External Memory Interface Handbook Volume 2: Design Guidelines

ID 683385
Date 5/08/2017
Document Table of Contents

12.2. Hard and Soft Memory PHY

The Arria V and Cyclone® V device families support hard and soft memory interfaces. Hard memory interfaces use the hard memory controllers and hard memory PHY blocks in the devices.

The hard memory PHY is instantiated together with the hard memory controller. In addition to the PHY data path that uses the hard IP blocks in the devices (similar to how the soft PHY is implemented for device families supported by UniPHY), the hard memory PHY also uses the dedicated hardware circuitries in the devices for certain component managers in the sequencer, including the read write (RW) and PHY managers.

In soft memory PHY, the UniPHY sequencer implements the Nios® II processor and all the component managers in the core logic. The hard memory PHY uses dedicated hard IP blocks in the Arria V and Cyclone V devices to implement the RW and PHY managers to save LE resources, and to allow better performance and lower latency.

Each Arria V and Cyclone V device has a fixed number of hard PHYs. Dedicated I/O pins with specific functions for data, strobe, address, command, control, and clock must be used together with each hard PHY.

For the list of hard PHY dedicated pins, refer to the device pin-out files for your target device on the Pin-Out Files for Intel® FPGAa page of www.altera.com.

The soft memory PHY gives you the flexibility to choose the pins to be used for the memory interface. Soft memory PHY also supports wider interfaces than hard memory PHY.

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