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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 03:23 AM
Scott M. Kroll
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Default Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Well, I'm not sure if anyone here has had the same problem, but I have,
and it has been driving me nuts. My primary machine is a laptop, which
has no parallel port, so I am stuck with USB. Also, I am in a class
where we are doing projects using the Spartan-3 Starter Kit from Digilent.

Since I have no parallel port, I have been using Digilent's JTAG-USB
cable, which, for the most part, works great. However, there are two
problems.

1. You cannot use Xilinx IMPACT to program the Spartan-3
2. The external SRAM does not work when using a .bit file

Well, #2 seems awfully strange. I know it did for me, I thought I was
having a problem with VHDL, and that's why I thought it wasn't working.
Well, I spent a long time tinkering with it over our winter break (I
know, I know, but it's what I did) and just today I came up with the
solution.

A little explanation for this is probably needed. Basically, anything I
write and compile in IMPACT would work fine. LEDs light up, the
7-segment display works fine, everything I've done works great.
However, every time I tried to write to the SRAM, nothing changed, I
simply got back garbage/random data. Every time, no questions asked, it
just didn't work. To make a long story short, here's a solution I
discovered (which, is a whole another story to how I figured it out).

1. Start IMPACT
2. Edit -> Add Device -> Xilinx Device
3. Loaded c:\Program Files\Xilinx\spartan3\data\xc3s200_ft256.bsd
4. Right-Clicked Device, Assigned Configuration File
5. Mode -> File Mode
6. Clicked SVF-STAPL-XSVF tab, clicked "Yes" when it asked to load from
Boundary Scan
7. Chose to generate a new SVF file, named it
8. Right-Clicked Device, chose Program.
9. Output -> SVF -> Stop Writing to SVF File
10. Quit Impact
11. Started Export, did Device Scan, loaded SVF into the xc3s200, set
the prom to bypass, hit program. Everything worked right.

Seems like a strange solution, but what I want to know, has anyone here
had a problem like this? I have a feeling that loading a different .BSD
file for other Xilinx chips should work just as well with the JTAG-USB
cable/Digilent's ExPort software, but I couldn't tell you.

Hope this helps people out.

If anyone wants to contact me with any more information via email,
please use: skroll at gmail dot com

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 05:29 AM
Hendra
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Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

I don't know about your particular problem, but with regard to the
parallel port, you can buy a PCMCIA to Parallel port converter.
http://www.quatech.com/catalog/parallel_pcmcia.php
They should work for any FPGA board that needs parallel port since the
converter works at lower hardware level and it fools the operating
system to think that it really has a parallel port. From the device
manager, it would appear that you really have a native parallel port.
If you buy it , make sure you got rev. F or later. It fixed
incompatibility problem with some newer laptop. If you have the earlier
rev, contact them for the RMA and they will exchange it for you.

Hendra

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 08:30 AM
Antti
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Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

#1 there is no way (til today) to create impact compatible 3rd party
programmers other than those that are cable III compliant, (unless usb
platform cable is integrated fully in the design) - hence the digilent
cable is not supported by impact

#2 this what I dont understand - FPGA and all connected stuff (SRAM
whatever) will work same way no matter what means are used to configure
the FPGA given the FPGA is really configured properly. So configuring
the FPGA with .bit file using impact or SVF file and some 3rd party
tool, should get the FGPA into same working condition.

If you had some trouble then its must some trick bug of the digilient
export software I guess

btw jtag config is a bit tricky, namly it is possible have DONE=1 when
FPGA is not configured at all etc..

Antti

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 12:38 PM
Hendra
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Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Antti wrote:
> btw jtag config is a bit tricky, namly it is possible have DONE=1 when
> FPGA is not configured at all etc..


One thing that I frequently see in some Xilinx FPGA boards is when you
got an error like Done is not high or something like that, you should
unplug the power cable, replug it and reprogram the board. If it still
doesn't work, unplug the parallel cable or whatever connection you have
as well.

Hendra

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 01:31 PM
Brian Davis
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Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Scott M. Kroll wrote:
>
> 2. The external SRAM does not work when using a .bit file
>

Could you clarify exactly what you mean here; are you
using the Digilent JTAG utility to program the on-board prom,
or to directly configure the FPGA via JTAG?

One thing I've seen with IMPACT generated SVF files on both
V2P's and the S3 starter kit, is the need for one last JTAG
operation to "wake up" the part.

IIRC, in the Digilent tool, after loading the FPGA with the
config PROM in BYPASS, just try a device id on the config
PROM and see if that fixes it.

