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What causes intermittent JTAG chain errors? How do I fix it?

I recently downloaded the latest installer package for the production Stratix 10 TX SI board, as well as Quartus 19.3 Prime Pro and Programmer. I have been having trouble getting the Board Test System to work. I always get fatal "Failed to register GUI application!" errors unless I lower the JTAG clock rate to 16MHz. Then it sometimes works. (I have successfully run the PAM-4 design a couple times.) I noticed that if I repeatedly query the JTAG chain with jtagconfig, the response appears random. Sometimes it correctly lists the FPGA, and sometimes it says "JTAG chain broken." If I set the clock rate to 16MHz, it resets to 24MHz after a chain break. I need to reset it again before I can get BTS to start. I think this is a software configuration problem. Can you help me fix it?

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Hello

 

Welcome to INTEL forum. would you kindly help check whether your machine is supported or not (OS) by referring to ling below:

https://www.altera.com/support/support-resources/download/os-support.html      

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Beginner
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Thanks for your reply. I have Windows 10 Enterprise running on a computer with an Intel Xeon E-2176M processor and 64 GB memory. I bought this computer on the recommendation of the vendor (Arrow Electronics) from whom I obtained the SI board.

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Hi

 

Could you help check on this? the manufactured board’s BTS was built with Quartus Pro 18.0.1.261(for ES edition) and 18.1.2.277(for Production edition). Possibly it is caused by the difference in system console of different Quartus revisions. There is log in the BTS directory, you can check it for the reason of the failure. It is suggested to upgrade or use the right Quartus version.

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Beginner
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Are you saying I should revert to Quartus Pro 18 to run BTS? I had to upgrade from 19.1 to 19.2 because 19.1 had some known issue with the USB-BlasterII cable driver which was fixed in 19.2. (I did confirm that 19.2 solved the cable driver issue we were having.) I couldn't get the cable to install using the 19.1 driver, so I am reluctant to go back even earlier. I have 19.3 installed now.

Also, I get the JTAG errors regardless of BTS. I can just run jtagconfig to see them. It seems to me that BTS isn't the problem.

Thank you!

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Yes, there are some issue regarding USB-Blaster II use in Quartus 19.1 and engineering come out with Patch 0.03 as a worked-out solution refer here

https://www.intel.com/content/altera-www/global/en_us/index/support/support-resources/knowledge-base...

Based on my understanding, this is related to JTAG SI issue and still no solid solution to it, just need to change/lower the TCK frequency to 16M or 6M.

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Beginner
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I rolled back my Quartus and JTAG driver versions to 18.1.2.277. This did not solve the JTAG issue discussed above, but it did solve another problem. With this version (only) I was able to get the pam4_xcvr_com.qpf project that comes with the BTS to compile, load and run. The transceiver toolkit in Quartus also works now. (It seems necessary to remove the Max V from the JTAG chain.) I have two questions:

(1) the SI Quickstart Guide says to hook the board SMA outputs to an oscilloscope, but it doesn't say what kind of scope, or how to trigger it. We haven't been able to display the PAM-4 eye on our DCA using any of the output clocks. How do we trigger it? Is an external clock source needed? (We've tried that too, without success so far.)

(2) when all PAM4 channels are turned off, we still see a signal on the SMA outputs. It looks like a ~7GHz distorted sine wave. We can actually trigger this one with the PLL output clock signal (at ~156 MHz). What signal is this?

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Hi Sir

 

The transceiver toolkit in Quartus related support is out of my expertise. The Case you summited is on JTAG chain errors however, the queries you made related to transceiver toolkit. Please be inform we that have different engineers to handle different field of specialty. I would suggest you open/submit a new request for my colleague to take a look into it

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Beginner
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Yes, I should have done that, thank you.
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Thanks for updating and thanks for your understanding.

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