11-14-2010 02:39 PM
Is there a 64-bit version of kcpsm3? If not, why not? How hard would it be to take the original code and use a 64-bit foundation library? If it's written in C it should be trivial to pull the code into a recent version of MS Visual Studio and compile a 64-bit version of the app.
With more machines moving to 64-bit this is going to become an increasing problem. And, yes, I know you can use a virtual machine or dosbox or whatever, but this becomes a major pain (if not impossible) especially when needing to script compilation and design efforts. At the very least release the source code for kcpsm3 so someone else can build a 64-bit version.
Solved! Go to Solution.
11-14-2010 03:25 PM - edited 11-14-2010 03:33 PM
In defense of Mr. Chapman and his colleagues, it's not simply a matter of pushing a 'make' button to crank out a (somewhat) new platform target of an application.
Xilinx would also have to regression test the stuff before it goes up on the web for distribution, and if it doesn't work perfectly for everyone, then the support team bears the brunt of support calls for OS-related problems that the front-line folks may not be particularly well-equipped to replicate (much less solve).
If you check the Xilinx tools pages, Windows 7 is not yet officially supported by even the BASIC synth/P/R tools. Full W7 support is promised for ISE 13 (currently on ISE 12.3). Once Xilinx gets a solid handle on Win7 64bit support for ISE, it's quite likely that the migration expertise will flow quickly through to much of the remaining SW tools.
There is no perfect solution, and we are grateful for enlightened compromises. As a past marketing weenie said (to a gob-smacked, reality-checked audience):
'If we made every last customer completely satisfied, we spent too much time and money on testing and support'
As stunning as that sounds, there is some truth to his assertion.
I don't work for Xilinx, but I can sympathise both for Xilinx as a vendor and for the community of customers torn between the divergent requirements of both various and sundry design tools and the (sometimes) unreasonable whims of corporate IT departments.
-- Bob Elkind
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11-14-2010 04:52 PM
"In defense of Mr. Chapman and his colleagues, it's not simply a matter of pushing a 'make' button to crank out a (somewhat) new platform target of an application."
Uh...I'm not sure if you're a software programmer but for this tiny little application which is essentially a glorified text parse and tokenizer it really should be quite simple. For a simple app like this the compiler and linker should do 99% of the work. I mean seriously, the entire executable is 88KB and most of that is probably cstdlib. Lol.
"If you check the Xilinx tools pages, Windows 7 is not yet officially supported by even the BASIC synth/P/R tools."
I'm not asking Ken to rebuild all the ISE tools for 64-bit windows 7 support. I'm asking that someone rebuild a very tiny application which has absolutely no relation or dependencies on the ISE tool builds or libraries. I'm not even asking that they upgrade or change any of the assembler's core parsing/assembling functions - I'm just asking that they make it executable for a 64-bit platform.
"Full W7 support is promised for ISE 13 (currently on ISE 12.3)."
Again, this has nothing to do with the ISE tools but just FYI the v12.3 tools run just fine on windows 7 64-bit and I haven't had a single problem and I use them every day all day. Also, my FAE tells me that most internal Xilinx folks have been running the Xilinx tools on 64-bit windows 7 for quite some time already.
"Once Xilinx gets a solid handle on Win7 64bit support for ISE, it's quite likely that the migration expertise will flow quickly through to much of the remaining SW tools."
:) Haha, I think you mean "quite unlikely". Xilinx *_loves_* ditching hardware/software support that is any more than ~6 months old. I can especially see this happening with kcpsm3 right now with all the budget cutbacks and layoffs going on. Keep in mind that Xilinx is a for-profit company. They want to promote their latest-greatest technology (i.e. V6/S6). So expecting that Xilinx will just out of their good graces (a.k.a. by default) have one of their engineers go back and upgrade kcpsm3 when kcpsm6 is already out (and already supporting their latest-greatest product) is silly. So we need to get some more people on these forums requesting that kcpsm3 be upgraded to run on 64-bit platforms so that us lowly V5/S3 folks can still have some type of reasonable functionality in the future. I know there have already been people asking for this ability on these (and other) forums.
11-15-2010 04:32 AM
Replace win7 by linux and search the forum for similar requests.
You will find threads about it on an almost regular basis since KCPSM3.EXE was released.
KCPSM3.EXE is delivered on an "as-is" basis, and you are free to chose any way to make it work on your computer.
