[Here is a snippet log #firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject is a memory I/F.]
10/13 04:14:34 joe2371
Are questions about schematics portable between languages and
software? I'm trying to find out the correct way to connect one
signal to two FPGA pins. Do I want to treat my signal as a 1-bit bus
and put two taps on it? I thought that bus taps required the nets
on both sides to have compatible names (eg: Addr(19:0) -> Addr(15)
and not Addr(19:0) -> Foo). Is this splitting best done in the pin
assignment file (.ucf) ?
10/13 04:28:44 hiyuh
depends on transfer speed, imho.
10/13 04:32:33 hiyuh
e.g. I'm now working 8 boards (each one has 4 virtex4).
10/13 04:33:21 hiyuh
each virtex4 will input/output from/to others, the data syncs 128MHz
via simple parallel bus.
10/13 04:33:26 hiyuh
the output to outside of the board will be syncs 256MHz as LVDS.
10/13 04:33:38 hiyuh
sample pic is http://dev.gentoo.gr.jp/~hiyuh/misc/V4LXB.jpg
10/13 04:35:12 hiyuh
reference clock's accuracy and deskewing of sync clock is also PITA.
10/13 04:35:32 hiyuh
10/13 04:38:47 joe2371
That's a nice looking board. The Virtices have fans on them?
10/13 04:39:58 hiyuh
10/13 04:41:38 hiyuh
the left side one is japanese tobacco box, btw.
10/13 04:41:59 joe2371
With the letter C ?
10/13 04:42:10 hiyuh
10/13 04:43:12 joe2371
pretty neat. I'd hate to think what it costs.
10/13 04:44:27 joe2371
Do tools exists that can map a design across multiple chips
10/13 04:45:51 joe2371
...basically treating four FPGAs like one larger one, I mean.
The more I think about it, the less likely I imagine that is.
10/13 04:46:02 hiyuh
my bosses said, one Virtex4 LX200 (the best one of Virtex4 LX series)
will costs about 1000000 yen. but it should depends on quantities
of order, I guess. :p
10/13 04:47:05 joe2371
It's something like 1000 yen to the dollar, I think. Ouch.
10/13 04:47:43 hiyuh
I dunno that neat tool which automatically map it to them.
10/13 04:48:29 joe2371
I guess if they are Virtex chips, you are stuck with Xilinx tools.
10/13 04:49:39 hiyuh
yeah, it's kinda corporate (or project's?) policy, maybe.
10/13 04:50:48 hiyuh
so I can take a screenshot of fsckin' ISE crashing per working day. :p
10/13 04:51:15 joe2371
Only once per day? ISE crashes sometimes 3-5 times on me.
10/13 04:51:50 joe2371
At least it recovers my work OK. (so far)
10/13 04:52:49 hiyuh
I'd have to treat that crap *gently*, b/c it's my job atm. :p
10/13 04:55:31 hiyuh
well, using same name in sch and logical vhdl design is a bit of
difficult, if it's a dead-lined project.
10/13 04:57:03 hiyuh
and ucf craps are not only for constraining the pin assign.
10/13 04:57:40 hiyuh
splitting them to ucf is a good way to go, though.
10/13 04:57:44 joe2371
Ok. My lab homework assignment is to create a 1MB memory controller
with only 14 address pins. I am trying to connect one signal to
two memory chips (same signal, different pins).
10/13 04:58:04 hiyuh
10/13 04:58:09 joe2371
I created that 1-bit bus with two taps.
10/13 04:58:16 joe2371
I don't know if it works, though.
10/13 05:00:58 hiyuh
have you consider about the memories' I/F, driving load, or something?
10/13 05:01:19 hiyuh
10/13 05:02:16 joe2371
oh, no. I am still experimenting with my initial concept for
the design. I don't know what difficulties to expect.
10/13 05:03:31 hiyuh
ah, ok. then first step is to gaze the memories' spec sheet, I
10/13 05:03:49 joe2371
The documentation for the board did not talk about driving load
that I can remember. It just says which pins of the FPGA are tied
to which pins of the SRAMs
10/13 05:04:04 joe2371
I have the specs for the SRAM here
10/13 05:05:17 hiyuh
SRAM? then it doesn't need to be refreshing, right?
