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Visitor mhuneidi
Registered: ‎09-24-2011

Spartan 3AN Tutorial

I have to use the Spartan 3AN starter kit for a project that involves the LCD screen, the ADC's and the DAC's and the switches. I have barely any previous experience with verilog and the ISE software. Is there a good step by step tutorial from programming it to downloading it onto the board that i could use? Any reference would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


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Scholar joelby
Registered: ‎10-05-2010

Re: Spartan 3AN Tutorial

There are a bunch of different resources you should check out:

  • Spartan-3A/3AN FPGA Starter Kit Board User Guide. This will tell you most of what you'll need to know to get things specific to your starter kit working. Don't be afraid to find and read the data sheets for specific ICs, such as the ADC and DAC chips. The information the Xilinx user guide provides for these is the absolute minimum you'll need to know, and in practice it's good to read the data sheet for everything.
  • The ISE 11 in-depth tutorial is still applicable to ISE 12 and 13 with some minor changes, and well-worth working through if you're not confident with ISE. You might want to give schematic-based design a miss if you don't have a compelling reason to use it (maintaining a legacy design or illiteracy are probably the only ones that count).
  • Verilog textbook. There are lots out there. At an early stage of learning, I think it is worth getting one that is written with Xilinx devices in mind. Pong Chu's "FPGA Prototyping by Verilog Examples: Xilinx Spartan-3 Version" is pretty good, though there are bits of it I don't like. You could ask your professors/tutors/friends what they recommend.
  • Reference designs for the 3AN Starter Kit. These will give you some good hints about how to design for the various peripherals on your board. When you despair that your ADC must have been destroyed, it's good to be able to try out the self-test bitfile and realise that the ADC is fine, and the problem is your terrible code.


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