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Years ago (in 2004) my university got an Altera MAX-II devboard, but nobody used it. Now it's me who must teach students FPGA programming, but I still cannot get the board programmed. I faced the following issues, in order:

  • The board comes with ByteBlaster LPT programmer, but I have no LPT on my laptop. Is there a way I can make USB Blaster working with this board?

  • Okay, I found a computer with LPT, and installed modern Quartuas II 14.1 software on it. I was able to examine firmware from FPGA using ByteBlaster cable, but not to program it. Unfortunately, 14.1 supports EMP1270F256C5 chip only while my board has EMP1270F256C5ES (that stands for "engineering sample" which is kind of beta-version of the production chip); POF files for these chips are incompatible. Can I somehow install support for my old chip in modern Quartus?

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Unfortunately no.

There is no way to modify Quartus to work with an unsupported device. You'd have to find an older version of Quartus which supports the device and use that.

Alternatively, and probably more sensibly, you could upgrade to a more modern device. There are for example many Cyclone V based dev kits that are pretty cheap, though I'll let you search for something.

If you are trying to teach FPGA based stuff, using an ancient device, especially one which is an engineering sample, is possibly not the best course of action - you'd spend more time battling bugs and glitches in the tools (if you can even get them set up) than you would teaching.

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