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Valued Contributor III
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ddr2 board design

Hi, 

 

I'm implementing 4 DDR2 devices(64-bit bus) in a FPGA design. My FPGA is Cyclone IV. And I'm gonna to apply the Balanced Tree Topology. My question is about the differential clk pairs. Is it ok to generate only one differential clk pairs for 4 ddr2 devices? Is the drive ability enough? 

 

Another question is about the VREF. Because of too many pins placed in the same VREF group, I have to place the address/cotrol signal pins to other common I/Os whose VREF group is different from that of DQ/DQS/CLK. These signal are output from the perspective of FPGA host. Does this mean that they don't need VREF so that I could use the VREF pin as common I/O pins?  

 

Thanks
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Valued Contributor III
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Refer to Altera's "an 408: ddr2 memory interface termination, drive strength, loading, and design layout guidelines (https://www.altera.com/ja_jp/pdfs/literature/an/an408.pdf)". A balanced tree topology is not very common for DDR layout. Fly-by routing for the control bus and clock is recommended. 

 

There is a further issue - following the clock routing layout guidelines outlined in AN408. In order to branch out to realise a balanced tree topology to four devices I suspect you end up compromising the matched length and spacing guidelines. I may be wrong, but it certainly won't be as easy as the recommended fly-by routing. 

 

As to your second question - yes, you should be able to spread the DDR2 I/O across 2 banks. This is quite common especially for wide memory interfaces. However, as for use of the VREF pins - no, I doubt you'll be able to use them for general purpose I/O. The SSTL18 I/O standard that DDR2 requires will automatically cause Quartus to make use of the Vref pins, telling you to connect them to 0.9V. Remember, you can always use Quartus to qualify a pinout for you. I've just tried reusing the Vref pins for other uses, albeit for DDR3, but Quartus isn't having any of it. 

 

Cheers, 

Alex
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