External programmer needed?


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 Although all papilio-Dues have the same hardware, I am very curious to know why papilio-due's ability to be programmed in xilinx impact (using digilent plugin) is marked as an unsupported feature that works for some board on may not works for some others?



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Unfortunately i do not have any exprience regarding this issue. I just see the following statement in the papilio hardware guide page which raised this question in my mind:



An external programmer may not be necessary to use the Xilinx tools. The Papilio DUO may be detected by the Digilent cable plugin which will allow it to be used with the Xilinx tools. This is an unsupported feature that may or may not work. We recommend using the Papilio tools to load bit files to the Papilio, but if you need to use the Papilio with the EDK or Chipscope software then check to see if the Digilent plugin detects your board. If not then we recommend using the JTAG port with an external programmer.

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I don't think they're saying some boards work and others don't.  Instead, I think the "may or may not work" could be any of the following:

  • It depends on which Xilinx tool you're using.
  • It depends on which features you're using on that tool.
  • It depends on which version of that tool you've got.
  • It's tricky to set up.  Some people have figured it out or been lucky enough to have it work, others might have difficulty.
  • Somebody has used it, but we're not sure if it really works well enough to have other people rely on it.

Most likely the latter two.  I think what Gadget Factory have done is shared what information they have, from trying this out.  They might not have had the time to do the kind of detailed testing that would be required to change those "may be"s to certainties.  And Jack's priority has probably been on the Papilio tools, rather than the Xilinx ones.


I imagine that most of us are using the Papilio tools.  I know I am.

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Thanks for the reply.


Unfortunately i could not find any tutorial about using papilio (and other similar boards like pipistrello) in Xilinx Impact using Digilent plugin. May anyone provide me (and many others that may have the same issue) more detailed information?


p.s: Sorry, I dont know if publishing answer regarding using digilent plugin to access non-digilent usb-jtag programmers has legal issues or not, but as far as i know, i did not sign any agreement with digilent which forced me not to use their plugin without their own hardware! so, i don't think asking this question in the public forum (and answering it) causes problem to anyone. Please let me know if i am wrong.



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