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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-21-2008, 05:52 PM
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Default Would like to try ISIM, simple question

I have setup the latest ISE with latest updates. I can't seem to find
the ISIM tool. We normally run Aldec, but they have gotten a little
behind and just became partners with Xilinx. I wanted to see if ISIM
could be used.

Looking on the Xilinx site, it seems like the full blown copy of ISE
should have at least the lite version of ISIM and Planahead. I
loaded ISE from the DVD but we don't buy the version with the
simulator. I can't seem to find a seperate download for ISIM.

Do I need to download the web version to evaluate ISIM?

I tried to call Xilinx support and was told I can't talk to anyone in
tech support and have to use the webcase. We currently have 5 seats
so I guess we are no longer considered a big enough customer. I tied
to use the webcase but need to open a new account which takes some 30
minutes to setup. So, if you can halp me figure out how to get ISIM
running it would be great.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2008, 01:20 AM
Brian Drummond
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

On Tue, 21 Oct 2008 08:52:44 -0700 (PDT), "[email protected]"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>I have setup the latest ISE with latest updates. I can't seem to find
>the ISIM tool. We normally run Aldec, but they have gotten a little
>behind and just became partners with Xilinx. I wanted to see if ISIM
>could be used.
>
>Looking on the Xilinx site, it seems like the full blown copy of ISE
>should have at least the lite version of ISIM and Planahead. I
>loaded ISE from the DVD but we don't buy the version with the
>simulator. I can't seem to find a seperate download for ISIM.
>
>Do I need to download the web version to evaluate ISIM?
>


It's built in, (to both full ISE 10.1 and Webpack) but it took me most
of a day to find too...

In ISE, the "sources" window has a little drop down box at the top,
labelled "Sources for:" - select "Behavioural Simulation" here and the
simulator appears in the "Processes" window instead of the synth/PAR
tools.

I seem to remember I had to set an option somewhere to choose between
ISIM and Modelsim, but can't remember where.

ISIM is still a bit ropey compared with Modelsim, but when it doesn't
crash it seems to give accurate simulation results. The "Lite" version
handles moderately large designs but isn't up to post-route simulations
or EDK projects (it slows down to about a nanosecond per second)

- Brian
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2008, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question


Brian,

Thanks for getting back with me.

>
> It's built in, (to both full ISE 10.1 and Webpack) but it took me most
> of a day to find too...
>
> In ISE, the "sources" window has a little drop down box at the top,
> labelled "Sources for:" - select "Behavioural Simulation" here and the
> simulator appears in the "Processes" window instead of the synth/PAR
> tools.


Yes, I see it and it does show ModelSim as the simulator. It must be
a default as I do not have ModelSim installed on that PC.

>
> I seem to remember I had to set an option somewhere to choose between
> ISIM and Modelsim, but can't remember where.
>

Yes, there is a setup screen in the project preferences pulldown but I
can't select ISIM, or it's not called ISIM. It's like it's just not
there.

I tried to download the webpack but the only thing it lets me download
is a TAR file. I decompressed this and get some other sort of
compressed UNIX format. Can't find a selection for the Windows
version of ISE. Can't use their client (machine is not on network and
doubt it would work with our ISA and firewall.


> ISIM is still a bit ropey compared with Modelsim, but when it doesn't
> crash it seems to give accurate simulation results. The "Lite" version
> handles moderately large designs but isn't up to post-route simulations
> or EDK projects (it slows down to about a nanosecond per second)
>
> - Brian


Would sure like to try it just to see for myself how good/bad it
really is. Simple question, too bad they won't talk with me. I did
contact Avnet and received the following responce:

"You are correct.You must go through your ISE and make a web
case.Since they have moved to this process I have heard they are very
responsive. I will be in Thiursday AM and I will check in with you if
you want to discuss.
Thanks,"

Great responce. Started this simple eval on last week....