Also, I think I've had to change the JP1 bitstream readback
jumper setting to "disable" to get consistent results for JTAG
download; you may also want to change the configuration mode
jumpers to "JTAG"

If the DCM doesn't start up after re-configuration, your static
logic would work but any DCM clocked logic would not:
Answer Record 11778:
"Virtex/-E/-II/-II Pro, Spartan-II/-IIE/-3 - Device configures
correctly after PROG is pulsed, but DLL/DCM/DCI does
not function correctly when reconfigured"

Similar things can happen if the part almost, but not quite, finishes
configuration and ends up in a configured state with GSR or GTS
still asserted.

To help sort out what is happening, create a test design with:
- an LED driven from a switch input (no registers)
- a blinky LED counter driven from the input clock WITHOUT a DCM
- a blinky LED counter driven from a DCM sourced clock
- LED's on DCM LOCKED and "clock stopped" status bit

Brian

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 01:54 PM
Scott M. Kroll
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Brian Davis wrote:
> Scott M. Kroll wrote:
>> 2. The external SRAM does not work when using a .bit file
>>

> Could you clarify exactly what you mean here; are you
> using the Digilent JTAG utility to program the on-board prom,
> or to directly configure the FPGA via JTAG?
>
> One thing I've seen with IMPACT generated SVF files on both
> V2P's and the S3 starter kit, is the need for one last JTAG
> operation to "wake up" the part.
>
> IIRC, in the Digilent tool, after loading the FPGA with the
> config PROM in BYPASS, just try a device id on the config
> PROM and see if that fixes it.
>
> Also, I think I've had to change the JP1 bitstream readback
> jumper setting to "disable" to get consistent results for JTAG
> download; you may also want to change the configuration mode
> jumpers to "JTAG"
>
> If the DCM doesn't start up after re-configuration, your static
> logic would work but any DCM clocked logic would not:
> Answer Record 11778:
> "Virtex/-E/-II/-II Pro, Spartan-II/-IIE/-3 - Device configures
> correctly after PROG is pulsed, but DLL/DCM/DCI does
> not function correctly when reconfigured"
>
> Similar things can happen if the part almost, but not quite, finishes
> configuration and ends up in a configured state with GSR or GTS
> still asserted.
>
> To help sort out what is happening, create a test design with:
> - an LED driven from a switch input (no registers)
> - a blinky LED counter driven from the input clock WITHOUT a DCM
> - a blinky LED counter driven from a DCM sourced clock
> - LED's on DCM LOCKED and "clock stopped" status bit
>
> Brian
>


It's very strange, but here's what I meant: I am using Digilent's JTAG
utility (it's called Export) to program the FPGA via JTAG. Using IMPACT
to create the .bit file, and then program the FPGA with the .bit.
Digilent's Export tool only supports .bit and .svf files. If I program
the FPGA via the .bit file, the SRAM never writes, and feeds back random
garbage, never writes correctly. Some ramtesting vhdl I found for the
Spartan-3 Starter doesn't work, nor does anything I've written. It
constantly reads back garbage data. When I go into IMPACT, and generate
a SVF of the chip programming (with the same .bit file, no less), and
then load that into Digilent's tool, the SRAM works correctly (reads
back fine, the ram tester comes out ok).

I know it seems bizarre, but it's what happens.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 03:14 PM
Brian Davis
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Scott M. Kroll wrote:
>
> It's very strange, but here's what I meant: I am using Digilent's JTAG
> utility (it's called Export) to program the FPGA via JTAG. Using IMPACT
> to create the .bit file, and then program the FPGA with the .bit.
> Digilent's Export tool only supports .bit and .svf files. If I program
> the FPGA via the .bit file, the SRAM never writes, and feeds back random
> garbage, never writes correctly.


OK, I'll try that tonight and see what I see.

BTW, what versions of ISE and Export are you using ?

> Some ramtesting vhdl I found for the Spartan-3 Starter doesn't work,
> nor does anything I've written.


Follow the bouncing links for my S3 kit SRAM test code and notes:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp....222450bf8e47c8

If I ever find time to debug the S3 -ES DCM oddities I've been seeing,
I'll post a new version of that code that runs the S3 starter kit SRAM
(pipelined) at around 60 MHz.

Brian

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 03:43 PM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Scott M. Kroll wrote:

> It's very strange, but here's what I meant: I am using Digilent's JTAG
> utility (it's called Export) to program the FPGA via JTAG. Using IMPACT
> to create the .bit file, and then program the FPGA with the .bit.
> Digilent's Export tool only supports .bit and .svf files. If I program
> the FPGA via the .bit file, the SRAM never writes, and feeds back random
> garbage, never writes correctly.


