Sunday, November 3, 2013

A bit about firmware loading process

The FPGA stores its configuration (firmware) in internal static memory cells (SRAM).

This internal FPGA memory is aptly called configuration SRAM.

Since configuration SRAM is volatile, it must be initialized every time the FPGA is powered on.

 This can be done in two ways: from the USB port or from the on-board flash programmable ROM.

When power is first applied, dedicated circuitry inside the FPGA automatically loads the configuration SRAM from this configuration flash ROM, if it contains FPGA firmware.

(Note that even if the ROM does contain a valid firmware load, the FPGA configuration SRAM can be overwritten with a new firmware load from the
USB port at any time.)

For the board to work immediately on power-up, the configuration flash ROM must be programmed with the FPGA firmware load.

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