Altera DE1

Altera DE1 board.

FPGA: Altera Cyclone II 2C20 FPGA with 20000 LEs - EP2C20F484C7N

  • Altera Serial Configuration devices (EPCS4) for Cyclone II 2C20
  • USB Blaster built in on board for programming and user API controlling
  • 8Mbyte (1M x 4 x 16) SDRAM - Zentel, A2V64S40CTP-G6
  • 4Mbyte Flash Memory - Spansion, S29AL032D70TF104
  • 512Kbyte(256Kx16) SRAM - ISSI, IS61WV25616BLL-10TL
  • SD Card Socket and more
  • power supply: L.T.E. model: GFP051U-7508, 7.5 V DC (center positive), 0.8A
  • usb connector: USB type B

back connectors (from right to left when you look at the board from the back)

power connector
usb connector
audio - mic
audio - line in
audio - line out
VGA out
serial port: RS232, 9-pin

right side (from back to front)

PS/2 connector (mouse or keyboard)
GPIO connectors: GPIO0, GPIO1 (closest to the board edge)
SD card socket

left side (from back to front)

power switch
RUN / PROG switch

front (from right to left)

pushbutton switches: KEY - KEY3 (debounced)
LEDS: LEDG0 - LEDG7 (above / behind pusbuttons)
toggle switches: SW0 - SW9
LEDS: LEDR0 - LEDR9 (above / behind toggle switches)

Back to FPGA page.


Resources: Altera DE1 resources for students, Retro Ramblings, Coco3FPGA Project How To Guide, Github christiaanb/DE1-Cyclone-II-FPGA-Board-Support-Package, DEC Emulation website,

Cores: FPGA Arcade library: T65, T80 and more, OpenRISC, J1 Forth CPU, cosmac, YARI (MIPS I compatible), YARVI (RISC-V), light8080: jaruiz/light8080, freecores/light8080,


CoCo3FPGA (Yahoo group), 8 Little Bits: CoCo3FPGA, System09, z80soc, minimig-de1, minimigtg68 (old), Experiment-S, MIST, TG68_MiniSOC, VeriNES, Open-Source-FPGA-Bitcoin-Miner, ArkanoidFPGA, BBC Micro, Plus Too (Macintosh Plus), ReMemotech, Github vj-uart, 2048-DE1, ibm2030, SimpleSDHC, FPGAPCE - PC-Engine / Turbografx-16 clone, fpgagen - SEGA Genesis / Megadrive, z88fpga, ZXGATE - ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Jupiter ACE, TRS80, ZX Spectrum, FPGA-64, AppleLogic: AppleIIe, AppleFPGA (AppleIIe), Apple2fpga (DE2), Suska (Atari ST), PDP-11 (in Verilog, Xilinx), PDP2011 (PDP-11 in VHDL, for DE1 and other), FPDPGA - PDP-6 and PDP-10 on DE0-Nano-SoC and DE10-Nano,

more projects: AtomFpga - Dave's version of the Acorn Atom FPGA, based on AlanD's original from (forum thread), gpib interface, gdevic/A-Z80 - ZX Spectrum and ZX Spectrum on FPGA using A-Z80 CPU,

tools: fpgatools, FPGA Libre,

local projects (DE1): CtrlModuleTutorial, minimig-de1, OneChipMSX, ZPUDemos,

local links

c1, Quartus II on FreeBSD,

History / work log

2021-10-03: I re-created this page on my self-hosted web server.

2018-11-13: EOL - I got an email from Terasic, informing about the end of life of the DE1 board, it will no longer be produced. Suggested replacement is the DE1-SoC kit.

2018-09-12: c1 - I found an usb A to B cable, and connected the board to my FreeBSD workstation. the workstation runs

tingo@kg-core1$ uname -a
FreeBSD 10.4-STABLE FreeBSD 10.4-STABLE #1 r329982: Sun Feb 25 20:35:06 CET 2018  amd64

from /var/log/messages

Sep 12 20:47:35 kg-core1 kernel: ugen3.5: <Altera USB-Blaster> at usbus3
Sep 12 20:47:35 kg-core1 devd: Executing 'logger Unknown USB device: vendor 0x09fb product 0x6001 bus uhub8'
Sep 12 20:47:35 kg-core1 root: Unknown USB device: vendor 0x09fb product 0x6001 bus uhub8

hmm, does URJTAG work with it? test run

jtag> cable UsbBlaster vid=0x09fb pid=0x6001
Connected to libftdi driver.
jtag> bsdl path /home/tingo/doc/Altera/docs/fpga/bsdl/
jtag> detect
IR length: 10
Chain length: 1
Device Id: 00000010000010110011000011011101 (0x00000000020B30DD)
  Filename:     /home/tingo/doc/Altera/docs/fpga/bsdl//EP2C20F484.BSD

looks ok.

2018-09-12: DE1 - power on test - I connected a VGA monitor, and connected power to the board. Yes - it still works.

