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System Flash

The Flash memory attached to the USB microcontroller stores device firmware and settings as well as user data that is accessible via the FrontPanel API.  The API includes three methods for accessing this memory: FlashEraseSector, FlashWrite, and FlashRead.  Please refer to the FrontPanel User’s Manual and the FrontPanel API Reference for information about applying these methods.

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The Numonyx N25Q128A11B1240E is a 16 MiB Flash memory arranged into 256 64-kiB sectors.  Each sector contains 256 256-byte pages.  Sectors 0...15 are reserved for device firmware and settings and are not accessible to user software.  The remaining 15 MiB may be erased, written, and read using the FrontPanel API at any time even without a valid FPGA configuration.  Full 64 kiB sectors must be erased at a time.  However, contents may be read or written on any page address boundary.

Loading a Power-On FPGA Configuration

The user-area in System Flash may be used to store an Altera raw bit file (rbf) to configure the FPGA at power-on using USB 3.0 Reset Profiles.  Power-on configuration takes approximately 6-10 seconds from when power is applied.  A full Reset Profile may also be performed after configuration.

You can use the FrontPanel Application or the Flashloader sample to configure the power-on FPGA configuration.

No Power-On Configuration

Called with no arguments, the Flashloader sample will clear the existing Boot Reset Profile.  This has the effect of preventing an FPGA configuration from being loaded at power-on.  This functionality may also be accomplished from the API by setting an empty okTFPGAResetProfile using the API SetFPGABootResetProfile.  See the FrontPanel API Reference for details.

 

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