Anthony Huereca

Parallel QuadSPI

Discussion created by Anthony Huereca Employee on Jun 27, 2013
Latest reply on Jun 10, 2015 by HU Q

We've been helping one of our alpha customers with using QuadSPI in parallel mode on Vybrid, so I wanted to create a thread about some helpful tips when trying to do the same. There will be a parallel mode booting example in the next release of the sample code.


  • Vybrid has two QuadSPI modules: QuadSPI0 and QuadSPI1. QuadSPI0 then has two QuadSPI ports associated with it: QuadSPI0_A and QuadSPI0_B. This lets you use the QuadSPI flashes connected to those ports in parallel. QuadSPI1 only has one port, and thus parallel mode cannot be used with it. So in summary, there are two modules on Vybrid, capable of interfacing with up to 3 flashes in all, but only QuadSPI0 can do parallel mode.


  • Parallel mode is enabled by setting QuadSPI_BFGENCR[PAR_EN]=1. When set, the data at offset 0x200 of each QuadSPI would be read at offset 0x400 when combined. This is very important to keep in mind when programming data into each flash.


  • Each flash in parallel mode holds a nibble (4 bits) of data from each byte. The way that data is split is a somewhat complicated, and so it's very important to properly split the data that ends up being programmed in each of the two flashes. The sample code contains a function split() which does this a word (2 bytes) at a time. The code is attached. It takes a source memory address, and outputs each half into the two destination memory addresses.


  • After programming the flashes, put the QuadSPI into parallel mode, and make sure the data you read back from the memory window matches what you think you should have. This will double check your programming and splitting algorithms.


Parallel Booting:

  • The QuadSPI boot header must be programmed into only *one* flash connected to QuadSPI0_A. The BootROM reads this configuration data, and only then puts the QuadSPI in parallel mode. So all other boot data and code after that must be programmed as if being read in parallel mode. What this ends up meaning is that you need three programming passes:
    1. Program the QuadSPI boot header into QuadSPI0_A flash at offset 0x0
    2. Program the split data starting at offset 0x200 (per the sample code) into QuadSPI0_A
    3. Program the split data starting at offset 0x200 (per the sample code) into QuadSPI0_B.

          The sample code will show this being done.


  • There are only a few minor changes in the QuadSPI boot header necessary.
    1. Set the "Parallel Port Enable" field
    2. Make sure the "Flash B1 Size" field is properly sized
    3. Make sure the "Port B Enable" field is set


  • There should be no other code changes necessary if you already have single QuadSPI flash boot working.


     Debugging Tips:

  • Make sure the data read back in parallel mode when you program the flashes match the binary you're trying to boot (except for the boot header section, which will look incorrect when read in parallel mode since it was only programmed into the single QuadSPI0_A flash).
  • Make sure the code works in single flash mode still
  • Make sure your IO Mux config isn't turning off the QuadSPI0_B pins.
  • As with any boot debugging, try turning on an LED as one of the very first instructions. If you reach there, showing you did boot successfully, then keep moving it back through your code until you find the spot it crashes on.

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