Home > Uncategorized > Introducing XIFT1 - low cost Programmers for Xilinx board based upon FTDI chipset

Introducing XIFT1 - low cost Programmers for Xilinx board based upon FTDI chipset

January 30th, 2016

Vikas Shukla

Today I wanted to introduce you about XIFT1 the low cost programmer primarily designed as a companion to Spartixed ( low cost spartan 6 evaluation and learner's board).


The key aspect of this programmer is that, its usage is limited not only to the Xilinx FPGA/CPLDs, though it was designed with Xilinx FPGA in mind. It can be used for programming other JTAG devices.

The XIFT1 uses FT2232H chip that has two ports A and B. The Port A of the FT2232H chip is configured as JTAG interface ( the port B is configured as UART and is not used).

Key Features

FTDI FT2232HQ USB controller
Powered by USB Cable
0.1" 14 Pin JTAG Header
Small Size 1.25" x 1.25"

The prototype board does not incorporate buffer IC. This can be an issue when the Vref voltage on the Xilinx boardwill be different from the 3.3V generated by the programmer. So we are working on the board upgrade that will incorporate a level shifter.

Programming Spartixed with “XC3SPROG” and XIFT1:

You will need to download an open source program called XC3SPROG. The complete instruction to program Xilinx device is as follows

1. Download XC3SPROG from https://svn.code.sf.net/p/xc3sprog/code/trunk/xc3sprog.exe
2. Place xc3sprog.exe to the folder of your ISE project, where .bit file is located.
3. Open the command prompt and go to the directory that has the .bit file. Give the following command

"C:>xc3sprog.exe -c ftdi -v -p 0 YOUR_FILE.bit".

The board uses and EEPROM IC to store the configuration of the FT2232H chip. Usually you should not need to change the configuration of this chip, but can be done if required.

This youtube shows the working programmer.


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