Build a Xilinx Parallel JTAG Programming Cable

The Xilinx Parallel Programmer Project contains all the information on how to make a home-built programmer for CPLD and FPGA programming of Xilinx devices. The schematic and PCB files are in open source KiCad format so can easily be modified.




The PCB for the project is a single sided board that you can build at home using the toner transfer method or other home-made PCB method of your choice. Components used on the board are all through-hole parts for easy assembly.

7 thoughts on “Build a Xilinx Parallel JTAG Programming Cable

    • Are you refering to the Parallel Cable or the CPLD board? I have never used Digilent Adept, the board and cable both work with the Xilinx ISE software.

  1. I have built this programmer and i am trying to burn the bit file to Digilent Nexys 2 Board. In the prompt window below, i got this message
    Connecting to cable (Parallel Port – LPT1).
    Checking cable driver.
    Driver windrvr6.sys version = 10.2.1.0. WinDriver v10.21 Jungo (c) 1997 – 2010 Build Date: Aug 31 2010 X86 32bit SYS 14:35:41, version = 1021.
    LPT base address = 0378h.
    ECP base address = FFFFFFFFh.
    Cable connection established.
    Even after following the steps mentioned in your blog i am not able to detect the device please help!

    • It looks like it is connecting in iMPACT, but what happens next?

      Did you try to get it to connect automatically as in this image: http://startingelectronics.com/software/xilinx/starting-xilinx-CPLD-project-ISE/xil14.jpg

      Here are some things to check:
      1) Carefully check the wiring of your programmer cable, including the pins that must be joined together on the plug.
      2) Check that the JTAG connections of the programmer cable are correctly connected to the target board.
      3) There may be an issue with your parallel port settings in the BIOS. Try ECP mode or other mode and see if it works.
      4) If the device on the target board is part of a JTAG scan chain, make sure that there is not a jumper that must be closed to complete the scan chain.

  2. I have built the xilinx parallel programmer but when i try to download bit file to my spartan3 kit it is giving me error as “Impact:923 -can not find cable , check cable set up. ” i checked all my pin connections properly everything is correct. is there any driver for this cable i need to install on my windows xp 32 bit ..? i am using xilinx ISE 10.1 simulator.

  3. Hi,
    first of all i appreciate the simplicity of your design , I have designed the cable following all your instructions but when i tried to download my program in spartan 3 using the xilinx ise 14.2 simulator is showing an error”Impact:923″ , its a kind of authentication error that the cable is not found or no cable detected.I have installed the ISE as per your guidance so all the drivers been installed properly. Cable is getting power supply at all nodes means there is no any hardware issue.please help me to rectify this error.
    Thank you.

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