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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2006, 09:04 PM
Jürgen Böhm
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Default ISE 8.1i for Linux ?


Hello,

at the moment I own a Spartan 3 experimentation board (from digilent)
(the so called "Spartan 3 starter kit") that I bought from Xilinx
directly last year. Together with the board I got the ISE Webpack 6.3i
and some additional software to try out for a limited time.

Now I would like to use the newest (free) ISE 8.1i Webpack which can be
downloaded from the Xilinx side.

This leads me to some questions:

1) Will the version of ISE 8.1i for Linux have all the functionalities
and features that the Windows (XP) version has ? (In the 6.3i version
there seemed to be some features missing in the Linux version).

2) Will the ISE 8.1i software run under Novell/SuSE 10.0 64-bit Linux too ?

3) Is the Windows or the Unix/Linux version of the ISE software the
preferred one among professional users ?

4) Can the 8.1i version of ISE be used with this (older) board ?

Thanks in advance for any answers

Jürgen Böhm

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dipl.-Math. Jürgen Böhm www.aviduratas.de
"At a time when so many scholars in the world are calculating, is it not
desirable that some, who can, dream ?" R. Thom
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2006, 11:47 PM
Dan McDonald
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?

On Sun, 23 Apr 2006 22:04:46 +0200, Jürgen Böhm wrote:


> Hello,


Hi.

> at the moment I own a Spartan 3 experimentation board (from digilent)
> (the so called "Spartan 3 starter kit") that I bought from Xilinx
> directly last year. Together with the board I got the ISE Webpack 6.3i
> and some additional software to try out for a limited time.


I got the same thing about 3 months ago. It's an excellent value.

> Now I would like to use the newest (free) ISE 8.1i Webpack which can be
> downloaded from the Xilinx side.
>
> This leads me to some questions:
>
> 1) Will the version of ISE 8.1i for Linux have all the functionalities
> and features that the Windows (XP) version has ? (In the 6.3i version
> there seemed to be some features missing in the Linux version).


I've never tried the Windows version, but 8.1.03i is apparently
full-featured. I used to have problems programming the flash when I used
the 7.1(?) Webpack, but these days it works almost perfectly. Simulations
aren't working for me; I suspect it's a $PATH issue and it'll probably
work for you.

> 2) Will the ISE 8.1i software run under Novell/SuSE 10.0 64-bit Linux too ?


You will be able to do everything up to generating the programming
file. The drivers, however, are 32-bit only - so you can't actually
program it when running a 32-bit kernel.

> 3) Is the Windows or the Unix/Linux version of the ISE software the
> preferred one among professional users ?


I'm not a professional user by any means, but I say if it works in the OS
you're comfortable with, then there should be no problem.

> 4) Can the 8.1i version of ISE be used with this (older) board ?


It most certainly can! In the new project wizard:
Family: Spartan 3
Package: FT256
Speed: -4

I never tried any of the evaluation software they sent with the board, but
it should be an intuitive transition.

As of 8.1.03i, they have the code editor/main interface, the constraints
editor and iMPACT converted to QT (yay). the rest is WindU (ugh, needs
DISPLAY=":0" workaround and portmap to be running).

> Thanks in advance for any answers


No problem.

> Jürgen Böhm


Dan
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2006, 02:31 AM
Daniel O'Connor
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?

Dan McDonald wrote:
> I've never tried the Windows version, but 8.1.03i is apparently
> full-featured. I used to have problems programming the flash when I used
> the 7.1(?) Webpack, but these days it works almost perfectly. Simulations
> aren't working for me; I suspect it's a $PATH issue and it'll probably
> work for you.


I believe the only thing missing is StateCAD.

> You will be able to do everything up to generating the programming
> file. The drivers, however, are 32-bit only - so you can't actually
> program it when running a 32-bit kernel.


I run the Linux ISE 8.1 in FreeBSD under ABI emulation and I have this
problem.

I *did* find a program which will program a Spartan 3 via the Xilinx III
cable - http://www.rogerstech.force9.co.uk/xc3sprog/

I haven't used it very much but it does seem to work fine (it can also
program a flash chip)

I really wish Xilinx would open source the cableserver TCP protocol and a
basic bit bang implementation.. It would make my life a lot simpler
(Not to mention the current cableserver spins chewing CPU if the program
that connected to it crashes [which iMpact is prone to do] ...)

