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billstephens
Newbie
Newbie
485 Views
Registered: ‎05-04-2020

Programming SW

I need to reprogram some Spartan-IIE FPGAs.  I've downloaded several SW packages that include iMPACT on 2 PCs.  However, whenever I try to open a project or create a new project, iMPACT dies.  Is anyone aware of SW that can simply program Xilinx FPGAs?  Please help - I'm absolutely desperate at this point!  Thanks for any help!

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wduffy
Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
451 Views
Registered: ‎01-21-2013

Hi @billstephens

 

Can you provide more details of the iMPACT versions you have tried to install?

Also what OS are you installing on?

 

Thanks,
Wendy
Xilinx Technical Support
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u4223374
Advisor
Advisor
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Registered: ‎04-26-2015

First things first, are you sure the boards are actually designed to be programmed via JTAG?

 

You don't normally program the Spartan 2E itself; the chip's internal memory is all SRAM, so as soon as you turn off the power you lose anything that you stored there. Some Spartan 2E boards will include a PROM chip connected directly to the FPGA, that the FPGA uses to configure itself at power-on. On some (most) of those boards there will be provision to program the PROM via JTAG, although on a Spartan 2E it's also quite possible that the PROM is one-time programmable and is meant to be programmed before being mounted on the board. The other common approach is to have a separate chip (microcontroller, DSP, full-fledged CPU) program the FPGA from its own flash at power-up, in which case getting JTAG onto the FPGA is not going to help you.

 

With that said ... ISE 14.7 works on Windows 7 or Windows 10, and can program a Spartan 2 (it can't develop code for the Spartan 2, but it'll happily load a pre-built bitstream).

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billstephens
Newbie
Newbie
389 Views
Registered: ‎05-04-2020

Definitely designed for JTAG. The boards I'm trying to program are from a product designed ~12 years. I've programmed the same boards many times previously. I designed Xilinx CPLDs/FPGAs into products for many years until about 10 years ago and never had trouble. Anyway - iMPACT dies on both my personal & work PCs when I attempt to load a project or create a new one. Must be doing something stupid with the installation - but damned if I can figure out what I'm doing wrong... Thanks for any help.
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u4223374
Advisor
Advisor
336 Views
Registered: ‎04-26-2015

What version of ISE are you using, and on which OS?

 

There's some information here about installing ISE on newer versions of Windows. We just install ISE Lab Tools 14.7 x64 (not the new "Windows 10" version) on Windows 10 PCs, followed those instructions to turn off SmartHeap, and everything seems to be happy.

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