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Visitor
Visitor
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Registered: ‎07-31-2020

How to reprogram a XC2018

Hello, I need to reprogram a XC2018. But because it's a very old part, and because I'm still young ;), I've no idea about the name of the original development software and more importantly WHERE to find it. Thanks a lot. Regards
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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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Registered: ‎08-13-2007

It looks like you need some version of XACTstep:

https://www.xilinx.com/support/answers/15938.html (Install - Device Support on ISE Xilinx Design Tools)

and likely an ancient computer and OS - and a license key (which I suspect you don't have).

http://www.xilinx.com/support/answers/18053.htm (XACTstep 6.0.1 - What operating systems (OS) are supported by the XACT step 6.0.1 software release?)

and that's the "latest version" - I'm not sure if you'd need an earlier version here since XC2000 was much earlier than XC3000 or XC4000.

I don't think this software was ever available on-line - it was likely shipped to customers - maybe on 8" floppies via Pony Express. The user guide may have been carved into stone (kidding).

And I'm not sure what  cable you'd need - maybe Multilynx?

In short, this is not the path I'd recommend to start with an FPGA - not even getting into synthesis (it wasn't supported natively - most users were likely using schematic capture tools then - 3rd party?). Maybe even hand placing and routing the design.

A modern board based on Spartan-7 and current design tools is a much better path for many reasons. The 2000 family was introduced in 1985 if I remember right.

 

== edit. minor clarification

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Teacher
Teacher
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Registered: ‎07-09-2009

The XC2018 is an Sram based FPGA, 

   it is not programmed, it reads its boot info from a prom or via a processor on the board.

so you need to program the prom / processor, 

https://forums.xilinx.com/t5/General-Technical-Discussion/XC2018-READ-AND-WRITE/td-p/797095

 

 

<== If this was helpful, please feel free to give Kudos, and close if it answers your question ==>
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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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Registered: ‎08-13-2007

@drjohnsmiththere may have been some method to download the bitstream into the FPGA (volatile) directly for initial test prior to PROM programming. Not unlike downloading the bitstream via JTAG... But it has been so long I'm not sure, but didn't think it was even JTAG then. I remember "programming" pods/dongles that downloaded via bit-banging from the PC into the device. Probably via the parallel port or serial port since USB wasn't even invented yet.

I took his "reprogram" to mean that he wanted to develop his/her own design into some ancient hardware that was found -but admit that was an assumption on my part.

The short story is recovering the ability to develop firmware for this hardware/device family is not trivial...