> As of 8.1.03i, they have the code editor/main interface, the constraints
> editor and iMPACT converted to QT (yay). the rest is WindU (ugh, needs
> DISPLAY=":0" workaround and portmap to be running).


I think it's the other way around..
Everything *but* iMpact is Qt

Also I've found in *BSD portmap/rpcbind needs to run in insecure mode
(ie -i)

--
Daniel O'Connor software and network engineer
for Genesis Software - http://www.gsoft.com.au
"The nice thing about standards is that there
are so many of them to choose from."
-- Andrew Tanenbaum
GPG Fingerprint - 5596 B766 97C0 0E94 4347 295E E593 DC20 7B3F CE8C
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2006, 07:59 PM
Bob Smith
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?

The Silicon Valley Homebrew Robotics Club has several
members using the Digilent 3e starter kit to learn
Verilog and FPGA design. We are all newbies and a
few of us are trying to do this using Linux. Attached
is a posting I did to describe some problems and some
work-arounds to those problems.

Jürgen Böhm wrote:
> 2) Will the ISE 8.1i software run under Novell/SuSE 10.0 64-bit Linux too ?

No.


================================================== ===============
TO: Home Brew Robotics Club
Silicon Valley Linux Users Group

WHAT: This note briefly describes how to get the Xilinx FPGA
development tools to work on Linux


To learn FPGA design I followed in the steps of Chris Palmer
of the HBRobotics Club and ordered a Digilent "Spartan-3 Board"
for $99. You can order one at http://www.digilentinc.com/


Download the Xilinx free WebPACK 8.1i development software
from the Xilinx web site. You have to register, but it is not
too intrusive. The download is almost 900MB. Xilinx provides
an IDE that looks like a C and Tcl/Tk wrapper around a bunch
of command line tools. Instead of trying to keep up with the
latest kernels and libraries, Xilinx just puts every library
and executable it needs into the download and makes the tool
completely self-contained. They missed libXm.so.3 and I had
to copy it from a Fedora Core 3 system. (They built the IDE
on Red Hat Enterprise Edition 3). For the record, I use
Mandriva 2006 but it does not seem to matter too much which
distribution you use.


The key to getting the Xilinx tools to work on Linux is to
follow the directions at http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Xilinx
This page tells where to download, and how to install the
parallel port drivers for the JTAG programming cable that
comes with the kit.

As root, install the software with "sh WebPACK_81i_SFD.sh".
Run the software as root and select HELP->Software_Updates
to get the latest updates from the Xilinx web site.

The quick start is in Xilinx/doc/usenglish/books/docs/qst.pdf.
Open this with xpdf or evince and follow the directions to
create, build, and download a four bit counter. I made a
typo error when editing the design and the tools wouldn't
let me proceed until I fixed the error.


I am just learning Verilog / VHDL but I'd be happy to help
if you want help getting to your first download of an FPGA
circuit.


Bob Smith
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 02:05 AM
Steve Knapp (Xilinx Spartan-3 Generation FPGAs)
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?


Bob Smith wrote:
> The Silicon Valley Homebrew Robotics Club has several
> members using the Digilent 3e starter kit to learn
> Verilog and FPGA design. We are all newbies and a
> few of us are trying to do this using Linux. Attached
> is a posting I did to describe some problems and some
> work-arounds to those problems.


Very cool. BTW, you should add a link to the club site. Looks like a
number of interesting topics!
http://www.hbrobotics.org/

[ ... snip ... ]

> To learn FPGA design I followed in the steps of Chris Palmer
> of the HBRobotics Club and ordered a Digilent "Spartan-3 Board"
> for $99. You can order one at http://www.digilentinc.com/


There is also a new board, called the Spartan-3E Starter Kit board that
has a larger-density FPGA, lots of Flash, a display, DDR SDRAM, etc.

It is available for US$149 from the Xilinx store.
http://www.xilinx.com/s3estarter

It too is fully supported by WebPack 8.1i. The kit also includes an
evaluation version of the EDK software, which includes the 32-bit
FPGA-based MicroBlaze RISC core and peripherals.

The user guide is available here ...
http://www.xilinx.com/bvdocs/userguides/ug230.pdf

.... and there are various reference designs available as well.
http://www.xilinx.com/products/board...ce_designs.htm

---------------------------------
Steven K. Knapp
Applications Manager, Xilinx Inc.
General Products Division
Spartan-3/-3E FPGAs
http://www.xilinx.com/spartan3e
---------------------------------
The Spartan(tm)-3 Generation: The World's Lowest-Cost FPGAs.