2018-09-12: DE1 - I dusted off the DE1 box and unpacked. Everythin is in the box, except the usb cable, as far as I can tell.

2018-08-27: c1 - after installing Quartus II 13.0sp1, I set up the abc80-de1 project again. Without pin assignments, it compiled fine. I had to fix settings (device settings) before it would compile with pin assignments, the NCEO pin is used as a user pin.

2018-07-25: vj-uart - Virtual JTAG Uart for Altera devices. Looks interesting.

2009-11-03: abc80 - ok, from basic use BYE, then lib to list the directory. space to scroll, enter to abort. Another interesting command is ufd. Example: ufd c1 selects the file C1.Ufd as the library.

2009-11-02: abc80 update: I decided to try with yet another sdcard today. I used my Linux laptop to write the sdcard: sudo dd if=abcdisk.200812b of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=65536, after first erifying that no partitions on the card was mounted. I loaded the abc80.sof file into the fPGA with Quartus Programmer, and the machine came up as before. I then inserted the ufd-dos formatted SDcard, set SW0 to "up", and used KEY2 to reset the abc80. Yes - it works, writing "UFD-DOS ver. 20" on the first line of the screen. I then retested with all the sdcrard I have tested previously - all of them now work. Don't know what the error was.

2009-08-12: abc80 update: today I finally made abc80 work, with (lots of) help from the the friendly people on the abc80 mailing list. Over the last weeks I have tried everything, except for one thing: changing the keyboard. My normal that I connect the DE1 board to a KVM-box, and to that kvm box I have an usb keyboard connected, with a usb-to-ps2 adapter. This works fine with the DE1 Control Panel keyboard test, and also with Zet (see below), but the abc80 wants a real ps2 keyboard. I even tried with the usb keyboard with usb-to-ps2 adapter plugged directly into the DE1 board - nope, it still doesn't work. Now I only need to get the disk drive (ie. SDcard) on the abc80 working.

2009-08-02: Zet: I tried the Zet processor, version 0.6.1, using the Altera DE1 Installation guide, booting from the floppy image in flash (SW1 up). It works quite well, but there is a "noise" (for lack of a better word) in the sound output (speakers).

2009-08-02: abc80 update: the SD card needs to be in abc80 (ufd-dos?) format. Now I have tried both with and without sdcard - still no go.

2009-08-01: I tried the ABC 80 in a FPGA, from I downloaded the latest version ( and compiled it with Quartus II 9.0 (Web Edition). Quite a few warnings, but no errors. I used the DE Control Panel to load the ROM file (data/abc80rom.bin) into the flash, and then loaded the abc80.sof file into the board using the Quartus programmer. Good news: the machine boots up, prints "ABC80", and the keys (KEY0 -3) and switches (SW0 - 9) and LEDS work (including the speed on the 7-segment display). The bad news: the keyboard doesn't work (I tested it in the DE1 Control Panel, so the keyboard itself is ok). And I don't really know what is needed on the SD card.

2009-07-29: I completed the Quartus II introduction using Schematic Design, using Quartus 7.2. For some reason, the programmer didn't see the USB Blaster, but I used the programmer from Quartus 9.0 instead. Note 1: I only did the JTAG programming part, not the AS programming part Note 2: The tutorials are written for the DE2 board, and pin assignments are different on the DE1 board. Oh, and the circuit worked..

2009-07-25: I installed Quartus II Web Edition v7.2 in another direcory.

2009-07-25: I downloaded and installed Altera's Quartus II Web Edition v9.0 (Service Pack 2) software, and tried a tutorial. Unfortunately, the tutorial and the software (menu selections etc) are different, and in a few places the tutorial mentions the DE2 board. Perhaps version 7.2 of Quartus II Web Edition will be better.

2009-07-25: I got invoice for VAT (MVA) and handling: NOK 443.- and paid it.

2009-07-24: I set up an old machine running WinXP to use as a development machine until I get the tools I need working under FreeBSD. installing XP and related stuff takes forever.

2009-07-21: busy, but I found time to try the "Power On Test" for the DE1 according to the introduction. The board works. When I connect the DE1 board to my workstation (which runs FreeBSD) via usb, /var/log/messages shows:

Jul 21 22:35:27 kg-v2 kernel: ugen2: <Altera USB-Blaster, class 0/0, rev 1.10/4.00, addr 3> on uhub0
Jul 21 22:35:27 kg-v2 root: Unknown USB device: vendor 0x09fb product 0x6001 bus uhub0

and usbdevs -v shows:

 port 5 addr 3: full speed, power 150 mA, config 1, USB-Blaster(0x6001), Altera(0x09fb), rev 4.00

2009-07-20: I got myself an Altera DE1 Development and Education board (for FPGA) from Terasic. First I will play around with it, trying out a few of the existing projects, then I will make my own project, or projects.

2009-07-20: received package.

2009-07-13: Ordered a Altera DE1 board from Terasic. Pricw was USD 152.- + shipping USD 60, a total of USD 212.-