How to Program a CPLD using the JTAGkey from Amontec

If you don’t have a parallel port on your computer and can’t use the home built Xilinx JTAG programmer, then one alternative is to use the JTAGkey USB tool from Amontec.

The JTAGkey does not work directly with the Xilinx ISE software as the parallel programmer or Xilinx USB programmer does. Instead, the Xilinx iMPACT software that is normally used to program a CPLD or FPGA is used to produce a SVF file. Software from Amontec uses the SVF file to configure the CPLD.

Read the full article on programming Xilinx CPLDs using the Amontec JTAGkey USB JTAG tool in Windows 7.

What is the Amontec JTAGkey?

The Amontec JTAGkey is a USB JTAG device for programming and debugging ARM microcontrollers. It can also be used to program FPGAs and CPLDs as well as do JTAG boundary-scan. The JTAGkey is made by the Amontec company in Switzerland.

Read more about the Amontec JTAGkey in the Amontec JTAGkey USB JTAG Tool article.

Learn VHDL using a Xilinx CPLD

This introductory VHDL course uses a Xilinx CPLD board to teach the basics of logic design using VHDL. The course starts at a very basic level for absolute beginners in VHDL, but does assume some knowledge of digital electronics such as gates, truth tables, registers, etc.

This is a very practical course and consists of a brief introduction to CPLDs and VHDL, followed by a series of tutorials that teach VHDL by implementing various VHDL designs on the CPLD board.

The hardware for the course (a CPLD board and a programming cable) can be built at home on home-made single sided PCBs. The software can be downloaded for free.

The course consists of these articles and tutorials:

Installing Free Xilinx Software for CPLD and FPGA Development

The free CPLD and FPGA development software from Xilinx is called ISE WebPACK. This article shows how to install ISE WebPACK 14 on a Windows 7 computer.

You may be interested in building the Xilinx CPLD board project and the Xilinx parallel JTAG programmer project that can be used with the Xilinx ISE WebPACK software.