External Memory Interface Handbook Volume 3: Reference Material: For UniPHY-based Device Families

ID 683841
Date 3/06/2023
Document Table of Contents

3.4. Arria® 10 EMIF Architecture: Introduction

The Arria® 10 EMIF architecture contains many new hardware features designed to meet the high-speed requirements of emerging memory protocols, while consuming the smallest amount of core logic area and power.

The following are key hardware features of the Arria® 10 EMIF architecture:

Hard Sequencer

The sequencer employs a hard Nios II processor, and can perform memory calibration for a wide range of protocols. You can share the sequencer among multiple memory interfaces of the same or different protocols.

Hard PHY

The hard PHY in Arria® 10 devices can interface with external memories running at speeds of up to 1.3 GHz. The PHY circuitry is hardened in the silicon, which simplifies the challenges of achieving timing closure and minimal power consumption.

Hard Memory Controller

The hard memory controller reduces latency and minimizes core logic consumption in the external memory interface. The hard memory controller supports the DDR3, DDR4, and LPDDR3 memory protocols.

PHY-Only Mode

Protocols that use a hard controller (DDR4, DDR3, and LPDDR3) as well as RLDRAM 3, provide a "PHY-only" option. When selected, this option generates only the PHY and sequencer, but not the controller. This PHY-Only mode provides a mechanism by which to integrate your own custom soft controller.

High-Speed PHY Clock Tree

Dedicated high speed PHY clock networks clock the I/O buffers in Arria® 10 EMIF IP. The PHY clock trees exhibit low jitter and low duty cycle distortion, maximizing the data valid window.

Automatic Clock Phase Alignment

Automatic clock phase alignment circuitry dynamically adjust the clock phase of core clock networks to match the clock phase of the PHY clock networks. The clock phase alignment circuitry minimizes clock skew that can complicate timing closure in transfers between the FPGA core and the periphery.

Resource Sharing

The Arria® 10 architecture simplifies resource sharing between memory interfaces. Resources such as the OCT calibration block, PLL reference clock pin, and core clock can be shared. The hard Nios processor in the I/O AUX must be shared across all interfaces in a column.