Device Family: Arria® V GT, Arria® V GX, Arria® V GZ, Arria® V ST, Arria® V SX, Stratix® V E, Stratix® V GS, Stratix® V GT, Stratix® V GX

Type: Answers

Area: EMIF, Intellectual Property

IP Product: DDR3 SDRAM Controller MegaCore supporting UniPHY

Why does a delay sometime occur when accessing DDR3 memory ?


In the Quartus® II software version 12.1, when the UniPHY DDR3 IP configuration is for a single rank interface and meets these requirements, DQS tracking is enabled :

Stratix V, Arria V GZ.   Memory clock frequency >= 750MHz

Arria V (GX, GT, SX, ST) : Memory clock frequency  >= 534 MHz.  For a -5 speed grade device when the memory clock frequency >= 450MHz.  

During DQS tracking, the user's application will see a delay in obtaining DDR3 memory access.

There are two different types of delays :

1) DQS tracking samples : These occur after every memory refresh cycle and are memory reads. For a quarter rate interface this typically takes around 800ns.
2) DQS tracking updates : Once sufficient DQS tracking samples have been accumulated, an update to the DDR3 data path I/O delay settings occurs which results in a longer delay. DQS tracking updates take at least 4us and increase with the number of DQS groups in the interface.

If these delays do not affect your application, no change is required.
If these delays do affect your application, use the workaround below.


1) Edit the top level DDR3 IP file in the // Retrieval info: parameters section and set these two parameters as shown below :-

generic name="FORCE_DQS_TRACKING" value="DISABLED"
generic name="ENABLE_EXTRA_REPORTING" value="true"  (Only change this parameter if the IP is generated in Quartus II 12.1.  If generated in the Quartus II software version 12.1SP1 or later, the postamble timing is reported by default)

2) Regenerate the IP.

3) Compile the project.

4) Observe Timequest Report DDR. 
There are additional timing margins shown including postamble. DQS tracking only affects postamble timing.

If postamble timing has positive margins in all of the Timequest timing model cases (slow and fast at the temperature limits), the generated IP code with DQS tracking disabled can be used in your project.

If any other TimeQuest Report DDR timing margins show negative margin, this is a different issue to resolve.

If postamble timing shows negative margin, please contact Altera.