Programming tools for XILINX FPGA — Platform Cable USB

In order to move the result of compiling a binary form, from your circuit design using FPGA, required additional electronic devices as a tool programmers.

The interface between computer and FPGA programming tools can be used any one of such computer interfaces: LPT, Serial RS232, USB and others. In general, many people use usb interface between a USB cable with a computer platform as a data communications. This method is preferred because it uses less cable people.

If you are using Xilinx fpga, binary program can be moved to the evaluation board fpga in two-way: JTAG or Serial. Next, I will explain the programming tools I have for Xilinx fpga namely: Platform Cable USB.

Platform Cable USB

Platform Cable USB is intended for all types of Xilinx fpga and firmware will be updated automatically. Using the USB interface with a computer, making it very simple to use. While the programming mode can be two ways, JTAG and Serial (not RS232).

For JTAG mode using 5 cables for signals is called: TDI, TDO, TCK, TMS and Vref (Aux).

Provided two types of cable: parallel cable and floating cable. Parallel cable can be directly plugged into the header connector on the fpga evaluation board without seeing the name of the signal (cable).

Other things floating cable, provided either JTAG or Serial mode. But you have to be careful when using this type of cable (floating cable), because the signal name of this cable should have the same name between the Platform Cable USB with FPGA evaluation board.

It should be noted, the tool described here is only additional equipment to experiment with the xilinx fpga. This tool is only used as a programmer fpga for xilinx, in order to move the result of  the binaries program based your design using  fpga development software. Xilinx using ISE , and Altera using Quatrus II as fpga development software. Both hardware (programming tool, the explanation here) and fpga development software should have the right driver (typically been included). Then you are welcome to choose the appropriate board fpga evaluation of your financial ability.

For Serial Mode using 6 cables for this signals is called: INIT, DIN, DONE, CCLK, PROG and Vref (Aux).

n the left picture above using a parallel cable only for JTAG mode, you do not need to see the name of the cable signal, but the adjust pin number starting with pin 1. Parallel cable using a ribbon cable for 14 wires. In the right picture above using a floating cable but in JTAG mode, you must carefully about the sinyal name of cables.

Platform Cable USB in action

Complete FPGA development system at least consists of: fpga evaluation boards, fpga software development such as ISE from Xilinx fpga, fpga programmer equipment like the Xilinx Platform Cable USB.

It should be noted that using fpga evaluation board that has a USB communication, usually can be programmed directly without requiring additional programmer tools. However, having equipment fpga programmer, will make you free to choose any kind fpga evaluation board.

Most importantly, the selection of electronic devices submitted to you, of course, tailored to your financial condition.



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About Bambang Siswoyo

I am a college lecturer since 1988 at UB (University of Brawijaya) in the electronics department. My experience: Applications of Microprocessor system, Applications of Control System, Applications of Field Programmable Gate Array, Computer Programming in computer instrumentations. My hobby: Music especially playing the saxophone, hiking and exploring the countryside.
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