Numato Lab and Questionable Product Descriptions

I’m mad. I bought an FPGA board, then discovered that one of the primary features I wanted is missing. How? Well, the website of the manufacturer is seemingly (to me) deceptive. Take a look:

Now, looking at that page, does this board support programming via USB only? If you’re looking at it with a critical eye, expecting some kind of deception, it’s patently obvious. It says “configurable via USB and JTAG” not “configurable via USB or JTAG”. Ohhh. Then you check the User Manual. Yep, it only has “Configuring Mimas A7 Mini Module Using JTAG”.

But looking at the product page, the existence of the FT2232H is emphasized all over. So you’d think it’s programmable via USB, right? In fact, the Digilent Arty boards use this exact chip and allow configuration via USB. Maybe Numato never got around to making configuration via USB work? Who knows. All I know is, I now have to spend $100 for a used Xilinx JTAG programmer.

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