Okay, let me see if I understand this correctly - the digilent
programmer does not seem to be able to make a .bit file work, but if
you use the xilinx tool to turn .bit into .svf, the digilent programmer
can load that.

Your only evidence of working/not working to date is the ram test. But
it's probably that the programming more generally fails?

Anyway, my impression is that a .bit file is just data, while a .svf
file is data expanded into explicit instructions for how to wiggle the
jtag lines to program it into a xilinx part - all the thinking is
already done, only the execution remains. This suggests that your
problem is that the digilent programmer is not using (is not configured
to use) the right programming algorithm for the part in question. When
it's mindlessly executing the .svf instructions things work, when it's
taking responsibility for figuring out how to program a .bit, it fails.

You could either take that up with digilent, or if you want to
streamline your intermediate step, the xilinx tools can be run
command-line style from scripts to do your translation.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2006, 05:06 PM
Mike Harrison
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

On Wed, 08 Mar 2006 07:54:36 -0500, "Scott M. Kroll" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Brian Davis wrote:
>> Scott M. Kroll wrote:
>>> 2. The external SRAM does not work when using a .bit file
>>>

>> Could you clarify exactly what you mean here; are you
>> using the Digilent JTAG utility to program the on-board prom,
>> or to directly configure the FPGA via JTAG?
>>
>> One thing I've seen with IMPACT generated SVF files on both
>> V2P's and the S3 starter kit, is the need for one last JTAG
>> operation to "wake up" the part.
>>
>> IIRC, in the Digilent tool, after loading the FPGA with the
>> config PROM in BYPASS, just try a device id on the config
>> PROM and see if that fixes it.
>>
>> Also, I think I've had to change the JP1 bitstream readback
>> jumper setting to "disable" to get consistent results for JTAG
>> download; you may also want to change the configuration mode
>> jumpers to "JTAG"
>>
>> If the DCM doesn't start up after re-configuration, your static
>> logic would work but any DCM clocked logic would not:
>> Answer Record 11778:
>> "Virtex/-E/-II/-II Pro, Spartan-II/-IIE/-3 - Device configures
>> correctly after PROG is pulsed, but DLL/DCM/DCI does
>> not function correctly when reconfigured"
>>
>> Similar things can happen if the part almost, but not quite, finishes
>> configuration and ends up in a configured state with GSR or GTS
>> still asserted.
>>
>> To help sort out what is happening, create a test design with:
>> - an LED driven from a switch input (no registers)
>> - a blinky LED counter driven from the input clock WITHOUT a DCM
>> - a blinky LED counter driven from a DCM sourced clock
>> - LED's on DCM LOCKED and "clock stopped" status bit
>>
>> Brian
>>

>
>It's very strange, but here's what I meant: I am using Digilent's JTAG
>utility (it's called Export) to program the FPGA via JTAG. Using IMPACT
>to create the .bit file, and then program the FPGA with the .bit.
>Digilent's Export tool only supports .bit and .svf files. If I program
>the FPGA via the .bit file, the SRAM never writes, and feeds back random
>garbage, never writes correctly. Some ramtesting vhdl I found for the
>Spartan-3 Starter doesn't work, nor does anything I've written. It
>constantly reads back garbage data. When I go into IMPACT, and generate
>a SVF of the chip programming (with the same .bit file, no less), and
>then load that into Digilent's tool, the SRAM works correctly (reads
>back fine, the ram tester comes out ok).
>
>I know it seems bizarre, but it's what happens.


A quick "reality check" on programming problems is to program the file into the flash.
If it behaves differently then it's definitely a download problem
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:03 PM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Believe it or not, every other component seems to work. I wrote a
working UART and was able to send data to and from a terminal no
problem, as well as all the LEDs and Switches work. I've been talking
to Digilent, and they have been working with me in trying to figure out
what's causing it. Only thing that doesn't seem to work is the SRAM
when programming via a .bit file. Everything else is fine, which is
why I hadn't noticed a problem until I tried to use the SRAM.


[email protected] wrote:
> Scott M. Kroll wrote:
>
> > It's very strange, but here's what I meant: I am using Digilent's JTAG
> > utility (it's called Export) to program the FPGA via JTAG. Using IMPACT
> > to create the .bit file, and then program the FPGA with the .bit.
> > Digilent's Export tool only supports .bit and .svf files. If I program
> > the FPGA via the .bit file, the SRAM never writes, and feeds back random
> > garbage, never writes correctly.