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2008, 04:54 AM
Brian Davis
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

lecroy7200 wrote:
>
> Yes, there is a setup screen in the project preferences
> pulldown but I can't select ISIM, or it's not called ISIM.
> It's like it's just not there.
>

I don't have 10.1i installed here where I'm typing;
but in 9.2i, if you get into the Project Properties
window by right clicking the chip icon next to the
part number in the sources project view, you select
the ISE simulator with something like :
Project Properties->Simulator->ISE Simulator

Or, the same choice is available in the File->New Project wizard.

>
> I tried to download the webpack but the only thing it lets
> me download is a TAR file. I decompressed this and get
> some other sort of compressed UNIX format. Can't find
> a selection for the Windows version of ISE. Can't use
> their client (machine is not on network and doubt it would
> work with our ISA and firewall.
>


If your unzipper of choice doesn't handle it, first
having something like this installed:
http://unxutils.sourceforge.net/

Then the following, or something like it, should work
on the SingleFileDownload tar file from Xilinx:
\usr\local\wbin\tar -x <webpack_SFD.tar

( It's been a few months since I installed this;
if it's a tar inside a gzip inside a tar, then do
a "gzip -d webpack_SFD.gz" followed by another
"tar -x <webpack_SFD.tar" )

Giving you, after a suitable hard disc access interlude,
a webpack subdirectory with the setup executable inside.

>
> Would sure like to try it just to see for myself how good/bad it
> really is. Simple question, too bad they won't talk with me.
>

Slow as molasses when I last tried it, but as another Brian said,
it sorta works when it isn't crashing.

Brian
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2008, 02:09 PM
Brian Drummond
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

On Thu, 23 Oct 2008 19:54:25 -0700 (PDT), Brian Davis
<[email protected]> wrote:

>lecroy7200 wrote:
>>
>> Yes, there is a setup screen in the project preferences
>> pulldown but I can't select ISIM, or it's not called ISIM.
>> It's like it's just not there.
>>

> I don't have 10.1i installed here where I'm typing;
>but in 9.2i, if you get into the Project Properties
>window by right clicking the chip icon next to the
>part number in the sources project view, you select
>the ISE simulator with something like :
> Project Properties->Simulator->ISE Simulator


Yes: right click on the chip icon is the step I'd forgotten; it's the
same in ISE10.

And the name is ISE Simulator in the drop-down list, not ISIM.
ISE10 and Webpack work in the same way in this respect, so unless the
ISE10 installation is corrupt, the Webpack install won't solve it.

Incidentally the same downloaded archive does install on both Linux and
Windows (32-bit only for Webpack) just as you say.

>> Would sure like to try it just to see for myself how good/bad it
>> really is. Simple question, too bad they won't talk with me.
>>

> Slow as molasses when I last tried it, but as another Brian said,
>it sorta works when it isn't crashing.


In ISE10 it doesn't seem painfully slow to me, unless you have exceeded
the project size limitation, though I haven't raced it against Modelsim.

- Brian
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2008, 05:19 AM
Brian Davis
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

Brian Drummond wrote:
>
> In ISE10 it doesn't seem painfully slow to me, unless you have exceeded
> the project size limitation, though I haven't raced it against Modelsim.
>


As I mentioned, I haven't installed 10.1 at home yet;
with 9.2, under the code size limit, it takes about
4 minutes (3 min. compile / 1 min. run) for a testbench
that requires about 13 seconds (2s/11s) in another tool.

Brian
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-27-2008, 11:41 PM
Kevin Neilson
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

On Oct 21, 9:52*am, "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:
> I have setup the latest ISE with latest updates. *I can't seem to find
> the ISIM tool. * We normally run Aldec, but they have gotten a little
> behind and just became partners with Xilinx. *I wanted to see if ISIM
> could be used.
>
> Looking on the Xilinx site, it seems like the full blown copy of ISE
> should have at least the lite version of ISIM and Planahead. * I
> loaded ISE from the DVD but we don't buy the version with the
> simulator. * I can't seem to find a seperate download for ISIM.
>
> Do I need to download the web version to evaluate ISIM?
>
> I tried to call Xilinx support and was told I can't talk to anyone in
> tech support and have to use the webcase. *We currently have 5 seats
> so I guess we are no longer considered a big enough customer. * I tied
> to use the webcase but need to open a new account which takes some 30
> minutes to setup. * So, if you can halp me figure out how to get ISIM
> running it would be great.


