Many modern Amiga cards use Xilinx chips for everything from a basic CPLD for auto configuration to full blown CPU replacements. My Terrible Fire 534 accelerator has two of these chips and they are field programmable using JTAG. It turns out a Raspberry Pi can be turned into a programmer for these, so this is how to do it.

First of all you need a Raspberry Pi, preferably not version 4. There are ways to make this work with v4 but I haven’t tried them, I’m told they are slower too. I happened to have a spare Pi Zero W which I bought for another project. It needed the GPIO pins soldered on and I have some spare right-angle ones from a previous Amiga repair, so I soldered these on.

The SD card was flashed with Raspbian and setup with SSH access so I could remote into it from my laptop to manage things.

We then need to build the programming software, this is a fork of xc3sprog that supports Raspberry Pi:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install build-essential libusb-dev libftdi-dev libgpiod-dev wiringpi git cmake
git clone
mkdir xc3sprog/build
cd xc3sprog/build
cmake ..
sudo make install

Finally we have to wire everything up. Use this table for the wiring map, I also used some very large wire tag labels to label each end.

1 (or pin 17)3V3
6 (or any Ground pin)GND

When wired up to the TF534 it looks a little like this:

Once we have both ends wired up, it is a case of running it. The following command should list all the chips in the JTAG chain, the TF534 has two of them. The “matrix_creator” uses WiringPi to talk to the JTAG:

xc3sprog -c matrix_creator -j

If you wish to download a Xilinx binary to your hard drive you can run the following (assuming you want to talk to item 1 in the chain). The “:r” part at the end means read the chip to file instead of write from file:

xc3sprog -c matrix_creator -v -p 1 myxilinx.jed:r

Finally to write a new image to the Xilinx (again to item 1 in the chain):

xc3sprog -c matrix_creator -v -p 1 newxilinx.jed

You should see something similar to this (screenshot from programming the TF534):

It all worked out really well and I now have a Xilinx programmer I can use for an upcoming project!