FPGACheap DIY Altera FPGA USB programmer

This is a DIY USB programer for Altera FPGAs. It only uses a PIC uC and a few discrete components to provide a JTAG interface with a FPGA. Somun found it on a Japanese site (machine translation), and with the help of Google Translate he built one for himself.

There are two versions available. The older one pictured above uses a PIC18f2550 chip, while the newer one uses a cheaper PIC18F14K50. If anyone is interested drop a comment in the forum and Somun will provide the eagle files for his build.

Via the forum.

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13 Comments

  1. If you stick a 3.3V regulator on this you can get rid of the resistor voltage dividers and with the right firmware also program all the PIC24, dsPIC, PIC32 AVRs, Frams etc, etc. Of course we can do this with a bus pirate too…

    1. Yep, a regulator would make sense but I did not want to alter the original (was not even sure if the thing would even work) – besides it defeats the ‘cheap’ aspect a bit :)

      By the way it is not very clear from the post but this thing is not just a stand alone programmer but actually a complete emulator for the Altera USB Blaster programmer. Quartus recognizes it as one and you can do everything a USB Blaster can do – including Signal Tap logic analyzer stuff and configuration memories.

      Will add Eagle project to the forum post.

  2. What is the status of this? I am interested because I want to design a board with an Altera Cyclone 4 and a USB connector to program it. I see several other approaches, but this is by far the simplest.

  3. What is the status of this? I am interested in this because I want to design a board with a Cyclone 4 and an on board USB connector for programming it. I have seen several other approaches, but this one is the simplest/cheapest by far.

  4. Thanks. I have the files, etc., but I am hoping someone has enough experience with it for me to be able to commit to the project. It is not currently convenient to test just the adapter circuit because I don’t have an FPGA project with a JTAG interface on it.

    The link you gave reports “The requested topic does not exist.” Is it in error?

  5. hi everybody
    can i use this device to programm Xilinx FPGAs?if so,what is the advantage of Xilinx platform cable?in other word what can Xilinx Platform Cable can do more?

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