Below are the lists for supported download cable for Intel FPGA:
- Intel FPGA Parallel Port Cable
- Intel FPGA Download Cable (previously known as USB blaster)
- Intel FPGA Download Cable II (previously known as USB blaster II)
- Intel FPGA Ethernet Cable
Please find the following link for more details:
I usually used Intel FPGA Download Cable II for my project/design. However, it's depend on your device.
For 10 series (max 10, cyclone 10 etc2) and above, I recommend you to use Intel FPGA Download Cable II
For legacy device, Intel FPGA Download Cable I should be enough for you (Cyclone IV).
Having put many FPGA designs into production, I find the most manufacturing friendly route is to have the devices pre-programmed prior to assembly. This obviates the need for any production line programming setup. For Altera/Intel (or even Xilinx) FPGA devices this means sourcing pre-programmed Flash EEPROM devices from a distributor, which is not hard to do. Companies like Arrow, etc are setup to do this (as well as many offshore distributors).
If you go this route than you typically only need FPGA programming equipment at specific rework stations, not on the assembly line. It also saves production line time, as you no longer have the setup and programming time on the production line, or prior to final test and assembly.