Programming Virtex II Pro Eval Board

Hi, I hope someone would be able to help me with my issue. I have a Xilinx Virtex II Pro Eval board from Avnet. The board has a serial interface to program it. I bought a Serial to USB Converter cable from RadioShack to try to program the FPGA from Impact. I have had no luck in doing this so far. Impact doesn't recognize the cable and it always fails. Can someone point me on how would I be able to program the FPGA with the Serial-USB Converter cable?.


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My guess would be that you need a special driver/software to do the programming because it would take an application aware middle device to convert from USB to the boards programming interface.

---Matthew Hicks

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Matthew Hicks

You can't; the serial port is a debug console for the embedded processor.

To program the device, you need a Xilinx-compatable JTAG adapter.


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Avnet do a few boards so I can't quite locate the particular device you are referring to. For example, the Xilinx=AE Virtex=99-II Pro FG456 Kit requires a JTAG adapter of some description to program it. I use a Xilinx Parallel Cable III for my development board. I don't know how much they are today from Xilinx as mine came with the rather expensive development software from Xilinx many years ago!

There is a design for a homebrew parallel cable on the web (see website

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I have not used this design before so I cannot say with any confidence that it works.

STOP: Before using homebrew programming cables - double check (no, triple check) the power supply arrangements. Getting +5V confused with

+3.3V will lead to lots of expensive, smelly smoke!


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