Accessing Virtual Instruments at Runtime

Frozen Content

Before looking at the instruments themselves, it is worth taking the time to see how instruments are accessed from within Altium Designer and the underlying communications scheme that makes this possible.

Communications from the Altium Designer software environment to embedded processors and virtual instruments in an FPGA design, is carried out over a JTAG communications link. This is referred to on the Desktop NanoBoard NB2DSK01 as the Soft JTAG (or Nexus) chain. Within Altium Designer, such devices included in the chain are presented in a Devices view (View » Devices Views) as part of the Soft Devices chain (the bottom-most chain in the view), as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Example virtual instruments appearing in the Soft Devices chain of the Devices view.

Note: The Soft Devices chain only becomes populated with the Nexus-enabled devices for a design, once that design has been programmed into the target device.

The interface for a virtual instrument is accessed by double-clicking on the corresponding icon for it. Doing so will give access to its associated instrument panel (Figure 2). Use the panel to interactively debug your design as required.

Figure 2. Example of a virtual instrument's associated panel, which provides the necessary controls to actively debug your design.

See Also

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