NanoBoard 3000 - Testing the PC to NanoBoard Connection

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Related article: NanoBoard 3000 - Board Communications

After connecting your 3000-series NanoBoard to your PC and installing Altium Designer, you should check that the system software can also connect to the NanoBoard. This check is made using the Devices view (View»Devices View).

The Devices view can be used in two modes:

  • Live mode – when communicating with a connected (and powered) NanoBoard
  • Not Live mode – allowing you to work with 'virtual' physical devices, for testing device suitability in the absence of a physically connected board.

By default, Live mode is entered on starting Altium Designer and accessing the Devices view. In Live mode, Altium Designer will scan the various multiplexed JTAG chains over the PC's JTAG link to the NanoBoard 3000. A connection indicator will appear at the top-left of the view, reflecting the status of the connection:

– the system is connected and communicating with the NanoBoard 3000.

– the system could not detect the presence of a NanoBoard 3000.

When the indicator is red, it is often the case that the NanoBoard is connected, but not powered on. Ensure that the NanoBoard is powered. After a short period with no device detection, the Devices view will default to working in 'Not Live' mode. The Live option will be disabled, and the indicator will turn grey, with the associated text Not Live.

 
The following image illustrates the Devices view for a connected 3000-series NanoBoard (Xilinx variant – NB3000XN) whose User FPGA is a Xilinx Spartan-3AN device (XC3S1400AN-4FG676C).

An example of a successfully detected (and connected) 3000-series NanoBoard.

As can be seen from the image, a successful connection will result in an icon for the connected NanoBoard 3000 appearing in the top chain of the view (the NanoBoard chain), and an icon for the User FPGA device appearing in the middle chain of the view (the Hard Devices chain).
 

Each 3000-series NanoBoard has a pre-installed FPGA design project – a simple slide-show – that is stored in Flash memory. The User FPGA is programmed with the design on power-up. In the Devices view, you will therefore also see an icon for a TSK3000A processor, used within that design, in the bottom chain of the view (the Soft Devices chain). The physical device will show as being Programmed and the processor will show as Running.

 
If the Devices view does not show the NanoBoard 3000 status as connected, there is no NanoBoard icon, or no icon is visible for the physical FPGA device on the NanoBoard, see Troubleshooting NanoBoard Connection Problems.

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