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devel / comp.arch.fpga / Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers

SubjectAuthor
* BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit driversMaur Vir
`* Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit driversTheo
 `- Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit driversMaur Vir

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BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers

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Subject: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers
From: maur...@gmail.com (Maur Vir)
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 by: Maur Vir - Fri, 21 Jan 2022 06:39 UTC

I found my old BeMicro Cyclone III board laying around the other day and happen to have a use for it - if I can get it running again. I know it's an ancient board, but this project doesn't need much, and this old device would be perfect.

Unfortunately, none of my current machines are capable of running the drivers that came with it. They are all running either Windows 10 64-bit or 64-bit Linux. I do, however, have a Windows 7 64-bit VM I used for older tools - including old versions of Quartus for supporting other ancient hardware.

Would anyone still happen to have a copy of this driver? The last time I saw a reference to it was on the old Altera forums around 2012. I hate to toss a functional board over something as trivial as this.

Thanks!

Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers

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From: theom+n...@chiark.greenend.org.uk (Theo)
Newsgroups: comp.arch.fpga
Subject: Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers
Date: 21 Jan 2022 23:37:43 +0000 (GMT)
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 by: Theo - Fri, 21 Jan 2022 23:37 UTC

Maur Vir <maurvir@gmail.com> wrote:
> I found my old BeMicro Cyclone III board laying around the other day and
> happen to have a use for it - if I can get it running again. I know it's
> an ancient board, but this project doesn't need much, and this old device
> would be perfect.
>
> Unfortunately, none of my current machines are capable of running the
> drivers that came with it. They are all running either Windows 10 64-bit
> or 64-bit Linux. I do, however, have a Windows 7 64-bit VM I used for
> older tools - including old versions of Quartus for supporting other
> ancient hardware.

Is that the drivers for the USB Blaster JTAG interface, or for something
else?

According to:
https://fpgasoftware.intel.com/devices/
the last supported version of Quartus for the Cyclone III is 13.1
(the free Lite version should suffice). You can download old versions from
there, which should have the driver integrated.
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/programmable/support-resources/download/dri-index.html
has some as standlone downloads.

However, the USB Blaster interface hasn't really changed since then, so if
you were to install the Windows drivers from a later version of Quartus it
would probably work.

On Linux, there hasn't been a lot of changes since 13.1 - the main
difference is some of the older versions looked for /dev/bus/usb whereas
nowadays it's done via sysfs. What errors do you get if you try to talk to
it on Linux?

There have been various different USB IDs:
09fb:6001 / 6002 / 6003: original USB Blaster (USB 1.1)

09fb:6810 (USB Blaster 2 boots up as this, before firmware is downloaded)
09fb:6010 (USB Blaster 2 when firmware has been downloaded)

and they should all be covered by the USB Blaster drivers in Quartus.

Theo

Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers

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Subject: Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers
From: maur...@gmail.com (Maur Vir)
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 by: Maur Vir - Sat, 22 Jan 2022 16:01 UTC

Yes, I was referring to the USB drivers. This little board used a FTDI FT2232D chip to create both a virtual USB blaster and a USB to serial port converter. A clever little design, but no one ever signed the drivers. Supposedly, there were signed drivers created by someone at Arrow years ago, but they have disappeared off the face of the Earth since Intel bought Altera and absorbed the forums into their own.

Linux sees the board, and even correctly displays its ID as a Bemicro Cyclone III, but it doesn't know how to split the interface into an A and B port, so even the Linux version of Quartus doesn't see it as a programmer.

That said, I have since found the Sno boards, from Aloriumtech, which are actually a better fit. I don't really care about the embedded processor design, but the board itself is tiny and has a decent Max 10M16 part on it - and they exposed the JTAG header explicitly. This is a personal project, not a work project, hence the trying to reuse old boards and parts, but you can't complain about a $49 board that makes it *that* easy.

If this were a work project, there are a lot of tiny little FPGA boards on the market, but they are all hundreds of dollars. Most of them are also a bit excessive for a hobby project.

Thanks!


devel / comp.arch.fpga / Re: BeMicro Cyclone III 64-bit drivers

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