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FPGA projects - Basic
Music box
LED displays
Pong game
R/C servos
Text LCD module
Quadrature decoder
PWM and one-bit DAC
Debouncer
Crossing clock domains
The art of counting
External contributions

Interfaces
RS-232
JTAG
I2C
EPP
SPI
PCI
PCI Express
Ethernet
HDMI
SDRAM

Advanced
Digital oscilloscope
Graphic LCD panel
Direct Digital Synthesis
CNC steppers
Spoc CPU core

Hands-on
A simple oscilloscope


FPGA introduction
What are FPGAs?
How FPGAs work
Internal RAM
FPGA pins
Clocks and global lines
Download cables
Configuration
Learn more

FPGA software
Design software
Design-entry
Simulation
Pin assignment
Synthesis and P&R

FPGA electronic
SMD technology
Crystals and oscillators

HDL info
HDL tutorials
Verilog tips
VHDL tips

Quick-start guides
ISE
Quartus-II

Site
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FPGA download cables

FPGA vendors provide many ways to "configure" (i.e. download) their devices. One way uses a cable that connects your PC to the FPGA board. These cables are usually called "JTAG cables" (because they can connect to the JTAG pins of the FPGA).

FPGA cables are vendor specific

The FPGA configuration interface from all the FPGA vendors are very much alike. That doesn't prevent each vendor to have their own proprietary connectors and cables.

Parallel cables

Parallel cables connect to PCs parallel (printer) ports. They are less popular than USB cables but can still be interesting due to their simplicity. They buffer a few pins of the PC parallel interface, and connect to the target board using a flat cable or flying leads. Parallel cables are active devices and need power, but they are usually powered from the target FPGA board.

FPGA vendors sometime provide the schematic of the cables, which is valuable if you want to understand how they work or build a cable yourself.



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This page was last updated on May 20 2013.