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 07:02 PM
Eric Smith
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?

Dan McDonald wrote about using ISE on Linux:
> You will be able to do everything up to generating the programming
> file. The drivers, however, are 32-bit only - so you can't actually
> program it when running a 32-bit kernel.


Dan obviously meant that you can't program devices when running a
64-bit kernel, since the drivers are 32-bit.

Xilinx, *please* give us 64-bit cable drivers in the next service
pack, or at least the next release (8.2i?)!

Thanks!
Eric
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 09:28 PM
Uwe Bonnes
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?

Eric Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
> Dan McDonald wrote about using ISE on Linux:
> > You will be able to do everything up to generating the programming
> > file. The drivers, however, are 32-bit only - so you can't actually
> > program it when running a 32-bit kernel.


> Dan obviously meant that you can't program devices when running a
> 64-bit kernel, since the drivers are 32-bit.


> Xilinx, *please* give us 64-bit cable drivers in the next service
> pack, or at least the next release (8.2i?)!


An easy way to achieve that would be to drop WinDriver and use the standard
drivers like /dev/parport or USB access by a dedicated driver or by direct
endpoint access via /proc/bus/usb

--
Uwe Bonnes [email protected]

Institut fuer Kernphysik Schlossgartenstrasse 9 64289 Darmstadt
--------- Tel. 06151 162516 -------- Fax. 06151 164321 ----------
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2006, 01:56 PM
Markus Kuhn
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?

Uwe Bonnes <[email protected]> writes:
|> > Xilinx, *please* give us 64-bit cable drivers in the next service
|> > pack, or at least the next release (8.2i?)!
|>
|> An easy way to achieve that would be to drop WinDriver and use the standard
|> drivers like /dev/parport or USB access by a dedicated driver or by direct
|> endpoint access via /proc/bus/usb

I second that! There is really no reason any longer to expose users
to all the inconvenience of compiling and installing a loadable kernel
module (which BTW will invalidate SUSE support), merely to talk to a
simple USB programming cable. It is perfectly feasible for a normal user
application to talk to usbfs on /proc/bus/usb directly (or via a library such
as libusb).

(A certain competitor has figured out already a while ago how really easy
using an FPGA USB programming cable can be made under Linux:

http://www.altera.com/support/softwa...usb_b-lnx.html

All that is really necessary is that root installs a tiny hotplug-invoked
shell script that makes the /proc/bus/usb/ device file writeable for
any user once the USB programming cable has been plugged in, and even
that script could be included into the next hotplug release.)

Apart from the big hassle with the USB platform cable kernel driver,
ise8.1i does seem to work reasonably well under SUSE Linux 9.3.

Markus

--
Markus Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ || CB3 0FD, Great Britain
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2006, 02:47 AM
Daniel O'Connor
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Default Re: ISE 8.1i for Linux ?

Markus Kuhn wrote:

> Uwe Bonnes <[email protected]> writes:
> (A certain competitor has figured out already a while ago how really easy
> using an FPGA USB programming cable can be made under Linux:
>
> http://www.altera.com/support/softwa...usb_b-lnx.html


Pity their Linux design tools are not free though

> All that is really necessary is that root installs a tiny hotplug-invoked
> shell script that makes the /proc/bus/usb/ device file writeable for
> any user once the USB programming cable has been plugged in, and even
> that script could be included into the next hotplug release.)
>
> Apart from the big hassle with the USB platform cable kernel driver,
> ise8.1i does seem to work reasonably well under SUSE Linux 9.3.


I would prefer a binary (eg CableServer) with an open spec (and open source
in my wildest dreams) which iMpact/ChipScope/etc talk to.

That way I could port it to FreeBSD and be able to do everything there
instead of having to use a third part programming tool

Would also mean I could debug CableServer so it doesn't eat all the CPU when
iMpact crashes.

I *did* file a web case on it

--
Daniel O'Connor software and network engineer
for Genesis Software - http://www.gsoft.com.au
"The nice thing about standards is that there
are so many of them to choose from."
-- Andrew Tanenbaum
GPG Fingerprint - 5596 B766 97C0 0E94 4347 295E E593 DC20 7B3F CE8C
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