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Status: Sleeping (#72).

fejkon is a basic host bus adapter (HBA) for Fibre Channel (and thus, FICON) implemented on the DE5-Net board. The aim is to provide easy access to add or consume Fibre Channel services, such as FCP or FICON from an ordinary server.

DE5-Net running Fejkon

Fejkon, which was born out of the need for a fake FICON HBA, is a Swedish pun playing on the word "fejk" which translates "fake". It is pronounced similarly to the "FIC" in "FICON".

It is meant to be one of the possible access ports to fikonfarm enabling IBM mainframes to e.g. use Hercules disks natively.

In the past there existed a commerical product called FLEXCUB that seems to have done something similar for ESCON.


The overall system design is as shown below. Using quad SFP+ ports Fejkon is configured to communicate using 8GFC (no speed negotiation will be implemented).

8G Fibre Channel

 | FC Port 0 +<-------------------------------+
 +-----+-----+                                |
       ^                                      |
       |  (Optional) Traffic Bridging         |
       v                                      |
 +-----+-----+                                |
 | FC Port 1 +<--------+                      v
 +-----------+         |        +-------------+--------------+
                       +------->+                            |        +----------------+
 +-----------+                  |                            |        |                |
 | FC Port 2 +<---------------->+       Packet Stream        +<------>+  PCIe 3.0 x8   |
 +-----------+                  |   Input/Output Mux/Demux   |        |                |
                       +------->+                            |        +----------------+
 +-----------+         |        |                            |
 | FC Port 3 +<--------+        +----------------------------+


Target board right now is the DE5-Net from Terasic. They are available for $300 - $600 on eBay as of this writing and are capable of implementing 4x 8 Gbit/s Fibre Channel ports on a PCIe Gen 3 x8 port.

There are a few modifications to the board that are recommended.

  • Remove DDR3 SODIMMs, they are not needed and contribute to power drain
  • Add a heatsink onto of the LTM4601V

DE5-Net Voltage Regulators

Configuring and Building

FPGA tooling can be a bit stuborn to work with, and if you do not have an FPGA background you might not want to use them.

Fejkon uses Kconfig menu configuration for configuring the board features, and can be configured and built like this:

$ pip3 install kconfiglib     # Required build dependency
$ make menuconfig             # Optional: Change configuration
$ make

The configuration interface looks like this:

Menuconfig interface

Usage Notes

Hopefully the card is straight forward to use, but every product needs a manual. This is it.

Port Status

The leds on the front of the card next to the RJ45 port signals when the port is considered active. This means for FC that the port state machine has entered the ACTIVE state.

The leds next to the four switches on the board indicate if the transmit laser is activated.

The leds next to the SFP cages indicate whether or not an SFP module is detected in that slot.


The fan is configured to only turn on when the temperature reaches 60°C. If that happens the fan will remain on until the board has been reset.

Wireshark / tcpdump

libpcap defaults to DLT_FC2 which does not account for SOF/EOF which are included in fejkon - so you need to tell it that those are included.


tshark -i fc0 -y FC_2_WITH_FRAME_DELIMS

MSI Interrupts

Currently fejkon is using multiple MSI interrupts, not MSI-X. MSI-X is a bit more complicated to implement, and the benefits of MSI-X over MSI isn't very documented when you don't need the thousands interrupts that MSI-X offers.

During development it was discovered that e.g. QEMU does not do multiple MSI interrupts by default, and some kernel options are needed as well. The symptom of the platform not being setup correctly is that pci_alloc_irq_vectors(pcidev, 1, irqs, PCI_IRQ_ALL_TYPES); only returns one available vector instead of the requested number. There appears to be other people that have ran into the same issue. In the kernel this support for multiple MSI interrupts seems to be gated by MSI_FLAG_MULTI_PCI_MSI.

To enable the kernel support, enable CONFIG_IRQ_REMAP. On Intel, you should see mentions of DMAR in your dmesg. This is usually enabled by enabling VT-d. The equivalent on AMD seems to be just IOMMU support, but that has not been verified. PCIe hotplug has been known to cause issues, so you might want to disable that.

The configuration for QEMU is something like:

-machine q35,kernel-irqchip=split \
-device intel-iommu,intremap=on,device-iotlb=on \

Since the card only uses MSI interrupts, legacy interrupts are disabled.

So if you are designing something from scratch and have the option to use MSI or MSI-X, this information above should tell you that maybe using MSI-X will be easier. However, it is quite likely MSI-X has its own pitfalls.

SFP Diagnostics Data

Fejkon exposes the I2C interfaces through the Linux kernel's native I2C interface. This means that accessing the SFP diagnostics data is possible using any standard I2C library.

