Friday, January 23, 2015

Expansion interface: the depature

My attempts to adjust the expansion header routing by changing pin assignments minimally to make the two headers pinout compatible has turned into an unbounded problem. I decided to change tack. I wiped the current routing, assigned the nets manually, and defined a few groupings to direct the routing.

Within each group I've allowed myself varying level of routing flexibility depending on how critical the net locations are. So far it is going well, hopefully I'll have time to complete the routing this weekend analyze the results. A summary of the working groupings are listed below in priority order:

DQ Group 0 & 1   Each expansion header is connected to a bank that contains two DSQ groups. One of these DQ groups contains the PCLK inputs for the bank as well as the VREF net; This DQS is designated as DQ0 and routed to the long side of the expansion header

PCLK, DQS0, & DQS1   The PCLK input and data strobe (DQ0 & DQ1) differential pairs are assigned to fixed locations that cannot be changed. These nets are routed first and are only allowed layer transitions at the ECP5 and at the expansion header (never more than two). Figure 1 shows my initial route of these nets.

DQ0 pairs 0 & 1 / DQ1 pairs 0 & 1   The first two data pairs adjacent to the data strobes must be "true LVDS TX" pairs from the ECP5 (identified as A/B pairs). They are labeled DQ0-0, DQ0-1, DQ1-0, and DQ1-1. Any A/B pair from the same DQ group may be used. I was able to route these pairs only using vias at the ECP5 and/or the expansion header, like the highest priority pairs (see Figure 2). I'm not sure if we should allow more or not, but since the routing went well I don't have to worry about that today.

DQ0 pairs 2, 3, & 4   The last three differential pairs for each data group (DQ0-2, DQ0-3, DQ0-4, DQ1-2, DQ1-3, DQ1-4) are all routed to ECP5 C/D pairs. Each set of three pairs within the same DQ group (ie. DQ0-2, DQ0-3, & DQ0-4) may be switched to each routing. I have not yet routed these pairs on Titan, but from my examination of the current state of the route (Figure 2) I've concluded that I will have to allow additional via transitions to route all of these pairs (hopefully no more than one additional via).

VREF & D0   The final two nets in the DQ0 data group will be routed as single ended nets (not differential). This is because the VREF net is on a diff pair true net on one bank and on a compliment net on the other bank. There is no common routing that will allow these nets to be differential and have the VREF pin on the same expansion header pin.

D1, D2, D3, & D4   Since the DQ1 data group does not contain a PCLK input or VREF, it has four "extra" nets to route. These will all be routed as singled ended nets.

Figure 1. Top Priority Nets Routed.

Figure 2. Second Priority Nets Routed.

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