It's probably easiest to use from the command line (like a DOS
shell). Look for the executables vhpcomp.exe, vlogcomp.exe, and
fuse.exe. The waveform viewer can be run standalone as isimwave.exe.
-Kevin
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2008, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

Thanks for the help.

I did have to switch to WinZip to decompress the files. After two
weeks of BS, finally had someone from Xilinx call. Sound like they
have some problem with our account not being setup for the correct
licensing. Anyone else having problems since they dropped the
DVDs? It's like a mad house over there now.


I was able to get ISIM working to some degree. It seems to crash a
lot (exits program). Must say it looks better than I expected. I
can't seem to find a manual for it on the Xilinx site or in the on-
line manuals. Has one been wrote that I can download from somewhere?

I also seem to be having a problem getting the DCMs to do anything
when using the behavioral simulation. Just now trying post route to
see if this will work.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2008, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question


> I also seem to be having a problem getting the DCMs to do anything
> when using the behavioral simulation. *Just now trying post route to
> see if this will work.


That was a bust. The tool gives some wacked out C code errors and
stops.

The project I am using for my evaluation will build correctly and I
have been running various versions of it on hardware for a few years.
Parts of it, including the DCMs were simulated in Aldec. So I'm
guessing ISIM is just a little too new to use it yet. If they plan
to continue to develop it like XST, I think it could be a useable tool
down the road.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2008, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

FATAL_ERROR:Simulator:Fuse.cpp:424:$Id: Fuse.cpp,v 1.35.4.7 2008/05/28
00:03:05
droth Exp $ - Failed to compile generated C code
isim/_tmp/simprim/a_3586507481_2973208550.c Process will
terminate. For
technical support on this issue, please open a WebCase with this
project
attached at http://www.xilinx.com/support.
FATAL_ERROR:Simulator:Fuse.cpp:424:$Id: Fuse.cpp,v 1.35.4.7 2008/05/28
00:03:05 droth Exp $ - Failed to compile generated C code isim/_tmp/
simprim/a_3586507481_2973208550.c Process will terminate. For
technical support on this issue, please open a WebCase with this
project attached at http://www.xilinx.com/support.


Do a search on the errors and all Xilinx has is it being a problem in
Linux. I was running it on plain jane XP Pro 32-bit.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2008, 11:42 PM
Brian Drummond
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

On Wed, 5 Nov 2008 05:25:00 -0800 (PST), "[email protected]"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>FATAL_ERROR:Simulator:Fuse.cpp:424:$Id: Fuse.cpp,v 1.35.4.7 2008/05/28
>00:03:05
> droth Exp $ - Failed to compile generated C code
> isim/_tmp/simprim/a_3586507481_2973208550.c Process will
>terminate. For
> technical support on this issue, please open a WebCase with this
>project
> attached at http://www.xilinx.com/support.
>FATAL_ERROR:Simulator:Fuse.cpp:424:$Id: Fuse.cpp,v 1.35.4.7 2008/05/28
>00:03:05 droth Exp $ - Failed to compile generated C code isim/_tmp/
>simprim/a_3586507481_2973208550.c Process will terminate. For
>technical support on this issue, please open a WebCase with this
>project attached at http://www.xilinx.com/support.


>Do a search on the errors and all Xilinx has is it being a problem in
>Linux. I was running it on plain jane XP Pro 32-bit.


Look inside that C file and you should see a string
(static const char * = "...") containing a source file name.

You may be able to localise the problem to one construct within that
file. Either there is one thing you have done there and nowhere else;
comment it out and try again; or divide and conquer until you find it...
There may be an alternative construct to achieve the same goal without
crashing ISIM; or at the worst you have something concrete to report to
Xilinx.

