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How to Program Xilinx into a FPGA Board

Xilinx makes field programmable gateway array boards which are easy to program using their proprietary software. Here are some of the basic steps to take to create your design project the moment you install the Xilinx software on your computer.

The first step is to work in design entry in the Integrated Software Environment or ISE. This is where you will create source files for your project. The Project Navigators assists you in managing and processing the design in a step by step format.

Managing And Processing Step By Step

When you are in the design entry phase, you will create and name your source files based on the objectives that you have for your designs. You can use hardware description language (HDL), ABEL, or you can use a schematic.

Lower level source files can be created in multiple formats. You will see a place in the pop up box to select the proper language and other details for your design. You can also use language templates. When programming, you can always access the Help section in the ISE. If you are using a NGO file, you can also skip design entry and move ahead to implementation.

Once your design entry has been completed, run the synthesis step. This step is where the Verilog, VHDL or any other language designs turn into netlist files. Here, you can also create timing constraints before moving ahead. Your netlist files should get accepted and become inputs for your next step which is the implementation step.

Convert The Programmed Design

This step will convert the designs you programmed into physical files. These can later be downloaded to your chosen device. Use the Project Navigator to run this in one step or choose to run each implementation individually. This varies if you are using a Complex Programmable Logic Device versus an FPGA.

Once you have implemented everything, you can run verification. This process checks the functionality of the design’s flow at major points. Run the simulator in the software to check the timing of the entire design or certain segments of it. The simulator can interpret VHDL or Verilog code. It will display the results and indicate if the correct circuit operation is complete. Green checkmarks next to items indicate they are free of errors.

Verify Functions Qualitatively

Simulation lets you verify functions quickly. You can also verify functions by running an in-circuit program on the device you are creating designs for.

When the above steps have been completed, your programming is nearly complete. All you need to do is run the configuration step to configure the device. During this process, additional files are generated and they are then downloaded from a host computer to your Xilinx device.

After this step is complete, you can configure your device. Here you generate configuration files and download the programming files from your computer to the device. With the instructions provided in the software, you have an easy reference tool to these to ensure that you program your Xilinx software correctly to your FPGA. For more information visit http://www.directics.com/fpga-programming/

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