Tigard: An open source tool for hardware hacking

TIGARD is an open source tool to help engineers and hobbyists hack the hardware. It combines support for all of the most commonly used and needed interfaces on to a single board.

Tigard: An open source tool for hardware hacking 1
Courtesy: CrowdSupply/ Tigard

As a drop-in replacement for dozens of other hardware tools based on FTDI chips, it has native support from a number of commonly used hardware tools like OpenOCD, FlashROM, etc.

Please watch this quick intro video about the tool.

Features & Specifications

  • USB Type C high-speed (480 Mbps) interface
  • FTDI FT2232HQ Dual High Speed USB to Multipurpose UART/FIFO IC
    • Primary port dedicated to UART including access to all flow control signals
    • Secondary port (shared)
      • 9-pin UART port
      • Qwiic I2C connector
      • 8-pin SPI & I2C port
      • 8-pin JTAG port
      • 10-pin Cortex debug port
      • 14-pin logic analyzer header
  • Level-shifters for 1.8 to 5.5 V operation
  • On-board 1.8 V, 3.3 V, 5.0 V, and off-board vTarget supplies
  • Indicator LEDs to help debugging

Software Support

In general, Tigard was designed to work as-is with several tools and libraries that already support the FTDI x232H family of chips. This includes:

  • USB-Serial drivers for UART access
  • OpenOCD and UrJTAG for JTAG
  • Flashrom, PyFtdi/PySpiFlash, LibMPSSE, and other tools for SPI interfaces
  • LibMPSSE and PyFtdi/PyI2CFlash for I²C interfaces
Tigard: An open source tool for hardware hacking 2

Use Cases

  • Attach to the serial console you find on a home automation device
  • Dump the contents of a SPI flash chip inside of a set top box or any other embedded board
  • Use GDB over the JTAG pins to modify code in memory, allowing you to bypass a login prompt you’re connected to over the UART pins on a kid’s toy you’ve taken apart
  • Use I²C to interact with an OLED display, while concurrently observing the transactions with a BitMagic logic analyzer over the LA port

Design Data

KiCAD hardware design files and documentation available on Github.

Price and availability

Tigard has raised >$23,000 on Crowd Supply with options starting at $39 for the board and wires.

US Shipping is free, and $10 to $20 to the rest of the world. Deliveries are scheduled to start in the second part of February 2021.

You can read more details about the products on crowd supply.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. You can read my other interesting articles on embedded system design.

If you have any feedback please share in the comment section below or you can contact me.

Happy Learning!

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