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FTDI Morphic IC II Dev Module Review

Honored Contributor II

This is a link to the review I have just completed on the FTDI Module. This has the Cyclone II chip on it and a FT2232H FTDI chip to act as USB to JTAG interface. 


full review can be seen on the designspark website. (http://www.designspark.com/content/ftdi-morph-ic-ii-fpga-development-module-review


Please leave any comment here or via my twitter / Google+ account (See review for links) 







PS: If you have any kits you would like reviewed, please let me know and I'll try and get hold of one to look at and write up.
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3 Replies
Honored Contributor II

I agree with Paul's review. 


I have (was given) the older Morph-IC version of this device; FT2232C plus an ACEX 1K FPGA. I looked at the specifications of the newer device and decided it was not worth buying. 


The fact that on the new Morph-IC-II device, FTDI did not work with Altera to get one channel of their USB interface to the FPGA to be recognized as a USB-Blaster is disappointing. The Arrow BeMicro shows that this type of functionality is possible, since the BeMicro is recognized as an Arrow-USB-Blaster (the BeMicro requires an Arrow-supplied driver, since the USB circuit is not a standard USB-Blaster circuit). Interestingly, the newer BeMicro-SDK incorporates a 'true' USB-Blaster circuit in addition to a Cyclone FPGA, i.e., it looks like Arrow gave up trying to support their custom USB-Blaster implementation. So perhaps its not FTDI's fault for not incorporating the USB-Blaster on their Morph-IC-II board, but Altera's proprietary hold on JTAG-interface related information ... 



Honored Contributor II

again, thanks for posting your review. i enjoy reading them 


i too was surprised to see a Cyclone II on the board. i wonder why FTDI didn't put their resources toward developing an HSMC card that could be used with various kits
Honored Contributor II

I think usage of MPSSE allow to store bitfile in device drivers. So it loads bitfile when card is connected to computer and drivers startsup. This remove need for configuration device. 


MPSSE is FTDI own block for I2C, SPI and JTAG communication. This JTAG mode is commonly used in ARM debugging with openOCD. 


I think that Cyclone II was rather small (only 4k LE). When you check what terasic used in DE0-Nano Cyclone IV (22k LE) and this is almost smallest what they used in dev boards. 



I think this is good card for IO expansion for computer. You can't do much with 4k LE but is more than enought for IO expansion and some simple data handling and calculation.