Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Any Replacement For Altera EPCQ Devices?

I previously wrote an article “Any Replacement For Altera EPCS Devices?” in year 2006.  I hope it has helped a lot of engineers out there.  This article serves the same purpose.  I just want to raise the same awareness here especially if this is your very first time using Altera FPGAs.  You can confidently replace the expensive EPCQ devices with N25Q serial flash from Micron.  The price difference is really huge!  Look at price table below.  I don’t even need to elaborate more.  Prices are quotated from Digikey or Newark website as of today.
Density
Altera Part Number
Price (USD$)
Micron Part Number
Price (USD$)
32Mb
EPCQ32SI8N
11.00
N25Q032A13ESC40G
1.08
64Mb
EPCQ64SI16N
18.00
N25Q064A13ESE40E
1.64
128Mb
EPCQ128SI16N
30.00
N25Q128A13ESE40E
1.88
256Mb
EPCQ256SI16N
50.00
N25Q256A13ESF40G
3.06

Besides the cost difference, there is a huge advantage by using N25Q128 or N25Q064.  Their packages are both SOIC-8 whereas EPCQ64 and EPCQ128 are only available in SOIC-16 packages as of today.  This could save you some board space!

I personally had tested N25Q128A13ESE40E and N25Q256A13EF840E on hardware to configure Altera FPGAs in both Active Serial x4 and Active Serial x1 modes.  It works fine.  No issue for the Quartus II software programmer to program the POF files into these N25Q devices, too.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this update. After reading the previous one we've started using Spansion 64&128mb on some old project. I found this morning that we will need to use an EPCQ256 for a new Arria V project using remote update (128mb is too small for 2 config files...).
As the Micron parts you mentionned are not available with a lot of stock I will try a S25FL256 instead.

Anonymous said...

I tested Spansion S25FL256 and it didn't work in AS x1 (it seems that some required OP codes are supported only in AS x4, but S25FL1278 works FYI).
So I now use your suggested Micron part (N25Q256) and it works ! Thanks again.

Pets Patsaator said...

Hi!
Could there be problems with "Altera Serial Flash Controller" Qsys component?
Anyways thanks for posting this great info...what a ripoff.

Pets

Applied Electronics said...

thanks for the update

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