>
> Okay, let me see if I understand this correctly - the digilent
> programmer does not seem to be able to make a .bit file work, but if
> you use the xilinx tool to turn .bit into .svf, the digilent programmer
> can load that.
>
> Your only evidence of working/not working to date is the ram test. But
> it's probably that the programming more generally fails?
>
> Anyway, my impression is that a .bit file is just data, while a .svf
> file is data expanded into explicit instructions for how to wiggle the
> jtag lines to program it into a xilinx part - all the thinking is
> already done, only the execution remains. This suggests that your
> problem is that the digilent programmer is not using (is not configured
> to use) the right programming algorithm for the part in question. When
> it's mindlessly executing the .svf instructions things work, when it's
> taking responsibility for figuring out how to program a .bit, it fails.
>
> You could either take that up with digilent, or if you want to
> streamline your intermediate step, the xilinx tools can be run
> command-line style from scripts to do your translation.


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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-10-2006, 12:10 PM
c d saunter
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Hi Scott,
I can't shed any light on the issue you describe, but...

When the SRAM fails to work, does the 'socket' (i.e. the shrinkwrapped IC
and PCB etc.) on the end of the JTAG-USB cable get very very hot?

Twice now I have had occasions when programming .bit files through one of
these cables the end gets very very hot - although everything still seems
to work. Due to this and other not quite definable oddities I've switched
to programming the platform flash with .svf files and using this to
program the FPGA.

It doesn't inspire faith in the things...

cds

Scott M. Kroll ([email protected]) wrote:
: Well, I'm not sure if anyone here has had the same problem, but I have,
: and it has been driving me nuts. My primary machine is a laptop, which
: has no parallel port, so I am stuck with USB. Also, I am in a class
: where we are doing projects using the Spartan-3 Starter Kit from Digilent.

: Since I have no parallel port, I have been using Digilent's JTAG-USB
: cable, which, for the most part, works great. However, there are two
: problems.

: 1. You cannot use Xilinx IMPACT to program the Spartan-3
: 2. The external SRAM does not work when using a .bit file

: Well, #2 seems awfully strange. I know it did for me, I thought I was
: having a problem with VHDL, and that's why I thought it wasn't working.
: Well, I spent a long time tinkering with it over our winter break (I
: know, I know, but it's what I did) and just today I came up with the
: solution.

: A little explanation for this is probably needed. Basically, anything I
: write and compile in IMPACT would work fine. LEDs light up, the
: 7-segment display works fine, everything I've done works great.
: However, every time I tried to write to the SRAM, nothing changed, I
: simply got back garbage/random data. Every time, no questions asked, it
: just didn't work. To make a long story short, here's a solution I
: discovered (which, is a whole another story to how I figured it out).

: 1. Start IMPACT
: 2. Edit -> Add Device -> Xilinx Device
: 3. Loaded c:\Program Files\Xilinx\spartan3\data\xc3s200_ft256.bsd
: 4. Right-Clicked Device, Assigned Configuration File
: 5. Mode -> File Mode
: 6. Clicked SVF-STAPL-XSVF tab, clicked "Yes" when it asked to load from
: Boundary Scan
: 7. Chose to generate a new SVF file, named it
: 8. Right-Clicked Device, chose Program.
: 9. Output -> SVF -> Stop Writing to SVF File
: 10. Quit Impact
: 11. Started Export, did Device Scan, loaded SVF into the xc3s200, set
: the prom to bypass, hit program. Everything worked right.

: Seems like a strange solution, but what I want to know, has anyone here
: had a problem like this? I have a feeling that loading a different .BSD
: file for other Xilinx chips should work just as well with the JTAG-USB
: cable/Digilent's ExPort software, but I couldn't tell you.

: Hope this helps people out.

: If anyone wants to contact me with any more information via email,
: please use: skroll at gmail dot com

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-10-2006, 06:18 PM
Scott M. Kroll
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Believe it or not, just taking jumper M0 off let me program the .bit
file and it worked. But the USB cable is always hot, even when not
programming (it's plugged into my laptop right now, without the
Spartan-3 Board, and it's very warm/near hot. Still, I think that
Digilent needs to do a little work with their software to avoid this
inconvenience.

