One of the goals of the TinyFPGA boards is to make FPGAs cheaper to use. The TinyFPGA A1 and TinyFPGA A2 boards are the first TinyFPGA boards and are designed to be the least expensive. As such, they do not include a built-in USB interface as that would increase the cost and complexity too much. Instead they rely on JTAG programmers.
Here comes the TinyFPGA Programmer. Rather than an FTDI2232 USB interface chip it uses a PIC16F1455 USB microcontroller. While not compatible with the FTDI2232 chip, the PIC micro has a much lower BOM cost allowing the programmer hardware to be cheaper.
The TinyFPGA Programmer slots onto the JTAG pins of the A-series FPGA boards. Using the TinyFPGA Programmer Application you can program .jed files generated by Lattice Diamond.
For more information on how to use the TinyFPGA Programmer with the A-series boards, see the A-Series Userguide at TinyFPGA.com
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The TinyFPGA boards are a line of tiny, open source, low-cost FPGA boards designed for hobbyists. The TinyFPGA Tindie store sells the full line of available TinyFPGA boards along with some support components as options.