Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)
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Author:  admin [ Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)


Order Yours Here.


Usb ISP programmer for programming Altera's range of FPGA and CPLD device. This programmer is also idealy suited for our own Altera development boards such as item HCDVBD0006. This programmer is compatible with Altera's Quartus development tools (Use USB blaster in programmer hardware settings).

Items include:
1 X device
1 X USB cable
1 X 10pin JTAGE cable

You can purchase yours here.

Supports 1.5V,1.8V,2.5V,3.5V and 5.0V.

Supports ALTERA products : CPLD ( MAX3000, MAX7000, MAX9000 and MAX II ) ; FPGA ( Stratix, StratixII, Cyclone, CycloneII, ACEX 1K, APEX20K and FLEX 10K) ;Active serial configuration device (EPCS1, EPCS4, EPCS16)

Supports AS, PS and JTAG program ( with Verify and BankCheck function).
Supports embedded logic analyser function of SignalTapII
Supports NIOS II communication and debugger -- When you use it to debug your Black Gold , it will not Pop-up warning
Faster -- about 6 times than ByteblasterII
USB interface
100% compatible with Official ALTERA USB Blaster

Example application


Drivers for this programmer are provided as part of the Altera Quartus software. You can download the free (web) version of this software from the link below. Once downloaded and installed the drivers can be found in the following path:



Drivers for this programmer are included in this software. Warning - Large download!

Altera Quartus II Web Edition (13.0)

Altera Quartus Prime Lite Edition (15.1)

Does this program support the Altera....?
This programmer is compatible with the Altera USB blaster download cable. We have not been able to test the entire rage of supported devices ourselves but here is the current supported list:

Stratix® FPGA Series, Cyclone® FPGA Series, MercuryTM Devices, ACEX 1K® Devices, APEXTM II Devices, APEX 20K Devices, APEX 20KE Devices, APEX 20KC Devices, FLEX 10K® Devices, FLEX 10KA Devices, FLEX 10KE Devices, FLEX® 8000 Devices, FLEX 6000 Devices, MAX II Devices, MAX 7000A Devices, MAX 7000B Devices, MAX 7000S Devices, MAX 3000A Devices, ExcaliburTM Devices, Serial Configuration Devices, Enhanced Configuration Devices.

Note: Not recommended for Max 10 series FPGA devices.

Will this program devices not manufactured by Altera?
No, it is not a general purpose JTAG programmer and will only program Altera devices in the supported list above.

I am trying to use the programmer with the Linux version of the Quartus II. It sees the programmer but when I try to use it just says failed. How do I fix this?

This is a permissions issue. See the 3rd post in this thread for a solution.

Libraries, example code, and diagrams are provided as an additional free service by Hobby Components and are not sold as part of this product. We do not provide any guarantees or warranties as to their accuracy or fitness for purpose.

Descriptions and diagrams on this page are copyright Hobby Components Ltd and may not be reproduced without permission.

Author:  terpa [ Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

I cannot program neither the LC MAXII Altera Dev Board nor the Cyclone II dev board using this programmer.
I'm using Quartus II web edition 13.0sp01 on a linux system. The programmer is recognized (from dmesg) as USB-Blaster form Altera; I need to push on the Hardware setup button to select the programmer but when I try to program the board (Start button) I get (Failed) on the progress bar.
Can someone help me?
Thank you
Paolo Terrevoli

Author:  andrew [ Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

I've installed the Linux version and managed to replicate the issue. It a permissions problem and so Quartus doesn't have access to the programmer. You can resolve this by creating a udev rules file:

First you need to get the product ID of the programmer. In a terminal window issue the following command:


You will see a list of attached USB devices. Look for the one named Altera Blaster. It should look like this:

Bus 003 Device 007: ID 09fb:6001 Altera Blaster

Note the numbers after the ID. The first is the USB VID of 09fb and the second is the PID of 6001

You should see the same numbers.

Next CD to the rule.d directory:

cd /etc/udev/rules.d/

Then create a new rules file:

sudo pico 51-usbblaster.rules

In the text editor paste the following text:

# Altera USB-Blaster permissions.
RUN+="/bin/chmod 0666 %c"

Note the VID and PID values. These should match the ones listed from the lsusb command.

Save the file and exit the text editor.

You will now need to make sure the group permissions of the file is the same as the group name of your Quartus install. If you have a standard Quartus install it will probably be using your user group name but if you want to make sure just open up a second terminal window and CD to wherever you have installed Quartus and issue the command ls -l

andrew@andrew-Aspire-E1-570:~/altera/13.1/quartus$ ls -l
total 792
drwxrwxr-x  2 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:52 adm
drwxrwxr-x  2 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:52 bin
drwxr-xr-x 17 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:51 common
drwxr-xr-x  6 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:51 cusp
drwxrwxr-x  3 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:52 drivers
drwxrwxr-x  3 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:54 dspba
drwxrwxr-x  4 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:54 dsp_builder
-r-xr-xr-x  1 andrew andrew 108795 Oct 24  2013 dsp_lic.txt
drwxr-xr-x  6 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:50 eda
drwxrwxr-x  2 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:51 extlibs32
drwxr-xr-x  8 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:51 libraries
-r--r--r--  1 andrew andrew 495139 Oct 24  2013 license.txt
drwxrwxr-x 11 andrew andrew  69632 Nov 28 18:03 linux
drwxrwxr-x 12 andrew andrew  69632 Nov 28 18:02 linux64
drwxrwxr-x  2 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:51 lmf
drwxrwxr-x  6 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 17:52 qdesigns
-r--r--r--  1 andrew andrew   5016 Oct 24  2013 readme.txt
drwxr-xr-x  7 andrew andrew   4096 Nov 28 18:02 sopc_builder
-rw-rw-r--  1 andrew andrew     26 Nov 28 18:02 version.txt

