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Bypassing the USB Blaster on Terasic's Cyclone V GX Starter Kit?


Hi Everyone....


I have a Terasic Cyclone V GX Starter Kit board (Rev.B0). The on-board programmer has been giving me trouble lately and now refuses to work. It shows up on my computer as "USB Blaster variant" which isn't what I remember it saying before. I have an official Altera USB Blaster II box and was wondering if I can use that to program the Cyclone V GX board. I don't see a programming header for the Cyclone V on the board and from what I can tell from the schematics, it doesn't look like the JTAG lines are broken out to any external pins.


Is it possible to hook up an external programmer to the Terasic Cyclone V GX Starter Kit board?

If not, is there somewhere where I can get the firmware for the on-board blaster and re-flash it? (That part has a header.)

And if not again, I'm gonna be quite sad for loosing a $200 development board.


Thanks for the help.


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2 Replies

Hi BChri3,

we had the same problem with two CY5 Soc Boards from Terasic. Unfortunaly Terasic refused to send to us the USB Embedded  blaster pof file ​ but they were OK to exchange the boards.

Fortunaly the boards have JTAG connectors. After some modifications ( removing and adding resistors)  we could use the JTAG and jic file and finish the job before exchanging the boards. May be you can use the HSMC connector which has JTAG connections.

I hope it helps.


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Hi BBona,


Thanks for the reply.


I sent an email to Terasic asking for the USB Blaster firmware as a potential quick fix. I was told no because it contains their "business know-how". (Rolls Eyes)


I also looked at modding the board which actually wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. Now I can use my Altera USB Blaster II and my goodness is it a lot fatser than the on-board programmer. What used to take 35-40 seconds with the on-board programmer now gets done before I even lift my finger off the mouse button.


SInce my board is over two years old and I modded it, I doubt Terasic will exchange it. Considering how well it works now, I don't know if I want to go back.


Again, thanks for the suggestions.


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