Oh crap, if it's in the simprim folder it's one of Xilinx's own.
As it says, it would be good to open a Webcase if you can spare the
time.

Is this a gate level simulation?
If not, what is calling for simprims?
can you instantiate a Unisim equivalent instead?

- Brian

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-13-2008, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

Well, if your using ISIM I'm sure none of what I am about to write
will be anything new.

I see three main problems with ISIM.

It throws exceptions
It flat out will not simulate, almost like it lost the test bench
It runs out of memory

All these appear to be random and not tied to the project. It does
appear that it has something to do with me editing the waveforms but I
can't say 100%. Once one of these errors happens, the error happens
every time I try to restart ISIM. Restarting ISE and rebooting the PC
also have no effect.

What I am finding is that if I blow away all of the temp files within
the project directory, and the documents and settings area, the
simulator once dead will not recover. If I blow away the entire
project and restore it then just copy in my latest test bench, it
starts working again. I have seen this no less than 20 times so far.
Its the fastest way I can seem to keep ISIM running.

I decided to go ahead and put the tools on my newer PC. Same install,
all the same patches. No ISIM. I does not even show up as an
option. Is anyone running ISIM on an XP Pro 64-bit SP2 machine?
Maybe they don't support 64-bits with ISIM.

I wish I could post some sort of test case to replicate the problem,
but it all appears random at this point.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-13-2008, 07:04 PM
Mike Treseler
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

[email protected] wrote:

> I wish I could post some sort of test case to replicate the problem,
> but it all appears random at this point.


Consider modelsim.

-- Mike Treseler
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2008, 09:33 PM
Duth
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

On Nov 13, 8:18*am, "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:
> Well, if your using ISIM I'm sure none of what I am about to write
> will be anything new.
>
> I see three main problems with ISIM.
>
> It throws exceptions
> It flat out will not simulate, almost like it lost the test bench
> It runs out of memory
>
> All these appear to be random and not tied to the project. *It does
> appear that it has something to do with me editing the waveforms but I
> can't say 100%. * *Once one of these errors happens, the error happens
> every time I try to restart ISIM. *Restarting ISE and rebooting the PC
> also have no effect.
>
> What I am finding is that if I blow away all of the temp files within
> the project directory, and the documents and settings area, the
> simulator once dead will not recover. *If I blow away the entire
> project and restore it then just copy in my latest test bench, it
> starts working again. *I have seen this no less than 20 times so far.
> Its the fastest way I can seem to keep ISIM running.
>
> I decided to go ahead and put the tools on my newer PC. *Same install,
> all the same patches. *No ISIM. *I does not even show up as an
> option. * Is anyone running ISIM on an XP Pro 64-bit *SP2 machine?
> Maybe they don't support 64-bits with ISIM.
>
> I wish I could post some sort of test case to replicate the problem,
> but it all appears random at this point.


Hi,

Sorry to hear about all the trouble you had with ISim lately. To make
matters worse it does not help when you cant even open a case with
Xilinx support directly.

I would like to start by trying to answer one question at a time.
While this forum is a great way to ask questions on any FPGA designs
it is not as commonly monitored by anyone in Xilinx software groups.
If you cant open a case and would like specific Xilinx only answers,
please try the Xilinx forums in the future:

http://forums.xilinx.com/xlnx/

As long as you register, you can use this.

Now for the specific questions:

> It throws exceptions
> It flat out will not simulate, almost like it lost the test bench
> It runs out of memory


This is one of major items we are fixing in 11.1. A lot of this is
already in 10.1 SP3. Now the exceptions you are seeing is due to
another problem. Since ISim is integrated into Project Navigator what
happens a lot is that the two are tied to the hip. This means that if
PN crashes, then the ISim executable is still running in the
background and it has not been killed. Each time you try to re-invoke
that executable is always running and you get this exception. In 11.1
we will actually write a message that explains the true cause. You
have another executable running and since PN always tries to write the
same executable it crashes. What you can do to fix this is to open the
process window and look for a .exe that has the name of the testbench.
For example test_my_design.exe, kill this file manually and you wont
have this problem. In 11.1, the error message will capture and tell
you what to do. An AR is also being written on this as well. In 11.1
we will be offering our standalone version of ISim where you wont see
this anymore as even if PN crashes for any reason, ISim can still run
and if you close the ISim GUI it will kill the underlying .exe file.

