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    Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    I'm just getting started with moving from discrete components to using CPLD's and FPGA's in a hobby project that I've been working on for some time.

    In the past I have just been able to get away with my ROM/GAL programmer and a rather simple circuit to single step my 68000 and capture the status of address/data bus and display it on a bunch of 7-seg displays.

    With the move to a more advanced 68030 CPU and the use of CPLD's and FPGA's I need a new programmer and I'm thinking of also getting a logic analyzer, I don't wish to do anything to amazing and I'd like to keep the costs down.

    I'm looking to use Xilinx CPLD's and FPGA's so I'm concidering getting some thing like this Xilinx Platform USB Download Cable Jtag Programmer from ebay.

    I'm thinking of getting something like this Open Workbench Logic Sniffer from Seeed Studio.

    Can anybody provide any feedback on the above devices.

    Thanks
    Ken

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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Don't know if those clone cables are any good, I bought a real Xilinx Platform USB cable when they first came out with them, I still use it, just like those I find at my work.

    That Open Workbench Logic Sniffer has some interesting reviews, which you really might want to read. Some of the recent ones say that it's obsolete and that the software you would use with it doesn't even run on a x64 machine, so using win10 is out. You'll probably have to run an older version of Linux as it seems that the software to run it is old circa 2007.



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Thanks for the feedback on the Open Workbench Logic Sniffer, I didn't realise it was that old.

    Have you got any suggestions on an alternative that will work on x64 Win10?



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Hi Ken,
    are you going to connect your CPU with FPGA dev board like Artyboard or are you going to design a custom board with CPU and FPGA on the same board?



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Hi MarkPh,

    I'm creating my own design and the CPU will be on the same board as a CPLD and there will be a couple of FPGAs each on a separate board that will be connected via a backplane.

    In relation to a logic analyzer and ads-ee's comments, I'm now considering something like this 16 channel DSCope Oscilloscope Logic Analyzer or LA2016 Logic Analyzer there is also other 8 channel or 16 channel clones.



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    You may not even need a logic analyzer if you're using Chipscope (with an appropriate cable).



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Unless the OP uses Vivado, Chipscope is NOT free with ISE.
    So far the OP has stated they are planning on using some cheap Xilinx board and or CPLD, therefore they are going to end up with an obsolete Spartan 3 part and/or some 9500 CPLD, which are not supported in Vivado.

    I would recommend they get a modern board like the Arty or better yet one of the Zynq boards. They may not be as cheap as a Spartan 3 or CPLD board, but they are actually useful for learning FPGAs and the tools.



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    For the FPGA's I am thinking on using the older Spartan 3E or may be a Spartan 6, all would need to be in an TQFP package. I'm also thinking of using the XPLA3 in a TQFP for areas that have a bit more complexity than can be handled by a single GAL.

    I'm looking at using a logic analyzer to check that the different parts of the system are being accessed correctly and as expected, as in do, I get the correct data on the data bus for the address that was requested from a device by the CPU and was the chip select and data acknowledge signals set correctly and within the time frame expected.

    It would be wonderful to have hundreds of channels so that I can see every signal possible, but I realise that this is either far to expensive or impossible. I happy to settle for something that has around 16 channels and can handle a cpu clock speed of 10-30MHz, with the 16 channels I could monitor a few address lines, a byte of the data bus and a few other important signals.

    Is it possible to use multiple USB analyzers at once, I could then possible get more than one use more channels when required.



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Yes, I do believe you have to buy the full-blown version of Vivado in order to use Chipscope, a VERY costly change from when you could just buy Chipscope for about US$200 and use it with the free webpack version of ISE. Lattice FPGAs, anyone?

    I think you should be able to use multiple USB analyzers simultaneously, but IMO that's overkill. I would just debug one device at a time.



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    I use the logic analyzer from FPGA Cores. It is free to download and use.
    I have used it on a Spartan6 tqfp however I think you will need a LX9 to fit all ethernet stuff and some room for your stuff.
    You can also use the LA in an Artyboard or something like that and wire it to your board. You find it here: http://www.fpga-cores.com


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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Interesting idea MarkPh, but to start with I need something that's stand alone and ready to use.



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    Re: Programmer and Logic Analyzer question

    Quote Originally Posted by kkeeley View Post
    Interesting idea MarkPh, but to start with I need something that's stand alone and ready to use.
    Hello,

    maybe it is worth to consider in your searches such products:BitScope Micro Oscilloscope & Analyzer.

    Link to fist model:

    http://www.bitscope.com/product/BS05/

    Or more advanced model:

    http://www.bitscope.com/product/BS10/

    I bought the first model "BS05" more than a year ago and I must admit it satisfy my needs. In my opinion this product has good price/features-quality ratio.

    BTW: What project needs such powerful hardware, that you want to use several FPGAs in one system?

    Update: Sorry I didn't realize that you need 16 + logic channels.

    Kind Regards
    Last edited by FlyingDutch; 3rd May 2018 at 16:06.



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