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Highly Flexible and Extensible Multi-Boot Scheme with Embedded Flash Support Disclosure Number: IPCOM000233808D
Publication Date: 2013-Dec-23

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This disclosure describe A Highly Flexible and Extensible Multi-Boot Scheme with Embedded Flash Support

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

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Highly Flexible and Extensible Multi- Boot Scheme with Embedded Flash Support

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Table of Content


Business Value

Prior Art

Problem Statement

Description of Invention



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This invention enables multi-boot (a.k.a Remote Update) scheme for future FPGA devices with or without embedded flash.

The proposed scheme supports multi-boot using both internal and external flash as boot source.

The proposed method allows users to direct boot from Application Configuration image or Factory Configuration image.


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Business Value

Enable multi-boot support for customers to utilize both internal and external flash

− Provide options for customers to boot from internal flashonly, external flash only or both.

Provide flexibility to suit customer needs on multi-boot

− Provide flexibility for customers to choose to direct boot from application or Factory Configuration image.

− Reduce total configuration time as the device does not need to go through Factory Configuration image before boot from Application Configuration image.

Provide multi-boot solution for non-volatile PLD

− Customers able to do multi-boot even without external flash.

− Provide competitive advantage as no other competitors have this feature yet.


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Prior Art (1/2)

Multi-boot of the existing devices receive a new configuration file from a remote source and write into external memory (SPI flash). This is as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Multi-boot Configuration

The Factory Configuration image is written in the flash only once by the system manufacturer and will be loaded by FPGA automatically.

The Factory Configuration image should always be located at address 0 and should never be remotely updated.

Factory Configuration image determines the page address of the next Application Configuration image to be loaded.





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Prior Art (2/2)

When power up, Factory Configuration image must be loaded before booting to Application Configuration image.

The Factory Configuration image is the default configuration and takes control if an error occurs while loading the ApplicationConfiguration image. Please refer Figure 2 as below.

Configuration Error Reload an Application Configuration

Power Up

Set Control Register and Reconfigure

Configuration Error

  Factory Configuration

Reload an Application Configuration

Configuration Error

Set Control Register and Reconfigure

NOTE: multi-boot of Application Configurations is controlled by a NIOS processor programmed in the Factory or Application Configurations

Application 1 Configuration

Application n Configuration

Figure 2: Transitioning between Configurations in multi-boot


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Problem Statement

Existing FPGA devices do not support multi-boot with both internal and external flash

− All existing devices only support multi-boot with usage ofexternal flash.

Existing non-volatile PLDs do not support multi boot

Existing FPGA devices ca...