Board Developer Center

The FPGA Board Developer Center provides resources related to board level design specifically for Intel® FPGAs. The goal is to help you successfully develop printed circuit boards (PCBs) using Intel FPGAs.

Please use the links below to access pin connection guidelines, package and thermal data, BSDL files, and other board design information.

1. Design Considerations

Using Engineering Sample (ES) Devices

If you are designing a board using an engineering sample (ES) devices, please contact your Intel® sales representative or file an Intel® Premium Support case to get the latest board design guidelines for ES parts.

Board Design Guidelines for Intel FPGAs

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Board Design Solution Center

The Board Design Solution Center provides resources related to board design for Intel FPGAs. The goal is to help you implement successful high-speed PCBs that integrate FPGAs and other elements.

Intel FPGA Board Design Guidelines

This application note provides the recommended PCB design guidelines for some of the more complex package options offered for Intel programmable devices. Designers should also refer to the board design guidelines that are documented for the specific device family.

Pin Connection Guidelines

Each Intel FPGA family has its own pin connection guidelines. These guidelines are only recommendations by Intel. It is the responsibility of the designer to apply simulation results to the design and verify proper device functionality.

Schematic Review Checklists

Intel provides FPGA schematic review worksheets intended to help you review your schematic and adhere to Intel's guidelines. These worksheets are based on the respective device pin connection guidelines and other referenced Intel documentation applicable to board-level pin connections that need to be considered when you finalize your schematic.

Power Tree

Estimate the power consumption of the device and the decoupling networks that are required.

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Early Power Estimator

Intel's power analysis tools, including early power estimators and the Intel® Quartus® Prime software Power Analyzer, give you the ability to estimate power consumption from early design concept through design implementation. As you provide more details about your design characteristics, estimation accuracy is improved with Power Analyzer technology.

Power Distribution Network (PDN)

The PDN design tool provides a fast, accurate, and interactive way to determine the right number of decoupling capacitors for optimal cost and performance trade-offs.

On-Chip Debug

Plan for system-level debug to assist in board bring-up and checkout.

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On-Chip Debugging Resource Center

Intel provides a portfolio of on-chip debugging tools. The on-chip debugging tools allow real-time capture of internal nodes in your design to help you verify your design quickly without the use of external equipment.

Boundary-scan

Intel provides boundary-scan description language (BSDL) files for IEEE Standard 1149.1, IEEE Standard 1149.6, and IEEE Standard 1532 specifications. BSDL files provide a syntax that allows the device to run boundary-scan test (BST) and in-system programmability (ISP).

2. Learning Resources and Prerequisites

Create Your My Intel Account

  • Create your My Intel account from the My Intel page.
  • Your My Intel account allows you to file a service request, register for a class, download software, access resources, training courses, and much more.

Design Flow

This figure shows the typical design flow using an Intel FPGA or SoC FPGA. For more detailed explanation on each step, refer to the AN 597 Getting Started Flow for Board Designs.

Foundational Learning: Training Classes

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Description

Read Me First

A starting place to quickly understand and use Intel® products, collateral, and resources.

Download and Installation Support Resources

You have several options for software download, software updates, and additional device support. The option you choose depends on your download speed, design requirements, and installation methods.

Technical Training

Intel FPGA Technical Training offers training to help you sharpen your competitive edge. Take advantage of the interactivity of one of our instructor-led/virtual classroom courses, or the flexibility and convenience of an online course today.

3. Getting Started

Component Selection

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Description

Power Tree

The power tree illustrates the main power supply flow through a tree of power converters that convert the main power supply to the voltage and current required to drive various loads. Every FPGA design has unique power consumption requirements that require a unique power tree.

Voltage Regulators

This white paper discusses how to identify the various rails associated with Intel® devices, analyze the power requirements, and select the appropriate voltage regulator modules. This white paper also walks through a practical design example.

Board Management Controller

Many of today’s FPGAs and SoCs have multiple power rails that need to be turned on in a specific order and monitored during runtime to ensure proper device operation. For more information, refer to the AN 761 Board Management Controller Application Note.

External Memory Interface

Intel provides solutions for a host of mainstream SDRAM and SRAM memory protocols as well as serial memory technologies, such as Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) and Bandwidth Engine. Our memory interface solutions include high-performance memory controller options, memory PHY options, and multi-port front-end options.

Schematic

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Cadence PCB Design Tools

View the PCB footprint libraries and symbols for Cadence Capture CIS and Allegro Design Entry HDL (Allegro DE-HDL).

Mentor Graphics PCB Design Tools

View the PCB footprint libraries for Mentor Graphics PCB design tools.

Pin-Out Files

This website contains downloadable files listing Intel FPGA pin-out descriptions. There are up to three types of files for each device: Portable Document Format files (.pdf), text files (.txt), and Microsoft* Excel files (.xls).

Pin Connection Guidelines

This website provides the recommended pin connections for each device. Note: You need to apply simulation results to the design to verify proper device functionality.

Early Power Estimation

This website contains information on power analysis and estimation. Power analysis and early power estimators give you the ability to estimate power consumption from early design concept through design implementation.