ISim is not supported on Windows 64 natively. Although the new
installer should install both 32 and 64 bit automatically and you
should still see ISIm running in the 32-bit mode.

The Help for ISim is buried inside PN today and is hard to find. See
AR - http://www.xilinx.com/support/answers/30942.htm. In 11.1 it will
be have a self contained PDF file that is a lot easier to access.

Also please take a look at the FAQ for ISim on our main product page -
http://www.xilinx.com/ise/simulator

Hope this helps

Thanks
Duth
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 11-16-2008, 02:27 AM
Brian Drummond
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

On Sat, 15 Nov 2008 12:33:32 -0800 (PST), Duth <[email protected]>
wrote:

>On Nov 13, 8:18*am, "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Well, if your using ISIM I'm sure none of what I am about to write
>> will be anything new.

....

>Hi,
>
>Sorry to hear about all the trouble you had with ISim lately. To make
>matters worse it does not help when you cant even open a case with
>Xilinx support directly.


Thank you for taking an interest in ISIM! I think it is on the verge of
being a great product.

>Now for the specific questions:
>
>> It throws exceptions
>> It flat out will not simulate, almost like it lost the test bench
>> It runs out of memory

>
>This is one of major items we are fixing in 11.1. A lot of this is
>already in 10.1 SP3.


Thanks for pointing this out. I was planning to file three more Webcases
for ISIM crashes on Monday. Though I have temporarily had to revert to
10.1, now I know that, I'll test them on 10.3 and file any that still
occur.

Is it planned for the PowerPC Smartmodels to work properly in 11.1?

I hope so, because the other problems running with EDK are possible to
work round (and I was told the VHDL library problem was scheduled for an
11.1 fix which will make a huge difference) but I am left with a lot of
internal (Cell corrupted) errors from the PowerPC.

I was told EDK projects are unsupported on ISIM when I reported a
problem with configurations, which left me unsure whether to open a
Webcase on these

- Brian
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-19-2008, 03:09 PM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Would like to try ISIM, simple question

It's been a month now and Xilinx is just now getting all the accounts
to work. So I have been pounding out Webcases now for about a week.
When they moved away from the DVDs, forced us to purchase from Avnet
and dropped phone support, we were screwed. Avnet was zero help.
Xilinx would not talk to us on the phone. As Xilinx worked to get
the licenses sorted out I actually got a letter from them that I was
shocked when I read but I thought it really summed up the new Xilinx.
It's a new company for sure.

I can't explain it but after running the built-in web updater, ISIM
has gotton much more stable. I went ahead and installed 10.1.03 onto
my normal PC which runs XP 64. ISIM seems to run fine on this PC as
well, while in 32-bit mode. In the past two days I have had only one
crash where I had to flush the entire design to get it working again.
This was the only crash. Before I was seeing 6 - 10 crashes per day.
More strange also is that my evalution is now much more complex.
There was nothing in the release notes that talked about improving
ISIMs stability so the two may have nothing to do with one another.

I am finding some missing features that I would really like to have,
like the analog display. The graphing is some of the worst code I
have seen wrote. Zoom out for example and you may not see all the
state changes. Zoom and pan, don't even get me started.. I think
this part was given to the intern. I have been told that the
graphing in 11.1 is much better and I am trying to see what it takes
to get a beta copy.

There was another post where a person had asked about using ModelSim
rather than ISIM. Just to be clear, we have been using Aldec but they
really started to fall behind (that lawsuit IMO was like the dog that
bit the hand that fed him) . Now that they are partners with Xilinx,
I am hoping that they get their act together. I am using ISIM just
for evaluation.
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