Now that I think about it, I’ve been using my Xilinx Platform Cable USB II for 10 years now!!! That’s a terrific run in my opinion, I got it in a kit for the Virtex-5 ML505 board in 2006 and I would have kept using it if I didn’t start getting these strange error messages recently. So from a recommendation, I got myself a JTAG HS3 from Digilent and it is just ridiculously better. As you can see from the photo, it’s much smaller although some people might see that as a down-side because it’s easier to lose… I don’t know.. for me, the real advantage is that it is so much faster than the Platform cable. I like tools that don’t make me wait, because my time is important and I have no patience for that moment when I’m waiting for the bitstream to download and I need to know whether my design changes are going to work or not. This tool rocks!

Jeff is passionate about FPGAs, SoCs and high-performance computing, and has been writing the FPGA Developer blog since 2008. As the owner of Opsero, he leads a small team of FPGA all-stars providing start-ups and tech companies with FPGA design capability that they can call on when needed.

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