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Registered: ‎05-25-2016

Compact Flash slave implementation of FPGA

I am planning to implement a Compact Flash slave on FPGA.

A NOR Flash is connected to FPGA, FPGA is connected to Compact Flash Reader.

The Compact Flash Reader could read or write the NOR Flash via FPGA.

Which means that FPGA acts as a bridge between the NOR Flash and the Compact Flash Reader.

Is this idea feasible or not?

Could anyone give me some advices?

Thanks in advance!

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3 Replies
Scholar drjohnsmith
Registered: ‎07-09-2009

Re: Compact Flash slave implementation of FPGA

Do I understand,


you have a CF interface, into which you want to plug NOR flash, using an FPGA to do the translation ?


How much of the CF interface specification do you wish to mimic ?


the data part is relatively straight forward, 

     meeting all the CF control registers, a bit more interesting,

          as for CF timing !!  max time till first response etc...


If your CF driver is a processor, running a OS, it might be expecting a lot of the CF to be present ,

    if the sw is under your control, then you could make it a simple interface.


You also have to look at wear levelling in the NOR , and all of the programming / erasing / block timming and what to do on the CF whilst your doing that...


quite a lot to handle, in a state machine FPGA.


are you worried about things like size and power , and live insertion ?


Have you looked at a CF card, 



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Scholar u4223374
Registered: ‎04-26-2015

Re: Compact Flash slave implementation of FPGA

It should definitely be possible; after all, a CompactFlash card just has some embedded controller doing the translation between the CF interface and NOR/NAND flash.


CF has a bunch of different modes. Doing an FPGA design that only supports the most basic ones (ie PIO) is probably not too hard; a modern microcontroller could probably do it easily. Doing an FPGA design to support the latest and fastest modes (UDMA at 167MB/s) will be much harder.

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Registered: ‎05-25-2016

Re: Compact Flash slave implementation of FPGA

xapp398 may be a good reference.
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