10/13 05:05:25 joe2371
10/13 05:05:39 joe2371
yes, I am lucky it is SRAM
10/13 05:06:18 joe2371
But I am unlucky I have only 14 address bus pins connected.
10/13 05:07:50 hiyuh
SRAM's address is 14bits?
10/13 05:08:02 hiyuh
or you have only 14bits on FPGA to specify SRAM's address but SRAM's
address is not 14bits?
10/13 05:09:38 joe2371
no, 18 bits for a 16-bit memory location, plus upper byte and lower
byte pins, plus there are two chips. So SRAMs actually have 20-bit
address (of bytes). But I have a CPU which has only 14 address pins
connected to the FPGA.
10/13 05:10:12 joe2371
I want to use the LSB of the address to select upper/lower byte.
And LSB+1 to select SRAM0/SRAM1.
10/13 05:10:34 joe2371
the missing MSBits are provided from a register tied to a port.
10/13 05:11:16 joe2371
but I need to connect the LSB and LSB+1 to four pins.
10/13 05:11:28 hiyuh
10/13 05:14:44 joe2371
I just thought of something. If chip enable is off, these SRAMs
go to low power mode. Maybe I should organize my pins differently
so that I will use less power when the memory is less than half
full... Hmmm... I'll think about that.
10/13 05:16:22 joe2371
I think it means changing one line of HDL. Then I can say my design
not only works, but is also efficient. :-)
10/13 05:17:43 joe2371
Nevermind. CE only goes high on reads and writes. It does not
matter if the memory contains data. (/me needs more coffee)
10/13 05:17:56 hiyuh
yeah, "separated CEs and shared others" sound good to me though.
10/13 05:18:38 joe2371
the data pins are not shared, though. Address pins are. But UB/LB/CE
are not shared either.
10/13 05:21:26 joe2371
the SRAM data sheet talks about "test load" only.
10/13 05:21:49 hiyuh
I guess "when CE is disabled, it doesn't care other signals". why
not shared address/data bus for that?
10/13 05:22:19 joe2371
They want you to be able to read 32 bits at one time, I think.
10/13 05:22:31 hiyuh
10/13 05:23:25 joe2371
they do have shared address, though.
10/13 05:23:40 hiyuh
10/13 05:25:25 joe2371
Since the connection between SRAM and FPGA cannot be changed, then I
think I can't think of anything I can do about the load from inside
10/13 05:26:08 joe2371
s/I\ think\ I\ can't\ think\ of/I can't think of/
10/13 05:26:23 hiyuh
well, the spec sheet should have typ val of rw timing by pic or
table. so all what you do may be to constrain some timing of FPGA's
10/13 05:27:05 joe2371
The SRAM is about 200 times faster than my CPU and is almost as fast
as the FPGA.
10/13 05:29:02 joe2371
My guess is that the SRAM will provide data long before the CPU
tries to read it. I hope I don't have too many timing problems.
10/13 05:31:57 hiyuh
deskewing for I/O like feedback path may have many timing problems,
too bad. ;p
10/13 05:33:10 hiyuh
only for output has little problem of timing (like for D/A), iirc.
10/13 05:33:40 joe2371
Do you know somewhere I can read more about this?
10/13 05:33:47 joe2371
What should I search for?
10/13 05:35:02 hiyuh
deskewing is common issue for FPGA design, see I/O and clock
management section of your device's users guide.
10/13 05:35:12 joe2371
10/13 05:35:20 hiyuh
good luck :)
10/13 05:35:34 joe2371
10/13 05:37:49 joe2371
"skew" was not found in the documentation. :-/
10/13 05:39:32 hiyuh
lol, what's your device?
10/13 05:40:08 joe2371
Digilent starter board with spartan3
10/13 05:42:35 joe2371
I found this in a referenced document "Digital Clock Managers also
eliminate clock skew"
10/13 05:43:19 hiyuh
yeah, DCM is a way for deskewing. :)
10/13 05:44:06 joe2371
I have 4 of them, it looks like.
10/13 05:47:19 hiyuh
well, maybe you want to use DCM_BASE or DCM_PS, I guess.
10/13 05:47:36 joe2371
I'll look them up. Thanks.
10/13 05:47:51 hiyuh