Primitive Component: Flash Wrapper


prim_flash is a wrapper interface for technology specific flash modules.

As the exact details of each technology can be different, this document mainly describes the interface requirements and their functions. The wrapper however does assume that all page sizes are the same (they cannot be different between data and info partitions, or different types of info partitions).


Name type Description
NumBanks int Number of flash banks. Flash banks are assumed to be identical, asymmetric flash banks are not supported
InfosPerBank int Maximum number of info pages in the info partition. Since info partitions can have multiple types, this is max among all types.
InfoTypes int The number of info partition types, this number can be 1~N.
InfoTypesWidth int The number of bits needed to represent the info types.
PagesPerBank int The number of pages per bank for data partition.
WordsPerPage int The number of words per page per bank for both information and data partition.
DataWidth int The full data width of a flash word (inclusive of metadata)
MetaDataWidth int The metadata width of a flash word
TestModeWidth int The number of test modes for a bank of flash

Signal Interfaces

Overall Interface Signals

Name In/Out Description
clk_i input Clock input
rst_ni input Reset input
flash_req_i input Inputs from flash protocol and physical controllers
flash_rsp_o output Outputs to flash protocol and physical controllers
prog_type_avail_o output Available program types in this flash wrapper: Currently there are only two types, program normal and program repair
init_busy_o output The flash wrapper is undergoing initialization
tck_i input jtag tck
tdi_i input jtag tdi
tms_i input jtag tms
tdo_o output jtag tdo
bist_enable_i input lc_ctrl_pkg :: On for bist_enable input
scanmode_i input dft scanmode input
scan_en_i input dft scan shift input
scan_rst_ni input dft scanmode reset
flash_power_ready_h_i input flash power is ready (high voltage connection)
flash_power_down_h_i input flash wrapper is powering down (high voltage connection)
flash_test_mode_a_i input flash test mode values (analog connection)
flash_test_voltage_h_i input flash test mode voltage (high voltage connection)
flash_err_o output flash level error interrupt indication, cleared on write 1 to status register
flash_alert_po output flash positive detector alert
flash_alert_no output flash negative detector alert
flash_alert_ack input single pulse ack
flash_alert_trig input alert force trig by SW
tl_i input TL_UL interface for rd/wr registers access
tl_o output TL_UL interface for rd/wr registers access

Flash Request/Response Signals

Name In/Out Description
rd input read request
prog input program request
prog_last input last program beat
prog_type input type of program requested: currently there are only two types, program normal and program repair
pg_erase input page erase request
bk_erase output bank erase request
erase_suspend input erase suspend request
addr input requested transaction address
part input requested transaction partition
info_sel input if requested transaction is information partition, the type of information partition accessed
he input high endurance enable for requested address
prog_data input program data
ack output transaction acknowledge
rd_data output transaction read data
done output transaction done

Theory of Operations


Transactions into the flash wrapper follow a req / ack / done format. A request is issued by raising one of rd, prog, pg_erase or bk_erase to 1. When the flash wrapper accepts the transaction, ack is returned. When the transaction fully completes, a done is returned as well.

Depending on the type of transaction, there may be a significant gap between ack and done. For example, a read may have only 1 or 2 cycles between transaction acknowledgement and transaction complete. Whereas a program or erase may have a gap extending up to uS or even mS.

It is the flash wrapper decision on how many outstanding transaction to accept. The following are examples for read, program and erase transactions.





The flash wrapper may undergo technology specific initializations when it is first powered up. During this state, it asserts the init_busy to inform the outside world that it is not ready for transactions. During this time, if a transaction is issued towards the flash wrapper, the transaction is not acknowledged until the initialization is complete.

Program Beats

Since flash programs can take a significant amount of time, certain flash wrappers employ methods to optimize the program operation. This optimization may place an upper limit on how many flash words can be handled at a time. The purpose of the prog_last is thus to indicate when a program burst has completed.

Assume the flash wrapper can handle 16 words per program operation. Assume a program burst has only 15 words to program and thus will not fill up the full program resolution. On the 15th word, the prog_last signal asserts and informs the flash wrapper that it should not expect a 16th word and should proceed to complete the program operation.

Program Type

The prog_type input informs the flash wrapper what type of program operation it should perform. A program type not supported by the wrapper, indicated through prog_type_avail shall never be issued to the flash wrapper.

Erase Suspend

Since erase operations can take a significant amount of time, sometimes it is necessary for software or other components to suspend the operation. The suspend operation input request starts with erase_suspend_req assertion. Flash wrapper circuit acks when wrapper starts suspend. When the erase suspend completes, the flash wrapper circuitry also asserts done for the ongoing erase transaction to ensure all hardware gracefully completes.

The following is an example diagram

Error Interrupt

The flash_err_o is a level interrupt indication, that is asserted whenever an error event occurs in one of the Flash banks. An Error status register is used to hold the error source of both banks, and it is cleared on writing 1 to the relevant bit. Clearing the status register trigs deassertion of the interrupt.