Death of FPGA

I was planing big article about FPGA chips and was testing all circuits when suddenly connected on Altera Flex I/O pin to LCD bias power supply. This was the end of my Altera FLEX. Here is the picture of my workbench…:

FPGA design workbench

Here you can see breadboard with power supply, ByteblasterMV programming cable, Altera Flex testing PCB with EPF10K10TC144-4 on board, rotary encoder, possible substitute for flex- Altera Cyclone II (EP2C5T144C6N) and VGA connector to old CRT monitor.

Just before the accident this all stuff generated such image on old CRT VGA monitor:

Pong game using FPGA chip

It is not my invention, I just used source code from the internet site. Only I changed a bit of the source to adapt it to my hardware and oscillator frequency. That blob on the middle of the screen is the “ball”. It bounces from all sides of monitor and from the paddle movable by rotary encoder.

So I decided to port all this stuff from CRT VGA to controlless LCD panel. But somehow I connected encoder’s ground pin to LCD bias (-15… -20V). This was great shock for FPGA chip and whole I/O bank was dead. The chip is very hot. Most interesting, that core is still working and I can see FPGA on JTAG chain. I don’t have any diagnostics software, but chip is reporting itself as damaged.

So, I am very sad and decided to suspend this project for some time. I ordered (and received- this blog entry is translation of Lithuanian blog and it is not “up-to real time”) chips from eBay for future experiments. Cyclone is working too, but it is soldered to custom PCB and I have only few I/O pins available for use.

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