CW Lite FPGA programming issues (macos)



I just got a CW lite I’m having issues with the FPGA programming under MacOS 10.14.6 (Mojave). I’m using a newer MacBook pro, so it only has usb-c, so I’m connecting the the CW through an usb-c to usb-a adapter (

I have tried running it both natively and in the virtual machine, same issue (5.1.1 release/tag).

I have tried using another laptop with windows 10 and had no issues then, so the hardware works, it is just something with the macbook, but I can’t use the win 10 PC in the long run.

Do you have any idea on how I can proceed with this issue?

This is the output from when it fails:

pedro$ python
Python 3.7.3 (default, Mar 27 2019, 09:23:15) 
[Clang 10.0.1 (clang-1001.0.46.3)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import chipwhisperer as cw
>>> scope = cw.scope()
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/", line 211, in scope
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/capture/scopes/", line 58, in con
    if self._con(sn):
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/capture/scopes/", line 203, in _con
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/capture/scopes/openadc_interface/", line 97, in con
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/capture/scopes/cwhardware/", line 240, in loadRequired
    self.loader.loadRequired(self.loadFPGA, forceFirmware)
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/capture/scopes/cwhardware/", line 186, in loadRequired
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/capture/scopes/cwhardware/", line 267, in loadFPGA
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/capture/scopes/cwhardware/", line 193, in loadFPGA
  File "/Users/pedro/git/chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer/hardware/naeusb/", line 84, in FPGAProgram
    raise IOError("FPGA Done pin failed to go high, bad bitstream?", bitstream)
OSError: [Errno FPGA Done pin failed to go high, bad bitstream?] <zipfile.ZipExtFile [closed]>


Hi @pedro,

Can you try a different adapter? Apple doesn’t show any specs so it’s hard to pinpoint definitively, but the reviews page for that Apple adapter has lots of complaints about certain devices not working. I don’t think anyone has mentioned a CW-lite – yet :wink:

CW-lite is a USB 2.0 HS device, nothing esoteric. I’d find a well-reviewed adapter and try that.



Hi Jean-Pierre,

I have tried another adapter as well, same problem. The USB communication seems to be workin, since it can read out the serial number and such, so I’m not sure that USB is the problem.

Have you got any tips for debugging it further?