The recommended way to browse SFP data is using Safaripark, but there is also a simple CLI tool located in driver/cmd/fejkon-sfp.

Safaripark screenshot


The recommended flow is using Quartus Platform Designer to make changes.

To build the qsys files needed simply execute make QPATH=/path/to/quartus in the root directory. Then use platform designer to edit fejkon.qsys using make edit-clean. When you are done, export the system using "Export System as Platform Designer script (.tcl)" under the "File" menu. If you have updated any subsystems you need to this for those systems as well.

Finally review any changes to the *.tcl files and commit them if they look reasonable.

To run the tests first install the dependencies:

# NOTE: You need Icarus Verilog 11.0 or newer, or always_* constructs will
# not be accepted.
$ sudo apt install iverilog gtkwave verilator
$ sudo apt install python3-pip
$ pip3 install cocotb

Then to execute all tests run:

$ make -j test

NOTE: The driver tests are located under driver and are not automatically run.

PCIe specification

The board uses vendor/device ID f1c0:0de5. Mnemonic is FICOn DE5-net.

The PCIe endpoint has one Base Address Register (BAR).

                                          Avalon-St               Avalon-MM
                                   +-------------------+      +---------------->   BAR 0
                                   |                   |      |
                                   |                   v      |
                                   |           +-------+------+--------+
                                   |           |                       |
                                   |           |   Fejkon PCIe Data    +<------+   Packet Data DMA
                                +--+--+        |       Facility        +------->   TX/RX Avalon-St
                                |     |        |                       |
                                |  A  |        +---+-------+-------+---+
                                |     |            |       |       |
                                |  D  |            v       v       v
+----------------------+        |     |         +--+--+-+--+--+-+--+--+
|                      |        |  A  |         |     | |     | |     |
|                      +------->+     |         |  F  | |  F  | |  F  |     3 TLP streams:
|    Intel PCIe Core   |        |  P  |         |  I  | |  I  | |  I  |     * Packet Data (DMA)
|                      +<-------+     |         |  F  | |  F  | |  F  |     * Failed Completions
|                      |        |  T  |         |  O  | |  O  | |  O  |     * Successful Completions
+----------+-----------+        |     |         |     | |     | |     |
           ^                    |  E  |         +--+--+ +--+--+ +--+--+
           |                    |     |            |       |       |
           v                    |  R  |            v       v       v
                                |     |         +--+-------+-------+--+
      PCIe 3.0 x8               +--+--+         |                     |
                                   ^            |     Stream Mux      |
                                   |            |                     |
                                   |            +----------+----------+
                                   |                       |
                                   |       Avalon-St       |

The design uses components from Quartus Platform Design to minimize development and debug time. All FPGA platforms offer some sort of FIFOs and streaming interface that allows merging, so there is little value re-inventing those.

The PCIe adapter is a bug-fix for the V-Series Intel PCIe core where the streaming interface is not correctly defined to be Avalon-ST compliant. See the section about Intel PCIe TLP adapter below for details.


Accesses need to be 4 byte wide.

Addr Width Part Name Description
0x0000 2 Card Version The constant 0x0DE5
0x0002 1 Card Version Version of the Fejkon card
0x0003 1 Card Port options Number of ports
0x0004 4 Card Git hash Git hash of HDL built
0x0010 1 Card Temprature FPGA Core Temperature (1)
0x0020 4 Card Freq. Gauge PHY effective clock gauge
0x0024 4 Card Freq. Gauge PCIe effective clock gauge
0x0040 64 Card FC Dbg & Gen Inspect / Inject point
0x0100 1 Port 0 SFP Status SFP Status Word (3)
0x0140 64 Port 0 SFP Port I2C SFP I2C core (4)
0x02x0 ... Port 1 SFP Port
0x03x0 ... Port 2 SFP Port
0x04x0 ... Port 3 SFP Port
0x0800 1024 Card PCIe Facility PCIe counters and status (2)
0x8000 2048 Port 0 FC XCVR IP Fejkon FC XCVR Core (5)
0x8800 2048 Port 0 TX XCVR Mgmt V-Series Transceiver PHY (6)
0x9000 64 Port 0 FC Framer Fibre Channel Framer (7)
0x9100 8 Port 0 PCIe CDC FIFO (Undoc.) fc0_rx_cdc
0xAxxx ... Port 1 ...
0xCxxx ... Port 2 ...
0xExxx ... Port 3 ...
0xFE00 512 Card XCVR Reconfig (Undoc.) xcvr_reconfig
  1. Details in section below
  2. Details in section below
  3. Details in section below
  4. See "Intel FPGA Avalon I2C (Master) Core" in Embedded Peripherals IP User Guide
  5. Details in section below
  6. See "Custom PHY" in V-Series Transceiver PHY IP Core User Guide
  7. Details in section below

