07-17-2019 01:36 PM
How does one go about getting "real" support from Xilinx? I don't mean calling some 3rd party sales rep to buy yet another over priced license for something I don't need that will not fix my problem. I also don't mean the support that would come from a bunch of desk jockys who know absolutaly nothing useful to fix a real problem. I am talking about getting a real Xilinx employee on the phone to have them fix a real problem. I paid thousands of dollars for this crap that I bought from Xilinx and I expect to get real support for the product I purchased. Not I submit a ticket and someone will get back to me in a week or a month. I mean I pick up the phone, speak to someone dircetly and get support immediatly on the phone. These products are so increadibly over priced for the non-existent level of support they give. I 100% regret ever buying anything from this company and I will not ever do it again.
07-17-2019 02:43 PM
I used to work for a company that had that ability. They even gave us special builds of Vivado and ISE to fix our problems. But we (as a multi-national) bought tens of millions of dollars worth of chips every year.
Xilinx employees do help on this forum.
But your $000s of dollars is nothing to Xilinx.
And Id argue against overpriced - you wont find anything any cheaper. (unless you go for the web-packs that are free for the small devices).
Buy enough chips (like, a lot of chips) and the vivado licences become free!
You wont get any better support from Intel (which used to be good but they went the way of Xilinx - sack all the local FAEs and only provide web support. Raising a ticket has to be done via forum!)
07-18-2019 12:29 AM - edited 07-18-2019 12:36 AM
I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the support.
As @richardhead mentioned, the support portal is available to any customers.And this is because we have a limited team.
However, I assume that you bought your parts from an Authorized Distibutor? Then this distributor should have a Xilinx Specialist FAE which should be able to support you even over the phone. If this is not the case, check if there is not another Authorized Distibutor in you region.
With that said, Xilinx still provide some direct support on the forums. Try to check the topics on the forums you will see how many are answered by REAL Xilinx employee (note that some guys on the community are not from Xilinx but more experienced than many Xilinx employee so wouldn't wait only for Xilinx employees). However, looking at your account, you have't posted any question within the last 2 years. And the last time you tried (in 2017) you had many replies from Xilinx employees but you nevered took the time to reply. Maybe you might want to start by posting your question on your forums...
As per this page, Xilinx as more than 20k customers. How many employees do you think we would need to support evey customer by phone?
07-18-2019 03:39 AM - edited 07-18-2019 04:03 AM
Here’s something that Ed Klingman, an old-timer (like me), said a few years ago about FPGAs.
“That is, your program logic gets synthesized, or mapped into, logical gates, not into processor instructions that control multigate structures. This is absolutely amazing, and good FPGA programmers give thanks every day for living in the rare time in history (post 1990+) when you can design architectures with words and then synthesize your logic into (mostly silicon) gates that execute your logic. Not to get carried away, but it's absolutely wonderful.”
I try to recapture a little of Ed’s enthusiasm and thankfulness at the start of each workday.
Life is what you make it.
Choose to be happy.
07-18-2019 05:13 AM
@polorboy The answer, unfortunately, is "pay more". Find a local Xilinx-based consulting company that can assist, and pay for their advice.
As everyone else has said, this is largely unavoidable. You think Xilinx hardware is expensive now, but if Xilinx was to provide highly trained and experienced engineers for all customer support roles then I expect that a basic development kit would cost more like $10K instead of $100 - and Vivado would probably be a $100K+ investment.
I'm not aware of any company that actually gives direct access to engineering support unless you buy massive amounts from them or have something they want (eg. a clear demonstration of a serious bug).
07-18-2019 06:04 AM
I purchased development kits directly from Xilinx, which was apparently stupid on my part. The only reason I purchased Xilinx in the first place was because when starting my business (I am an entrepeneur and founder of my company) I had used Xilinx development kits in college. So I was a little familiar with them. Little did I know how bad a product it really is. I have had nothing but issue's with it since using it. The reason I stopped bothering with the forums is becuase the answers I received were not even remotely related to the question I asked and didn't even come close to answering the problem. I may have a small company now, but one thing is certain, at some point I will be spending millions on product development. The other certain thing is that it will not be on Xilinx products. If Xilinx can't be bothered to have some level of support beyond a forum where the best answer you get is "read some faq" or "here is a solution for something that is not your problem, since we can't be bothered to really address your issue beyond any issue that we think could possibly happen", then I can't be bothered to waste my company's money on their product.
A business 101 and commen sense fact is that good relationships with customers when they are small will directly lead to good relationships when those customers become large. The opposite is true, you treat a small customer like garbage and you will not get their business when they are spending a lot.
You want to know my issue? I guarentee that no one will be able to actual fix it and any "answers" I get will not even be remotely related to it. Like I said, I purchased direct from Xilinx (stupid choice on my part). My license is perpetual (i.e. no experation date) and is ONLY version limited. I ran into a bug that is known but never fixed in the version I am using, so I download and install a version that is supposed to be valid under my license but when I run it I get errors that my license is now invalid. I already spent in the 10's of thousands of dollars on my current licenses, yeah I got multiple licenses for node locked on multiple machines, and all of them have this issue. I am in no way spending 10's of thousands of dollars on more licenses to fix an issue that should not even be an issue. If I am going to be spending another 10's of thousands of dollars on software it will be with a different company. I was even considering updating my licenses before this happened but tried to install the highest version allowed by my current license before doing that. I am happy I did at becuase it has exposed how bad the support structure at Xilinx is.
07-18-2019 06:20 AM
07-18-2019 07:17 AM
Rant On (warning!)
As a ~20 year ex-X employee, who answered >10k questions on this forum under my previous moniker, and as a X customer now, I certainly can empathize with your situation. I am fortunate to be at a company that has direct support so I do not have to suffer like you have.
I would suggest you HAMMER your local distributor you bought the tools from. As a customer, you are always right (even if you are wrong), so DEMAND they give you licenses for tools that work. Calling every morning until you get what you want..(the squeeky wheel does get the grease).
Until you buy millions, you cannot get direct support (from any real semiconductor company, anywhere) so just go fix your problem via the path Xilinx has created -- through your local distributor. The industry watches each other, and they all copy each other (good and bad).
I do not mean to sound harsh, I am just telling you like it is. This is the new reality of support (everywhere as noted above). Some companies do not have distributor support at all, so believe me, in can be, and is, much worse. The grass in not greener anywhere else, in fact, it is a sickly green most everywhere. Profit rules, stock price is everything, management gets paid (too much) for doing nothing. The engineers continue to make magic. Welcome to the industry.
07-18-2019 08:45 AM
Unforunately if you need an FPGA - you only have 2 main choices. Xilinx or Intel. There are a few alternatives like Lattice and Microsemi, but they are more specialist and much smaller devices.
So you're stuck with the big two. From what I can tell Intel are pushing for the data centres for their FPGAs so their support can only get worse.
Get used to compromising and workarounds with all these things. All the tools have their limitations too!