PROTOTYPE: Bus Blaster v1 JTAG debugger

Posted on Friday, February 25th, 2011 in Bus Blaster, Prototypes by Ian

The Bus Blaster is a  high-speed JTAG debugger/programmer that works with many ARM processors, CPLDs, FPGAs, and flash chips. It’s compatible with the most popular open source JTAG utilities such as OpenOCD and urJTAG.

After almost a year of on-and-off development the first Bus Blaster v1 prototype is available. This initial batch is offered to early adopters at a discount, the final price will increase by a few dollars.

  • Fully buffered interface works with 3.3volt to 1.2volt targets
  • Based on FT2232H with high-speed USB 2.0
  • Compatible with ‘jtagkey’ programmer type in OpenOCD, urJTAG, and more
  • Open source (CC-BY-SA)

Each Bus Blaster is tested with a real JTAG target before it ships.

Bus Blaster v1 is now available for $35, including worldwide shipping.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 25th, 2011 at 9:36 am and is filed under Bus Blaster, Prototypes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

8 Responses to “PROTOTYPE: Bus Blaster v1 JTAG debugger”

  1. ben says:

    If it can do Altera FPGA (nios debugging, etc), like this $50 usb-blaster, then I’m in!!

  2. Ian says:

    Hi ben,

    The Bus Blaster can program just about any JTAG device with (X)SVF using an app like urJTAG, but it does not replace proprietary USB cables from the manufacturer in most cases. I think, but am not sure, that Altera uses a Cypress USB chip in their cable.

  3. ben says:

    The Altera USB Blaster consists of a CPLD and a FTDI FT245 device

    I’ve read OpenOCD v0.4 supports the Altera USB-Blaster… and I know people have emulated an Altera USB-Blaster using and FTDI and a CPLD , so I know it’s possible…

    It’d just be nice to buy a universal jtag programmer that’s can do altera out of the box!

    • Ian says:

      Thanks for the info. Bus Blaster v2 is a FT2232 chip programmer with a CPLD so that it can imitate a bunch of different programmers. I guess the FT245 is a completely different chip though (without MPSSE?), but looking at the first link it might be possible to adapt that work to get it going.

      There is an alternative driver for Xilinx ISE that allows it to use an FT2232 programmer from the IMPACT utility directly, I have not tried it yet.

  4. Nabil says:

    Any idea when v2 will be out? I’m am trying to decide if I should get v1 now or wait for v2.

  5. Steve says:

    Why not expose the UART of the FT2232 on a small connector as well (like on the OpenMoko DebugBoard v3)? That would be really useful, but you may need a configuration EEPROM for that (but as far as I see from the picture, you just would need to populate it).

    Hopefully you’ll add this for v2 ;)

    • Steve says:

      Ah, I just read the wiki page… price contraints for the EEPROM, and you can use the UART instead of JTAG anyway (but not both at the same time like on the OpenMoko DebugBoard).

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