PCIe Facility

Addr Width Name
0x000 2 Endpoint address
0x002 2 Internal status
0x004 4 RX TLP counter
0x008 4 RX Unsupported TLP counter
0x00C 4 TX Data TLP counter
0x010 4 TX Instant TLP counter
0x014 4 TX Response TLP counter
0x018 4 C2H Staging Packets counter
0x020 32 Last RX TLP (8 DWs)
0x040 32 Last TX Data TLP (8 DWs)
0x060 32 Last TX Instant TLP (8 DWs)
0x080 32 Last TX Response TLP (8 DWs)
0x0A0 4 C2H DMA buffer start address
0x0A4 4 C2H DMA buffer end address
0x0A8 4 C2H DMA host read pointer
0x0AC 4 C2H DMA card write pointer
0x0C0 4 H2C DMA buffer start address
0x0C4 4 H2C DMA buffer end address
0x0C8 4 H2C DMA card read pointer
0x0CC 4 H2C DMA host write pointer
0x100 4 Data TX TLP Fill Level
0x110 4 Instant TX TLP Fill Level
0x120 4 Response TX TLP Fill Level
0x180 4 LTSSM and lane active mode


See Temperature decoding details in FPGA Temperature Sensor IP Core User Guide

Bit(s) Direction Description
7:0 Read only A/D conv. value
8 Read only A/D complete

SFP Port Status

Bit(s) Direction Description
0 Read only Present
1 Read only Loss of Signal
2 Read only TX Fault
3 Read/Write TX Disable
4:5 Read/Write Rate Select
6 Read/Write I2C Reset

Fejkon FC XCVR Core

Addr Width Name
0x00000 4 Port Status
0x00004 4 Last Unknown Coded Set
0x00080 128 RX Primitive Counters
0x00100 128 TX Primitive Counters

The primitive counters logged are in order:

  • IDLE
  • R_RDY
  • VC_RDY
  • BB_SCS
  • BB_SCR
  • SOFi2
  • SOFn2
  • SOFi3
  • SOFn3
  • SOFf
  • EOFt
  • EOFa
  • EOFn
  • EOFni
  • NOS
  • OLS
  • LR
  • LRR
  • ARBff
  • Unknown

The data type is unsigned 32 bit integer for the primitive counters.

Port Status
Bit(s) Description Values
0:3 Sync Status 0xf = fully synced
4:7 Pattern detect 0x1 = detected
8:11 Error detect >0 = error(s) detected
12:15 Disparity error >0 = error(s) detected
16 PLL Locked 1 = PLL locked

A fully operational port has status 0x1001f.

FC Framer

Note that internally the address space is split up so that the lower half contains registers related to receive and upper half is related to transmit.

Addr Width Name
0x000 4 State
0x004 4 # of ACTIVE state transitions
0x008 4 # of FC frames received


Value Code Name
0 AC Active
1 LR1 LR Transmit
2 LR2 LR Receive
3 LR3 LRR Receive
4 LF1 NOS Receive
5 LF2 NOS Transmit
6 OL1 OLS Transmit
7 OL2 OLS Receive
8 OL3 Wait for OLS

Note: Only ACTIVE is guaranted to be stable at numeric 0 over time.

FC Debug & Generator

This component is used to generate traffic for debug and development. It generates traffic interleaved with the output of the FC subsystem, and its output is read by both the PCIe and the future Ethernet module.

Addr Width Name
0x000 4 Packet inject counter


Vector Description
0 Card status
1 RX Data available
2 RX Packet dropped
3-6 Port 0/1/2/3 SFP I2C


Use make syscon to launch Intel's System Console. It will guide you through the debug commands, but here is an example of reading the SFP data from port 1:

=> Fejkon system console initialized

 Master is available at $m

 - master_write_32 $m 0x000e0000 5
 - jtag_debug_reset_system $m
 - sfp 1

% sfp 1
 SFP status: 0x02
 SFP identifier: 0x03
 SFP ext. identifier: 0x04
 SFP connector: 0x07
 SFP vendor: 'JDS UNIPHASE    '
 SFP vendor PN: 'JSM-21S0AA1     '
 SFP vendor SN: 'F44939581059    '

The design has been compiled with instrumentation of some key data buses which you can inspect using make syscon by loading the fejkon.sof and using "Bus Analyzer (Beta)".

If you need to debug a particular component, then using Signal Tap is recommended.