(As we all had to over the last years)
Have a nice synthesis
11-15-2010 05:54 AM
I’m afraid to say that ‘eteam00’ is being realistic; there are commercial pressures for all of us and there is only so much looking backwards that you can do. That said, Xilinx devices take a long time to get close to being obsolete and Spartan-3 Generation and Virtex-5 are still very mainstream products so I do acknowledge the point you make point. Even so, there has to be a difference between development of new designs and legacy support of old ones even if they are still in production.
PicoBlaze is provided free of charge under the Xilinx Reference Design License Agreement rather than as a ‘product’ or part of the ISE development tools. As such, there has to be limitations but with a such a large number of users it is very important to me that what is provided leads to a good quality experience. Without that I would be swamped with support issues! I’m delighted that there are those willing to share their experiences, knowledge and more with other users (e.g. through this forum) but I still wish that more would.
So with the use ‘as-is’ aspect of the Xilinx Reference Design License Agreement in mind here is your opportunity to be part of the sharing community. You are already using 64-bit Windows 7 with ISE tools not formally released for that platform so can I assume that you don’t mind being a test platform for the PicoBlaze assembler? I know you are looking for a KCPSM3 assembler but the KCPSM6 assembler is native Windows. If you could please try the new KCPSM6 assembler and let me know if it ticks all your boxes regarding your operating environment and use model then that would be very useful information for all users as well as me.
I’ve already received some requests for a variant of the KCPSM6 assembler to be made available for KCPSM3 but in those cases it was the desire for the additional syntax and its general operation. Your operating environment request is a complementary reason and if I can kill two birds with one stone then it is all the better for me to justify doing it from a commercial aspect too.
Principal Engineer, Xilinx UK
11-15-2010 03:22 PM
You are already using 64-bit Windows 7 with ISE tools not formally released for that platform so can I assume that you don’t mind being a test platform for the PicoBlaze assembler? I know you are looking for a KCPSM3 assembler but the KCPSM6 assembler is native Windows. If you could please try the new KCPSM6 assembler and let me know if it ticks all your boxes regarding your operating environment and use model then that would be very useful information for all users as well as me.
Sure! But...I read the readme for kcpsm6 and I thought it said it would only work for compiling for V6/S6 devices? Are you saying that it will still compile for V5? We're not using V6/S6 at all right now so I wouldn't have anything to test kcpsm6 with. :(
I agree. Ken or someone in his group should spend fifteen minutes with Visual Studio, change the target to 64-bit, rebuild, voila, done.
It's a simple text parser. Find an intern to fix it. Seriously.
THANK YOU! :) And I totally agree, recompiling the executable for 64-bit platform has intern written all over it! =D
11-16-2010 02:50 AM
Dear Jonathon and ‘bassman59’,
I do acknowledge your frustration but I’m sure much of it relates to what you see as a trivial task and I can understand why you may jump to that conclusion too. What you don’t know is that the KCPSM3 assembler was an evolution of ‘PSMBLE’ that I produced in 1994 for the original PSM processor on the XC4000 family of Xilinx FPGAs. The hardware definition of that processor took the form of a ViewLogic (ViewDraw) schematic using the XBLOX library. Hopefully you would agree that porting that hardware design to a Virtex-6 today would take a bit more effort than a quick re-synthesis by an intern. So please understand that the assembler dates from the same era and it really is a DOS program all senses; it certainly wasn’t written in C and it even executes within 64k-byte memory limit including all data! The KCPSM3 assembler was released in 2005 and continues to work for thousands of people and that even surprises me for what is really 1980’s technology. However, it has had its day and must now be left to see its life out in peace along with schematic design.
KCPSM6 is an all new assembler and native Windows. However, it is new and I’m looking for feedback from users and hence the reason for my request to you. My apologies if I confused you when making that request so let me try to make myself clear this time. What I would like to know is if the KCPSM6 assembler works adequately for you in your 64-bit Windows-7 environment. Does it do the things that you need an assembler to do within the confines of your PC? Please ignore for now that it is assembling a program for KPSPM6 that you are not targeting, it is a question of whether it executes, reads files and writes files correctly (possibly with the assembler, input files and output files all being in different directories depending on how you like to work etc).
If you can help confirm that the KCPSM6 assembler is stable under your environment then it would make sense for me to add legacy support for KCPM3 into the KCPSM6 assembler (or a variant of it). That would also cover the requests I’ve received from KCPSM3 users that would just like to be able to use the enhanced syntax of the new assembler which is something else I can’t add in the old one.
Principal Engineer, Xilinx UK
11-24-2010 02:21 AM - edited 11-24-2010 02:22 AM
KCPSM6 is Here! (Download it now)
Principal Engineer, Xilinx UK