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

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

Because initially no communication can be reliably performed with the memory device, the sequencer uses a guaranteed write mechanism to write data into the memory device. (For the QDR II protocol, guaranteed write is not necessary, a simple write mechanism is sufficient.)

The guaranteed write is a write command issued with all data pins, all address and bank pins, and all command pins (except chip select) held constant. The sequencer begins toggling DQS well before the expected latch time at memory and continues to toggle DQS well after the expected latch time at memory. DQ-to-DQS relationship is not a factor at this stage because DQ is held constant.

Figure 25. Guaranteed Write of Zeros

The guaranteed write consists of a series of back-to-back writes to alternating columns and banks. For example, for DQ[0] for the DDR3 protocol, the guaranteed write performs the following operations:

  • Writes a full burst of zeros to bank 0, column 0
  • Writes a full burst of zeros to bank 0, column 1
  • Writes a full burst of ones to bank 3, column 0
  • Writes a full burst of ones to bank 3, column 1

(Different protocols may use different combinations of banks and columns.)

The guaranteed write is followed by back-to-back read operations at alternating banks, effectively producing a stream of zeros followed by a stream of ones, or vice versa. The sequencer uses the zero-to-one and one-to-zero transitions in between the two bursts to identify a correct read operation, as shown in the figure below.

Although the approach described above for pin DQ[0] would work by writing the same pattern to all DQ pins, it is more effective and robust to write (and read) alternating ones and zeros to alternating DQ bits. The value of the DQ bit is still constant across the burst, and the back-to-back read mechanism works exactly as described above, except that odd DQ bits have ones instead of zeros, or vice versa.

The guaranteed write does not ensure a correct DQS-to-memory clock alignment at the memory device—DQS-to-memory clock alignment is performed later, in stage 2 of the calibration process. However, the process of guaranteed write followed by read calibration is repeated several times for different DQS-to-memory clock alignments, to ensure at least one correct alignment is found.

Figure 26. Back to Back Reads on Pin DQ[0]