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Write leveling calibration returns wrong values on a DDR3 layout with T-topology

Question asked by Peter Lischer on Sep 10, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 10, 2016 by yi Zheng

We have a product that uses an i.MX 6Q with Nanya DDR3 RAM in a 64bit configuration (total 1GByte RAM, 4 x16 chips with 2Gb capacity). The DDR3 RAM is routed with a T-topology and the trace length are the following:


  • CLK0/CLK1: 51.00mm
  • Address/Command lines: All between 50.41mm and 50.64mm (measured from controller pad to any of the RAM chips)
  • DQS0: 21.96mm
  • DQS1: 22.72mm
  • DQS2: 27.92mm
  • DQS3: 22.5mm
  • DQS4: 28.48mm
  • DQS5: 22.26mm
  • DQS6: 23.2mm
  • DQS7: 21.48mm


The first bit of each byte group are connected without swapping, the rest of the bits are swapped according to the layout needs. The bit (DQ) signals and the DQM signal of each byte group are matched to its according DQS signal.


I have created a configuration file with the "Mx6DQSDL DDR3 Script Aid V0.09.xlsx" and I am running the "DDR_Stress_Tester_V1.0.3". The write leveling calibration returns me the following results: 


MMDC_MPWLDECTRL0 ch0 after write level cal: 0x017C000A

MMDC_MPWLDECTRL1 ch0 after write level cal: 0x00120006

MMDC_MPWLDECTRL0 ch1 after write level cal: 0x017F0014

MMDC_MPWLDECTRL1 ch1 after write level cal: 0x017F0008


The delay values for 3 of the 8 bytes are extremely high, they are almost one clock cycle. When I run the DQS gating, read/write delay calibration afterwards, it fails ("ERROR FOUND, we can't get suitable value !!!!") and also the stress test is failing at any selected speed.


According to my calculations by taking in account the signal lengths, the correct write level calibration should be the following:


MMDC_MPWLDECTRL0 ch0:  0x001A001A

MMDC_MPWLDECTRL1 ch0:  0x001A0015

MMDC_MPWLDECTRL0 ch1:  0x001A0014

MMDC_MPWLDECTRL1 ch1:  0x001B0019


When I enter these values into the configuration file and skip the write level calibration, the DQS gating delay calibration is working fine and the stress test even works with the maximum frequency of 672MHz without giving any error.


I do not think there is anything wrong with the layout, since it even runs with the highest frequency without any problems. The question is why the write leveling calibration is outputting these wrong numbers. As far as I understand, the write leveling calibration is mainly needed when using a fly-by topology. Is it recommended in my case just to skip the calibration and use either the calculated values or the standard values of 0x001F001F (which also work without any problems)?


Thank you all in advance for any help.