently in production. Any suggestions?
We are looking for the cheapest one, of course.
And I am wondering which software do we need to use, as I am guessing Cyclone is no longer supported by Quartus.
Yes, Cyclone II is soon to be obsolete due to declining demand.
Are you looking to replace with 'pick & place holder' or 'similar/better features device'?
Yes, Quartus II 13.0 is the last version which supports for Cyclone II devices.
You can check through the 'Intel Download Center' link below.
I would like to replace EP1C3T100C6N with a cheaper next generation one, if they exist.
We inherited that old design and to be honest the price of EP1C3T100C6N makes this design not very competitive.
I am wondering what are my options.
I am not sure what did you mean by "pick and place holder", though. If you mean a pin to pin compatible - then yes, I'd like to consider these as well.
We've had the EP1C3 (which BTW is a Cyclone 1 part) in a design from 2009, and the high price made us migrate to the new Cyclone 10 10CL006. This is in a BGA package, so your production will get more expensive for two reasons: You will have to place capacitors on the back of the board, and the design rules of the board will have to be a little more high-tech: You'll need 5 mil trace/space and 0.2mm smallest drill for vias that fit in between the pads of the 256-ball BGA.
The number of logic cells is about twice as much, so your old design will easily fit.
The price of the 10CL006 is far below what brokers charge for the EP1C3 today. We did have some trouble due to missing and/or inaccurate documents about the Cyclone 10 series, but got the design working. Only drawback is that the re-configurable PLLs are not described in detail, but since the Cyclone 1 did not have that, you won't run into that problem.
greetings from Germany,
Than you for this useful answer,
You are right, this is Cyclone, not Cyclone II, my mistake.
Could you provide some details on migration process, in particular which software did you use and s/w version. And if you have used the "migration" feature of Quartus specifically. I know that our system was developed using Quartus v.9, which is I guess ancient now.
Unfortunately the guy who did the original design of the board we need to update is no longer working with our company and is not available for consulting, and we don't have any FPGA guys in our team , so need to figure out how bad the situation is and how to resolve this.
Don't think "migration" - always think "re-design", as this is only a similar FPGA family, but absolutely not similar enough to call the whole process of bringing the design into this decade a "migration".
The 256-ball BGA chip has way more IO pins, so you might be able to move some of the external logic (if there's any) into the chip, reducing a little bit of the cost that you will have for the more expensive PCB and the more expensive assembly process.
For the Quartus design, you should check what entry method was used: Is it Verilog, VHDL, schematic entry or even AHDL? I'd have to verify if AHDL (*.tdf files) is still supported by the latest Quartus, because I remember reading some note (long time ago) that AHDL is not recommended any more. In any case, it is *very* good news that yo have the Quartus files, so the contents of the FPGA will not have to be re-written; I'd expect it to be a few-days-job only if it's really using a depreciated entry method. Things that could make it faster would be a proper simulation, timing analysis and of course Verilog or VHDL sources. I expect that you will spend a lot more time re-designing the circuit board than compiling the design for the new chip.
You *will* need an FPGA guy to do the job. I'd consider hiring one to make sure that you don't end up in a year-long project where you find out step-by-step that you should have hired an expert from the start. There's a lot that can go wrong on your first design, and the kind of money you'll save on Cyclone 10 vs. Cyclone is easily wasted on months of try-and-error.
I don't know if it's appropriate to offer this kind of help here in the Intel forums - if you're interested, just contact me through eMail: jens at icomp dot de. What you see on our web page is retro-computing products, but we also do contract work such as design of high-reliability devices, mostly in the telecommunications sector.