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Visitor lichofdoom
Visitor
272 Views
Registered: ‎03-28-2019

ISE, CPLDs, and Windows 7 End of Life

Per Microsoft's lifecycle factsheet, Windows 7 support is ending January of 2020. (See also https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet). This is an issue, because it leaves no security-conscious way to develop and/or support CoolRunner II CPLDs.

ISE 14.7 on Windows 7 is the only platform that still supports CPLD development and programming. The "Windows 10 version" of ISE 14.7 is actually a virtual machine containing the Linux build of ISE. The Linux build of ISE only supports Spartan 6 devices. On the other side of development environments, Vivado still doesn't support the CoolRunner II line.

So, my questions are as follows:

  • Are CoolRunner II CPLDs still intended for support? CPLDs definitely fill a niche that even small FPGAs like the Artix don't fill, so I hope that they're still being supported.
  • Is CoolRunner II support coming to Vivado ever?
  • Are there any alternatives for ISE that work in Windows 10 (or even Linux) and support more than just Spartan 6?
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4 Replies
Scholar watari
Scholar
248 Views
Registered: ‎06-16-2013

Re: ISE, CPLDs, and Windows 7 End of Life

Hi @lichofdoom 

 

I suggest you to use virtual environment (ex. VirtualBox, VM ware and so on) to develop old FPGA device.

 

Host OS : Windows 10

Guest OS : Supported Linux OS

 

Best regards,

Visitor lichofdoom
Visitor
177 Views
Registered: ‎03-28-2019

Re: ISE, CPLDs, and Windows 7 End of Life

Using a virtual environment doesn't solve the issue, though. This is to develop CPLD devices, not FPGA devices, which is the core difficulty here. FPGA devices are well supported in either Vivado and the last Linux build of ISE.

If I use a virtual Linux environment (i.e. Xilinx's solution for ISE support in Windows 10), those builds of ISE cannot compile CPLD code. As stated in my original post, they only target Spartan 6 devices!

If I use a virtual Windows 7 environment, I'd be accepting the same security risks as using a physical Windows 7 environment. Virtualization just adds more software into the chain that I (and more importantly, my IT department) would need to trust.
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Scholar drjohnsmith
Scholar
159 Views
Registered: ‎07-09-2009

Re: ISE, CPLDs, and Windows 7 End of Life

Your questoin is valid, and also a very old problem,

The general answer I see at companies , is get the full versoin of ISE, and run that in your own VM, under linux or W7.

Xilinx have shown no real support for CPLDs for a decade plus , and no support for ISE since W10 came out.

 

I hear on the grape vine,  that the only reaosn that ISE 14.7 with its own VM was released for Spartan 6, was some VERY big automative companies bought into the spartan 6.

many many of us have lamented the lack of ISE on windows 10 over the years,

  ( as a hardware guy, I'd have thought it was just a re compile !! )

 

 

<== If this was helpful, please feel free to give Kudos, and close if it answers your question ==>
Scholar watari
Scholar
137 Views
Registered: ‎06-16-2013

Re: ISE, CPLDs, and Windows 7 End of Life

Hi @lichofdoom 

 

If you don't use virtual environment, you only choose the following plan, like us.

 

- Prepare native machine and install supported Linux OS.

- Install ISE on this linux OS.

 

As you know, Xilinx only support Spartan6 on VirtualBox on Windows 10.

However, I think that supporting other old devices on it is hard to pay cost, even if there is a solution...

 

Best regards,