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Intel SOC used as FPGA only

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kcmurphy88

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I'm working on a project that calls for an Intel Arria 10 GX part. All processing will be in an external ARM (This is a port of an older design, which had an external uC).

Unfortunately, I am having trouble getting the GX parts, but the equivalent SX parts are available (higher cost). Since I really don't need or want the internal ARM, can I disable it somehow? Do I have to build in the ARM in a Qsys structure, then disable it, or can I just ignore that it's there and never boot it? Can I run it in a low power mode? It seems that it does not impact the I/Os that the FPGA uses, but Altera manuals can be misleading. Is this true?

Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing in the Altera/Intel SOC line?
 

pbernardi

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Not sure about Intel/Altera, but I had similar issues with Xilinx in the past.

In Xilinx case, ARM initilization was needed because the processor made the FPGA programming. So, if the processor is not initialized, it is not possible to program the FPGA.
 

FlyingDutch

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Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing in the Altera/Intel SOC line?
Hello,

on "Zybo" board (Xilinx ZYNQ700) from Digilent I was able to "progam" (by JTAG header) a FPGA part separately from programming a hard processor (ARM Cortex A9). But I don't know if this is possible on other FPGA boards (especially Intel). On case when you have to initialize PS too, one have to load FSB ( First Stage Bootloader) to ARM processor and then using them program FPGA fabrick.

Best Regards
 

FvM

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I believe, your questions are essentially answered in the Arria 10 Device Overview document:
The FPGA fabric and HPS in the SoCs are powered independently. You can reduce the clock frequencies or gate the clocks to reduce dynamic power.

You can configure the FPGA fabric and boot the HPS independently, in any order, providing you with more design flexibility.
--- Updated ---

I guess that keeping HPS in reset already does the trick.
 
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dpaul

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@FlyingDutch

on "Zybo" board (Xilinx ZYNQ700) from Digilent I was able to "progam" (by JTAG header) a FPGA part separately from programming a hard processor (ARM Cortex A9). But I don't know if this is possible on other FPGA boards (especially Intel). On case when you have to initialize PS too, one have to load FSB ( First Stage Bootloader) to ARM processor and then using them program FPGA fabrick.

The OP is asking for suggestion for Intel FPGA not Xilinx.
 

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