- USB Blaster
- Install on Windows 10
- Install on windows 10 again
- USB Blaster made in China can be used on windows10
I’m building my own evaluation board for the Intel CPLD MAV V 5M160Z.
I haven’t finished it yet because I don’t have the JTAG connector yet, but I just finished reflowing it and mounting the components.
To create a CPLD or FPGA program for Intel(Atmel), Intel Quartus Prime. The created program is written (configured) via JTAG using a download cable. This download cable is sold under the name USB Blaster. There are various types of USB Blaster, from genuine to compatible products.
Intel genuine product is expensive
It is a genuine Intel USB Blaster, but it is not very expensive and easy to buy.
Terasic USB Blaster
It is a USB Blaster compatible download cable made by Terasic, a global manufacturer selling FPGA evaluation boards of Intel and Xilinx. The function is the same, but it is considerably cheaper than the genuine one.
USB Blaster clone made in China
What a surprise. It’s dramatically cheaper than any other USB Blaster I’ve seen. It’s available on Amazon for just under $2,000.
Once I know the price of the genuine product, this is still cheap, but I bought it cheaper on Aliexpress.
Free shipping and this price! It’s cheap, but it takes about 3 weeks to arrive. If you’re in a hurry, I recommend you buy it on Amazon.
What’s in it you’re wondering about
It is made up of an STM32 microcontroller and a logic IC for level conversion or 74HC244. It should be cheap, right? Will it really be useful?
Install on Windows 10
I’m going to try to set it up on windows 10.
It is not recognized just by plugging it in
I already have Quartus Prime, the development environment, installed on my computer, but when I just plug the USB into the computer, it doesn’t recognize it and has a surprise mark on it.
When you install Quartus Prime, the drivers for the USB-Blaster are also copied to the folder you set up. Try to install with it.
Right click on the USB-Blaster in Device Manager and click “Update Driver”.
Click on “Browse Computer to Find Driver Software” on the bottom row.
Select the folder where you installed Quartus Prime “C:\IntelFPGA_lite”, check “Search subfolders” and click “Next”.
Immediately after “Successfully updated”!!
It will be a blue screen. It’s not “normal” at all.
Install driver for windows7
Apparently, the driver for windows10 doesn’t seem to recognize this USB Blaster made in China correctly. After checking various things, Intel FPGA forum , It was written that it can be installed by using the driver of windows7.
“USB Blaster WIN7 x64.zip” in the above forum is the driver for windows7. Download this and use it. If you can’t download it, please visit . I’ll leave a copy here so you can download it here.
Install on windows 10 again
I can’t install without a signature
Expand the zip file above and you will have a folder called “CDM 2.04.16 WHQL Certified”. If you specify this folder in the driver update…
Since it is a driver for windows7, it is not signed and cannot be set up on windows10.
Start windows10 in a mode that allows installation of unsigned drivers
While pressing the shift key on windows10, click “Restart”. Then you can start windows in a special mode.
Click Advanced options.
Click “Startup Settings”.
Press the “7” key. Windows 10 will then start in a special mode that allows you to install without a signature.
Install with windows7 driver
Launch Device Manager again and right-click on “USB-Blaster”.
Click “Browse my computer for driver software”.
Specify the “CDM 2.04.16 WHQL Certified” folder of the downloaded and extracted windows7 driver. Check “Search subfolders”. Then click “Next”.
A warning will appear, but click “Install this driver software” at the bottom.
The driver is installed.
When I check it with the device manager, the exclamation mark disappears. Now windows is running in a special mode, so restart Windows once to return to normal mode.
Can it really be used?
I will try to see if the CPLD I have is recognizable.
Connect JTAG of USB Blaster to the board with EPM240 of MAX II CPLD. Then the LED on the board turned on. This Chinese made USB Blaster seems to supply power to the board from JTAG. Is it okay? What if the power supply voltage of the board and the voltage supplied from JTAG are different?
I don’t think about that now.
Now, let’s check whether the CPLD connected by JTAG can be recognized correctly. Start Quartus Prime, and start the programmer from “Tools”-“Programmer”. Click “Hardware Setup”.
Select “USB-Blaster” and click “Close”.
If you click “Auto Detect”, you can see that the CPLD of EPM240 is connected. You can see that the USB Blaster is correctly recognizing the connected device.
USB Blaster made in China can be used on windows10
An inexpensive Chinese USB Blaster clone is now available for windows10.