But like I mentioned before, just pulling that jumper let it work,
although it doesn't boot from the PROM anymore (because the jumper
changes a mode setting).

c d saunter wrote:
> Hi Scott,
> I can't shed any light on the issue you describe, but...
>
> When the SRAM fails to work, does the 'socket' (i.e. the shrinkwrapped IC
> and PCB etc.) on the end of the JTAG-USB cable get very very hot?
>
> Twice now I have had occasions when programming .bit files through one of
> these cables the end gets very very hot - although everything still seems
> to work. Due to this and other not quite definable oddities I've switched
> to programming the platform flash with .svf files and using this to
> program the FPGA.
>
> It doesn't inspire faith in the things...
>
> cds
>
> Scott M. Kroll ([email protected]) wrote:
> : Well, I'm not sure if anyone here has had the same problem, but I have,
> : and it has been driving me nuts. My primary machine is a laptop, which
> : has no parallel port, so I am stuck with USB. Also, I am in a class
> : where we are doing projects using the Spartan-3 Starter Kit from Digilent.
>
> : Since I have no parallel port, I have been using Digilent's JTAG-USB
> : cable, which, for the most part, works great. However, there are two
> : problems.
>
> : 1. You cannot use Xilinx IMPACT to program the Spartan-3
> : 2. The external SRAM does not work when using a .bit file
>
> : Well, #2 seems awfully strange. I know it did for me, I thought I was
> : having a problem with VHDL, and that's why I thought it wasn't working.
> : Well, I spent a long time tinkering with it over our winter break (I
> : know, I know, but it's what I did) and just today I came up with the
> : solution.
>
> : A little explanation for this is probably needed. Basically, anything I
> : write and compile in IMPACT would work fine. LEDs light up, the
> : 7-segment display works fine, everything I've done works great.
> : However, every time I tried to write to the SRAM, nothing changed, I
> : simply got back garbage/random data. Every time, no questions asked, it
> : just didn't work. To make a long story short, here's a solution I
> : discovered (which, is a whole another story to how I figured it out).
>
> : 1. Start IMPACT
> : 2. Edit -> Add Device -> Xilinx Device
> : 3. Loaded c:\Program Files\Xilinx\spartan3\data\xc3s200_ft256.bsd
> : 4. Right-Clicked Device, Assigned Configuration File
> : 5. Mode -> File Mode
> : 6. Clicked SVF-STAPL-XSVF tab, clicked "Yes" when it asked to load from
> : Boundary Scan
> : 7. Chose to generate a new SVF file, named it
> : 8. Right-Clicked Device, chose Program.
> : 9. Output -> SVF -> Stop Writing to SVF File
> : 10. Quit Impact
> : 11. Started Export, did Device Scan, loaded SVF into the xc3s200, set
> : the prom to bypass, hit program. Everything worked right.
>
> : Seems like a strange solution, but what I want to know, has anyone here
> : had a problem like this? I have a feeling that loading a different .BSD
> : file for other Xilinx chips should work just as well with the JTAG-USB
> : cable/Digilent's ExPort software, but I couldn't tell you.
>
> : Hope this helps people out.
>
> : If anyone wants to contact me with any more information via email,
> : please use: skroll at gmail dot com
>


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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 03-10-2006, 06:29 PM
Antti
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

I belive you.

there are some 'odd' things regarding the JTAG config, when during jtag
config
some other (serial or parallel) interface what is been selected by mode
pins
does clock in a valid config header things go crazy -
there is a xilinx AR workaround also I think suggesting mode pin change

Antti

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2006, 02:33 AM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Scott M. Kroll wrote:
> Believe it or not, just taking jumper M0 off let me program the .bit
> file and it worked.


It just occured to me... when I program the S3 kit with impact and the
parallel cable, I get this little popup warning that it has changed
that startup clock to jtag vs whatever was in the .bit file. Might
this have anything to do with it - that change might get made in the
SVF, but be missed if you take the .bit file directly to the USB
downloader program?

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2006, 03:58 AM
Brian Davis
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Digilent Spartan-3 Starter Kit w/ JTAG-USB Problem/Solution

Scott M. Kroll wrote:
> Believe it or not, just taking jumper M0 off let me program the .bit
> file and it worked. But the USB cable is always hot, even when not
> programming (it's plugged into my laptop right now, without the
> Spartan-3 Board, and it's very warm/near hot.


I set up the Digilent USB JTAG cable (Export 1.3) and tried
a few bitfile downloads of my S3 memory test code; the results
match yours, but I can also get the bitfile download to work
with the mode jumpers all on just by doing an extra JTAG
operation as I mentioned earlier.

test notes:

- my cable also stays warm

- after changing mode jumpers, .bit file downloads & runs OK

- with JP1 completely off, M0/M1/M2 jumpers all on, after
the .bit file is downloaded (PROM in bypass), the FPGA
fails to operate ( DONE LED off, user LEDs weakly lit
during/after download ).

However, another JTAG operation will wake up the design,
(DONE LED on) and it functions correctly after a manual reset.

"Another JTAG operation" = either an initialize chain, or just
do a device ID on the FPGA or PROM

- changing the startup clock (user/JTAG) and DCM reset options in
bitgen had no effect on the problem with the mode jumpers all on.

Brian

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