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Configuration Management FAQs

- Why do I need to download firmware to my controller?

- Why do I need to download runtime FPGA images to my SynqNet nodes?

- Why can't MEI download firmware to my controller at the factory?

- What if I need to upgrade software in the field?

- Can I modify the FPGA (.fpg and .sff) files?


Why do I need to download firmware to my controller?

Only the machine developer knows what firmware version and configuration works with their application. By downloading firmware directly, you have complete control over your development and release versions.

Why do I need to download runtime FPGA images to my SynqNet nodes?

The node FPGA runtime images are tested and distributed with the software package. Using node FPGA runtime images from other software releases might work properly, but may not contain all the features needed for a particular software release. To guarantee compatibility, you should always use the node FPGA runtime images included with the software package.

Why can't MEI download firmware to my controller at the factory?

MEI can download your firmware, but it is expensive and causes several problems:

 
  1. You would need a custom part number for each controller with a different firmware image. Even if you use the same controller hardware in several machines, each version would need to be ordered, purchased, tracked, and stocked separately.

  2. Changing a firmware image (version or configuration) would require a new part number. This causes transition problems between "old" parts and "new" parts.

  3. Repairs and replacements are much more complicated.

  4. Field upgrades are not possible. Controllers must be returned to the factory to receive new firmware and a new part number.

 

What if I need to upgrade software in the field?

If you configure the flash memory as part of your application or installation, then it is very easy to upgrade software and/or firmware in the field. If you do not, you will need to manually update the flash memory.

Can I modify the FPGA (.fpg and .sff) files?

No. These files are binary and do not contain any configuration data.

 

 

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