Choosing a CPLD and a programmer for a hobby project.

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#1
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Hi,

I'm new to CPLDs; I would like to create a small PCB that connects an ATmega to an Altera MAX3000A(*) as a prototype and to learn some HW description language.

The MAX300A has a JTAG interface, so I think I can connect both Atmega and CPLD in a daisy chain to the same connector.

Now I'm wondering what programmer I can use; I found Leon Heller's Blaster, but I'd prefer to have a general purpose (ARM-compatible) JTAG programmer.

I already own an Amontec JTAGkey Tiny, but I'm afraid it is not (SW?) compatible.

One toy I would like to play with is OpenOCD. Does anyone know if it works with Quartus + MAX3000A?

My least option is the Amontec JTAGkey. As from their web site it should just work, and is not extremely expensive, but costs slightly more than I was planning to spend.

(*) As for the choice of the CPLD, I didn't do a proper selection. I have used Quartus in the past and found the MAX3000A cheap on Farnell. Although it is probably an overkill for my purposes I like the fact that I can in-system program the chip.

Any comments are welcome.

Cheers,
Thomas

pycrc -- a free CRC calculator and C source code generator

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I designed a clone of the parallel port ByteBlaster several years ago. Here are the details:

http://www.geocities.com/leon_heller/Blaster.zip

Cheap USB Blaster clones are available.

I like the newer MAX II devices. They are actually small FPGAs.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

Last Edited: Fri. Dec 12, 2008 - 05:02 PM
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Hi Leon,

I admit that I haven't checked your clone (BTW: the link is broken), but if it is more than a simple cable, then I'd prefer to invest the time and money in a general purpose programmer that I can use later on for ARM chips.

Cheers
Thomas

pycrc -- a free CRC calculator and C source code generator

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I just fixed the link.

I've got a similar design for ARM chips.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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Hi Leon,

the programmer looks really simple. Very nice!

I will try this programmer first before considering anything more complicated. And I still have a parallel port. :-)

Thomas

pycrc -- a free CRC calculator and C source code generator

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It's identical electrically to the Altera unit, which is no longer available. I still have a PCB available for that interface, if you want it. I sold quite a few to a company that supplied them with their equipment. I made plenty of money out of them so you can have it for nothing.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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Thanks Leon,

that would be really nice! I will send my address via PM.

Cheers
Thomas

pycrc -- a free CRC calculator and C source code generator

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I use ByteBlasterMV as AVR programmer.

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