02-14-2012 06:54 AM - edited 02-14-2012 06:57 AM
I am not too lucky with the chipscope GUI since it appears relativly unconvenient to me in comparison to similar wave view tools.
In Busplot mode, the bus selection window is too small to see bus names, unfortunatly it cannot be resized in x-direction
Area Zoom does not work correctly, when e.g. selecting the top of a sine wave and zoom x / y independantly from each other
Quick zoom is impossibly since there are no knobs or function keys supporting this, in bus plot mode there are not even sliders
Maybe it would be an idea to provide at least the same functions at perhaps the same behaviour as in Isim? (This means, signal grouping, colouring, using rulers and sliders?)
I generally wonder, why there are two different GUIs in two similar tools maintained, doing more or less the same!
On the one hand, the viewing functions from ISIM could be used in Chipscope and vice versa the bus plot window method ported to ISIM. (ChipScope does support analog view, while ISIM does not).
From my understanding it should be easy to instantiate a ISIM Viewer Window block and all it's classes in ChipScope and let it simply work on the chipscope data obtained by JTAG instead of the wave data obtained from simulation
Solved! Go to Solution.
03-01-2012 08:02 AM
07-02-2012 05:16 AM
Hm, nothing new in 14.1 :-(
- cannot count the signals itself
- opens with wrong tab when "make connections" is selected, eg with "trigger" allthough if "signal" tab was selected
- still zooms badly
no progress at all!
08-07-2012 01:23 AM
I'm using Chipscope on a daily basis. I'm starting to wonder if it might have uses in terrorist interrogations? I'd prefer waterboarding personally. ;)
Joking aside, the answers you get from support for Chipscope are now "it's a legacy tool" and won't be changed. Which I find funny because the tool has been horrible to use since forever, could have been easily changed before but wasn't. So, they've never fixed its annoyances and now won't since it is "legacy".
However, for anyone not using Series 7, which is barely available even now (I just got the email about Artix shipping), you are stuck with "legacy" tools. I'm using Virtex 6 which is now "old" even though it's only been out for a few years.
When I describe the problems with the Chipscope GUI, people look at me like I'm describing software from the 80's. I thought computers were good at counting and adding? Why do I need to tell it how many signals are in the list it already has? Please, count them for me...
I'm surprised that no one has actually written their own GUI for Chipscope. Based on the amount of time wasted using the current GUI, it might be easier to do that.
Has anyone used other alternatives? What about Identify from Synplicity/Synopsis?
08-07-2012 03:22 AM - edited 08-07-2012 03:25 AM
I do not know alternatives, rather than creating LA-units myself and port them to oscilloscope screens via simple VGA. In the future I plan to use SERDES IOs to move the data to other FPGA boards.
Some years ago I tried to start an open source project with universal analyzer, also via JATG and also serial COM as an alternative but die not find enough contributors.
I guess, the business strategy of Xilinx (asking for money for ChipScope on the one hand, on low support on the other hand) made many persons move to Altera already. Nearly all the students I know, as well the companies and departments who start with FPGAs, do work with Altera, because it (still) has free ModelSIM, SignalTAP in the tool chain included. And you know how it works: People tend to stay with what they started.
I cannot understand why Xilinx does not invest some money into such a tool by at least making some cheap students rewriting and enhancing the GUI, like many companies do.
08-08-2012 08:05 AM
Well, I'm not looking for free, or even necessarily low cost solutions. The amount of time wasted stumbling through Chipscope translates into money. If Xilinx has a much better solution than Chipscope, I (and my company) would be willing to pay a fair price for it. Debug is a critical point in a project and can require a lot of time. So paying for a good debug tool that saves time is really worth it.
I did use Signaltap on Altera. It was very easy to use. I had it up and running without even reading a manual, in an hour. I read hundreds of pages of documentation and examples for 2-3 days before I even started with Chipscope, and I'm still not clear about the more advanced triggers it can do. However, maybe that's because it's much power than Signaltap?
Free Modelsim is fine for students, but for real projects that never works. I need to do mixed VHDL and Verilog simuation, not because I design in both languages, but because I'm using IP cores that are in Verilog or encrypted VHDL. You can forget about that with free Modelsim. I think you get to Modelsim SE (super expensive) very quickly.
This experience will make me look into Synplicity and other solutions, as well as Altera for my next design.
I really like the power of Chipscope. It's quite amazing when you think about what it can do compared to a logic analyzer that costs much much more. However, what is frustrating for me, is seeing such a powerful tool with a horrible interface wrapped around it. It's kind of like buying a Ferrai and being told that it's only available with a manual crank start and no power windows....sure it can go really fast, but you don't even want to drive it because it's so annoying to even bother start it...
I'm hoping that Xilinx will port whatever Chipscope replacement solution they come up with, in Vivado, to the 6 series parts and earlier. I can't imagine it would be so much different for different types of parts. In the end, Chipscope is processing data, post capture. It's reading captured data out of the memory inside the device via JTAG. That is not very device specific.
08-09-2012 04:31 AM - edited 08-09-2012 04:34 AM
The disappointing thing is, that there was no improvement over years, although there were complaints and how should one expect that this will change in the future?
I remember I already asked in 2007 for things like automatic signal counting, sorting and reordering, zooming and navigation and other things one can see in even open source debuggers like sump.
Also, I interpreted the words from above ( 03-01-2012 08:02 AM ) that way, that a ISE 14 will come along with new features. This is obviously not the case.
Ok, Vivado will come with new functions then, I expect.
... and it will came with new errors and malfunctions, i strongly expect.