Power Distribution Network

This website contains information on power distribution network (PDN) design. For each power supply, you must choose a network of bulk and ceramic decoupling capacitors. While you can use SPICE simulation to simulate the circuit, the PDN design tool provides a fast, accurate, and interactive way to determine the right number of decoupling capacitors for optimal cost and performance trade-offs.

Thermal Management

This website provides information on thermal management. Thermal management is an important design consideration. Intel® device packages are designed to minimize thermal resistance and maximize power dissipation. Some applications dissipate more power and will require external thermal solutions, including heat sinks.

Package and Thermal Resistance

This page contains links to thermal resistance and package details for all device families.

Schematic Review

This website provides schematic review worksheets to help you review your schematic and adhere to design guidelines

Simulation

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Description

Signal Integrity Terminology

This website contains information on transmission line effects, impedance mismatch, signal attenuation, crosstalk, and simultaneous switching outputs.

SPICE Models

This website contains information on SPICE kits for Intel FPGAs. SPICE kits for Intel FPGAs provide models that support a wide variety of I/O features across process, voltage, and temperature (PVT).

IBIS Models

This website contains information on IBIS models. The IBIS model allows the development of device models that preserve the proprietary nature of integrated circuit device designs, while at the same time providing information-rich models for signal integrity and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) analysis.

High-Speed PCB Design Guidelines

This document is a guideline for PCB layouts and designs associated with high-speed systems.

Dialectric Material Selection

This application note is for PCB designers planning to use high-speed transceiver-based devices and addresses two key design topics:

  • Dielectric material selection
  • Additional skew introduced in differential pairs because of local variations in dielectric constant (Er), resulting from the fiberglass weave pattern in a dielectric material.

It also discusses the various strategies you can employ to compensate for the fiberglass weave effect, expands on existing knowledge, and lists various technical papers for additional information.

Board Skew

This website allows you to download the Board Skew Parameter Tool. The Board Skew Parameter Tool results are based on your simulated printed circuit board trace delays, the device package delays (if applicable), and the formulas from the External Memory Interfaces Parameters Handbook. The tool takes the input provided and calculates the skew parameters.

Layout

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Device Layout Review

This document guides you in completing a board layout review using an Intel FPGA. The technical content is divided into focus areas such as Power Planes and Stack Up, Critical Signals, Component Mounting, and Connectors.

PCB Footprints (Cadence)

PCB Footprint Libraries for Cadence* Allegro PCB Tools.

PCB Footprints (Mentor Graphics)

Mentor Graphics* Expedition Tool Footprint (physical package information) library.

Board Bring-Up and Checkout

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On-chip Debugging Resource Center

Start here to learn about all the tools, examples, documentation, and training available to assist with PCB bring-up and help you debug your FPGA design.

BSDL Support

The IEEE 1149.1 BSDL files available on this website are used for pre- and post-configuration BST.

External Memory Interface Toolkit

The EMIF Toolkit lets you diagnose and debug calibration problems and produce margining reports for your external memory interface.

Transceiver Toolkit

The Transceiver Toolkit helps FPGA and board designers validate transceiver link signal integrity real time in a system and improve board bring-up time. Test for bit-error rate (BER) while simultaneously running multiple links at your target data rate to validate your board design.

System Console

System Console is a flexible system-level debugging tool that helps designers quickly and efficiently debug their design while the design is running at full speed in an FPGA. System Console enables designers to send read and write system-level transactions into their Platform Designer (formerly Qsys) to help isolate and identify problems. It also provides a quick and easy way to check system clocks and monitor reset states, which can be particularly helpful during board bring-up.

4. Developer Resources

Developer Resources

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Signal and Power Integrity Support Center

Learn about signal integrity tools and models as well as power analysis and estimation.

Packaging and Thermal Resistance

Package information including ordering codes, package acronym, leadframe material, lead finish (plating), JEDEC* outline reference, lead coplanarity, weight, moisture sensitivity level, and other special information. The thermal resistance information includes device pin count, package name, and resistance values.

External Memory Interfaces Support Center

The External Memory Interface (EMIF) Handbook contains information and documentation regarding external memory interface design, intellectual property (IP) implementation and parameterization, simulation, debug, and much more.

FPGA Configuration Troubleshooter

You can use this troubleshooter to help you identify possible causes to a failed FPGA configuration attempt. While this troubleshooter does not cover every possible case, it does identify a majority of problems encountered during configuration.

Support Resources Portal

A comprehensive collection of FPGA documentation, how-to videos, a community forum, online training courses, and a design store where customers can access an array of FPGA design examples. Hours of Engineer-to-Engineer videos provide a visual walkthrough of solving common design problems.

5. Additional Support Resources

Support Center

Help is just a click away! The Support Center provides online technical resources from training classes to design examples to forums that guide you through every step of the design process.

Intel Community

Intel Community is a community website that enables collaboration between different users of Intel FPGA products. Check the Embedded Design Suite (EDS) and SoC Discussion sections. Use the search engine to find relevant materials. You are also encouraged to update and contribute.