We are looking at upgrading one of our main embedded devices. We really want FPGA with embedded processor (Altera NIOS) and also need non-volatile memory and the abilitiy to remote upgrade the FPGA and program code via ethernet. The system is becoming more and more complex the more I look at it. Any recommendations? The device isn't going to need any raw power, we just need the abilitiy to change the code and logic at will via ethernet.
I am thinking of getting one of those smart port things with the ethernet controller and processor inside, then using that to write to eeprom. This same eeprom is then used by the FPGA to load in its circuit and also by the processor in the FPGA to run the code from the EEPROM.
Also we need really reliable SRAM. Our devices usually go out for several years and need to never fail. We also have trouble with EEPROM and SRAM failing, and don't wish to go beyond the CRC checking we do into mass redudancy because of chip size limitations and memory requirements, as well as speed and issues.