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Registered: ‎10-13-2010

Choice of Programmer

Hello All,


I purchased a Nexys 2 (http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?Prod=NEXYS2) to start developing with the Xilinx Spartan family. I am considering migrating to the Xilinx Spartan 3AN or 3A family.


I have been using Digilent's own USB based programming tool,but I think it would be wise to have a JTAG based programming solution availible for use with prototype boards that I create myself and for chipscope and other such items.


I looked at the Digilent programmer (https://digilentinc.com/Data/Products/JTAG-HS1/JTAG-HS1_rm.pdf). Does Xilinx reccomend this as a good solution? Or is there another programmer that I should look at? Does using the non-volatile Spartan - 3AN change anything?




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1 Reply
Advisor joelby
Registered: ‎10-05-2010

Re: Choice of Programmer

Yes,  it's very handy to have a JTAG cable if you're building your own boards, or other boards that don't have built-in programming functionality. Xilinx probably recommend their own cable. The Digilent one is cheaper and should work just as well, as long as you install the Digilent plug-in, which makes it work with iMPACT and ChipScope Pro.


If you don't care about ChipScope Pro or debugging through the EDK, you can build your own USB cable using an FTDI chip for only a few dollars (have a look at the Butterfly One) - not a bad solution if you want to have an integrated field programming port.


The Spartan-3AN shouldn't change anything.

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