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ICEbear JTAG adapter

The ICEbear adapter is a cost effective and stable development tool for flash programming or debugging mainly Blackfin based hardware.
It is simply connected to the programming PC via an USB 2.0 cable. It is powered by a popular JTAG chip designed made by the well known company FTDI LTD. Its power is unveiled by a set of optimized software tools listed below.
  • Support for Linux (32/64 bit), Windows 2000/NT/XP. Please see Software page for details.
  • High speed downloads, typical 120 kB/s up to 1MB/s (ICEbearPlus).
  • Fast flash programming (up to 100 kB/s). See BFloader in the Software section
  • Loading and debugging of executables. Debugger support: GDB, Insight (Graphical debugger)
  • Well suited for standalone development and kernel debugging
  • Supports Xilinx and Lattice FPGA programming (see XC3SPROG)
  • Automated system testing (memory tests, own applications)
  • Proof for production environment. Quite a few medical and automotive suppliers use the ICEbear (references on request)
  • Add-on packages (Python Scripting) on request

Supported CPUs (in brackets: CPU types that are compatible, but not extensively tested):
  • ADSP-BF50x on request (1.51 developer beta)
  • ADSP-BF51x (v1.5 release)
  • ADSP-BF52x
  • ADSP-BF533, BF531, (BF532) , ADSP-BF534
  • ADSP-BF536, BF537, BF539, BF539F4 (BF538)
  • ADSP-BF548(9)
  • ADSP-BF561 dual core
  • ADSP-BF592 (v1.5 release)
  • Multi device chain support (Xilinx, ADI, etc., ICEbear Plus only)
Special functionality available on request:
  • SHARC 2116X (Boundary Scan/Flash tool)
  • ARM-Support via OpenOCD
  • Generic boundary scan solution
  • Hardware-Testing via Boundary Scan
  • Embedded ICEbear: License our software to run on your embedded target directly.
Well tested and supported platforms:
  • EZKIT Lite ADSP-BF533, BF527, BF537, BF548 and BF561
  • STAMP BF533/537
  • SRV-1 Robot core module (www.surveyor.com)
  • CM-BF527/533/537/561(v1 and v2) from Bluetechnix
The ICEbear basically works on all platforms with ADI compatible JTAG connectors that are designed according to Analog Devices' application note EE-68.

Note that the ICEbear is not supported by Visual DSP as a debug target.

You can use the ICEbear in conjunction with VDSP with constraints:
  • Fast flash programming of binary LDR files (use 'binary LDR' option in VDSP)
  • Assembly debugging VDSP code via GDB

It is also possible to use the ICEbear with various OpenSource tools, however, we can not provide support for that. See this website for more information

Image of JTAG adapter

[ Download Manual ] [ Download Software ] [ Get Support ]

Status notes / current news
2.3.2015: Unfortunately, the decision was made, to terminate the ICEbearPlus manufacture and fade out the support until end of 2015. Read the longer story here.

ICEbearPlus (highspeed)

The ICEbearPlus JTAG adapter has the following software support:

  • All functionality from the ICEbear classic package
  • Standard customer support via email and forum
  • Limited support for multiple device JTAG chains. Please contact us for special custom hardware support packages

ICEbearPlus manufacture is currently suspended. Support for existing customers will continue, however, a lead time up to four weeks may apply. Paypal orders are no longer enabled, please use the order form for requests.

Legacy ICEbear hardware support

The ICEbear classic has been superseded by the ICEbearPlus since 2012. However, the software will continue support for all older units.

Product images

Note that color and cable style may change without notice.

ICEbearPlusICEbear classic/light
Photograph of new ICEbearPlus adapter ICEbear plugged into board

A few user reports


[1] Some OEM variants may have support for debugging with dedicated boards. Please contact your vendor or section5 for details


Version: 11.2011