Following up on my last post on a Virtual UART for the DE0 Nano, I’ve been exploring ways to make the logic available on any PC. The Nano is small and portable enough to carry around and use on any machine, but if you need to install Quartus on it before you can connect through to the logic, it sort of loses it’s portability.
This article is another of my trips ‘down the rabbit hole’. By that, I mean, when you start something, then find there’s a problem or a dependency and you have to tackle that before you can tackle what you really wanted? Well, that was this story, but I won’t bore you with the details. Needless to say, this article describes how to build the very latest version of UrJtag under Linux and generate the very accessible Python interface.
What’s the point of that, you may ask? Well, UrJTAG is pretty lightweight, multi platform and provides a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that we can use for a future Python Virtual UART. You’ll still need to install some files on the target machine, but nothing like the gigabytes of the Quartus installation. Continue reading