Look at the pcie syscon command to get more information. If the My ID row reads all zeroes that means the host PC has rejected the card for whatever reason.

Known Issues / Notes


The Si570 on board appears to have the following specs:

Part Number: 570FAB000433DG
Product: Si570
Description: Differential/single-ended; I2C programmable XO; 10-1417 MHz
Frequency A: 100 MHz
I2C Address (Hex Format): 0
Format: LVDS
Supply Voltage: 2.5 V
OE Polarity: OE active high
Temperature Stability / Total Stability: 50 ppm / 61.5 ppm
Frequency Range: 10 - 810 MHz
Operating Temp Range (°C): -40 to +85

Usage under WSL and ChromeOS Crostini

There are some known issues for running under Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and ChromeOS Crostini (external reports).

realloc(): invalid pointer

This seems to happen on Ubuntu 18.04 and newer, including 20.04 LTS. When starting Quartus or some other tools they will crash with the following error message:

$ ~/intelFPGA/20.1/quartus/bin/quartus
realloc(): invalid pointer
zsh: abort (core dumped)  ~/intelFPGA/20.1/quartus/bin/quartus

This can be worked around by pre-loading the system's udev version. Exact reason why this workaround works is not known.

$ export LD_PRELOAD=/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

This has been reported to Intel.

Macro <protected> is undefined

This is known to happen if you apply the above LD_PRELOAD fix and then launch ModelSim compilation. The bug can be triggered on normal machines as well if you accidentally applied the LD_PRELOAD hack to them.

For some reason ModelSim then fails to decrypt the encrypted device libraries when told to preload a library. Note: It does not have to be udev, this has been known to fail for other preloades e.g. in /etc/

# ** Error: ../intelFPGA/20.1/quartus/eda/sim_lib/mentor/stratixv_atoms_ncrypt.v(38): (vlog-2163) Macro `<protected> is undefined.
# ** Error: ../intelFPGA/20.1/quartus/eda/sim_lib/mentor/stratixv_atoms_ncrypt.v(38): (vlog-2163) Macro `<protected> is undefined.
# ** Error: (vlog-13069) ../intelFPGA/20.1/quartus/eda/sim_lib/mentor/stratixv_atoms_ncrypt.v(38): syntax error in protected region.
# ** Error: ../intelFPGA/20.1/quartus/eda/sim_lib/mentor/stratixv_atoms_ncrypt.v(38): (vlog-13205) Syntax error found in the scope following '<protected>'. Is there a missing '::'?
# End time: 23:08:09 on Aug 20,2020, Elapsed time: 0:00:00
# Errors: 5, Warnings: 0

This can be worked around by making sure you do not set LD_PRELOAD before running vsim (or unset LD_PRELOAD) and making sure /etc/ does not exist.

Intel PCIe TLP adapter

The Avalon-ST interface from the PCIe IP is not standard compliant.

Avalon-ST has a property called firstSymbolInHighOrderBits which is supposed to be set to true when the first symbol is present in e.g. data[255:224].

The PCIe IP for Qsys uses the lower bits for first symbol, but unfortunately chose to set firstSymbolInHighOrderBits to true.

Furthermore, the empty signal is not compliant either.

These issues are managed by the intel_pcie_tlp_adapter to make the design and testbenches being able to use Avalon-ST correctly.

Possible future work

  • Integrate the MAX1619 sensor

The MAX1619 is an SMBus temperature sensor supported by the Linux kernel. It would allow for more temperature data. However, SMBus seems to be incompatible with the Intel I2C core, and no replacement core seems to be easily avaiable. This means writing an SMBus controller, QEMU model, Linux and driver for it.

An alternative is to re-use Terasic's NIOS drivers and create an enviromental processor that controls not only the temperature sensor but also the fan. However, this breaks the "keep it simple" methodology currently in use.

  • Over-temperature auto-shutdown

The Intel FPGAs do not feature a protective auto-shutdown as Xilinx FPGAs do. It would be useful to enter some kind of low-power mode if an over-temperature condition is detected.

Possibly integrated with the above work.

  • Replace Si570 with soft core CPU

Although writing the Si570 controller was useful, in the end it is less reliable and much more expensive, than using a soft core to implement the equivalent logic. Using a soft core like NIOS, RISC-V, or OpenRISC would make it possible to control clock and reset networks from the firmware of the card instead of wiring it up in Verilog. In the beginning I thought this would end up being simpler, and while it ended up being a very good learning experience if I had to do it again I would stick a soft core CPU on there and let it do temperature, fan, reset, and clock control.


Fibre Channel / FICON HBA implemented on FPGA







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