Go back to the original terminal window and change the group permission of the rule file by issuing the following command:

sudo chown :username 51-usbblaster.rules

In your case change username to whatever group name your version of Quartus is using

type ls -l to make sure the group permission for the file has changed.

To make the changes take effect either reboot your computer or issue the following command:

sudo udevadm control --reload

Quartus should now have access to the programmer.

Author:  leetfrog [ Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

Could you provide a matching fix for Windows 10 users please ? I have the same issue i believe.

Author:  andrew [ Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

The above issue is specific to the Linux OS and you should't be seeing this problem on Windows. Do you see the analyser listed in device manager? If so do you see any error messages? Also, were you able to install the driver for it without any problems?

Author:  leetfrog [ Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

I had installed the drivers from the Quartus 2 software and checked that the USB blaster is showing up in device manager under the Universal Serial Bus Controllers tab and it appears as Altera USB-Blaster, I would go into the programming window from Quartus 2 and after installing the drivers the USB-Blaster showed up as USB-Blaster [USB-0], I select this and chose the file to upload to the board, checking Program/Configure on the programming window with my VHDL output file selected then clicking the start button i can see the activity light on the USB-Blaster flash once then the terminal window on Quartus 2 shows
Can't access JTAG chain, operation failed
, if i try to auto detect i get an error message about debugging the JTAG chain, i'm pretty sure I installed the USB-Blaster driver files from the right place since it does show up in the programmer window, I installed it from E:\Altera13.0sp1\quartus\drivers\usb-blaster

if you need any screenshots or anything more let me know and I'll send them


Author:  andrew [ Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

Thanks for the information. The error message in particular is helpful. It looks to me like everything is installed correctly and the error message is more what I would expect to see if there was some sort of connection issue between the programmer and the development board. This could be a number of things such as a bad connection, cable inserted the wrong way or on some development boards there is more than one type of programming header and you may be connected to the wrong one. I can see from your forum account details you have ordered from us in the past but unfortunately I don't see an order for a development board so unless it's one we sell I con't give specific advice about your development board but if it has more than one programming header you may want to check that you are connected to the correct one and that you have the correct programming mode set in the 'Mode' drop down menu in the programming window.

Author:  leetfrog [ Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

No worries it seems, I can successfully program the FPGA over the ASP header just not over the JTAG header, The board I am using is from this site as I got it for a Christmas present and had seen it after previously ordering components on here before the same as my Uni does, that's where I heard about this site and i'm glad I did, I'd say the best gifts are the ones we learn from, however I am glad I can program the device, by the way it is the ALTERA CYCLONE II EP2C5T144 FPGA DEV BOARD (HCDVBD0026), I had got the programmer with the dev board.

When I was trying to program the FPGA over the JTAG header I also chose JTAG as the programming method, I'm not too sure why the device didn't like this but I don't think it matters too much now as I have the ASP method. I had also paid attention to the diagram provided on the product page of which programming header is which (JTAG and ASP).

Thank you for any help anyway, it is much appreciated, if you did want to chase up about the JTAG header not fully working and want proof of purchase or anything like that let me know and I will provide.


Author:  andrew [ Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Altera FPGA/CPLD USB programmer (HCDVBD0007)

Ok that's great. Just to clarify for the benefit of yourself and mainly for anybody else that may be experiencing issues:

To use the programmer you must first install the USB blaster driver with is downloaded with the Altera Quartus II software. In windows this is usually found in the following location:


Once installed the programmer should appear at the top of the programming window next to the 'Hardware setup' button. If not then click this button and in the window that opens up you should see the programmer listed as USB-Blaster. Just select it from the list , click the close button and the programmer should now appear in the programming window.

For the HCDVBD0026 FPGA development board there are two ways to program it, the first is via the JTAG IDC socket which programs the FPGA directly. When programming via this socket you must select the JTAG programming mode. Clicking the Auto detect button should detect the board as having a EP2C5 device. When programming using this mode any code uploaded to the FPGA will be volatile. I.e. the code will be lost when power is removed from the device.

The second method (as you are currently using it) is via the ASP IDC header. In this mode, instead of programming the FPGA, you are programming the on-board EPCS device. With this method you must select 'Active serial programming' as the programming mode. You will also need to tell the programmer what type of device you are using as it won't be able to automatically detect it. Simply click the 'Add device' button and select EPCS4 from the list of options. The EPCS device is non-volatile and will upload your code automatically to the FPGA each time the board is powered or reset.

In both cases you must power the board from an external power supply. I.e. the programmer is not capable of powering the board by itself.

If any of the above methods are not working for you and you believe there may be a be a problem with your development board the then please feel free to contact sales [at] to arrange for a refund or replacement.

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