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Forum: FPGA, VHDL & Verilog Open Source + FPGA = ?


Author: psihodelia (Guest)
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Hello my dear FPGA experts,

I would like to start a digital logic design (maybe will buy a Xilinx 
Spartan 3E or Altera Starter Kit).

But I cannot use non-open source software because of processors on my 
host computers. I have PowerPCs and even some other CPU types (non x86 
compatible). I have Gentoo Linux installed on all my computers, all 
software is builded from source files. I cannot use precompiled binaries 
because of non x86 architecture of my processors.

My question is:
 Is it possible to design a digital logic systems using only open source 
software, that I can build from scratch ???  What is about open source 
drivers for JTAG or USB connection with some popular FPGA Development 
Boards?

Author: Andreas Schwarz (andreas) (Admin) Flattr this
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No, it isn't possible. There is an x86 Linux version of Xilinx ISE, but 
it's not open source, so with PPC you're out of luck.

Author: Hal (Guest)
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@ psihodelia,

The engineering world operates with PCs, 8086 compatible Intel PCs, for 
their flexibilty with the hardware. Since these machines are not that 
expensive, I suggest either you get such a machine, perhaps a used one 
from ebay, or forget engineering alltogether. Sorry.

Author: psihodelia (Guest)
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I am from university world and we prefer to use clear and open systems, 
that could be studied and improved. That's why we use Open Source 
solutions.

Author: Tom (Guest)
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>The engineering world operates with PCs

It did come to this, right. Bill overcame us. 10 years ago, we had 
running unix system beeing able to do nearly every engineering and 
scientific opration desired with. Nowadays we have Windows!

The only refuge for real good computer architecture is the multimedia 
area especially graphics. Here, MAC ist the dominator.

Author: Falk Brunner (falk)
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@ Tom

>running unix system beeing able to do nearly every engineering and
>scientific opration desired with. Nowadays we have Windows!

But when you'r not a UNIX-Freak, you are off the business.
The god old days . . . ;-)

>The only refuge for real good computer architecture is the multimedia
>area especially graphics. Here, MAC ist the dominator.

Urban legend. The days of MAC superiority in the multimedia sector are 
gone a long time ago. PC have more than EGA and beeper sound nowadays. 
Same for the software.

Regards
Falk


Author: Thomas Ruschival (ruschi)
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no - it is not possible.
in the very last step of place and route you usually use vendor tools.
We synthesized with (non-opensource) Preciscion RTL (x86) or Leonardo 
Spectrum (SPARC) and had P+R with Altera Quartus or Xilinx ISE (both 
x86)(also non-opensource).
Even if you would implement your own open-source synthesis tool - you 
still don't have deep knowledge of the chip for P+R and writing 
bitstream files.

Author: gast (Guest)
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well, after 2 years he might already figured that out by himself :)

Author: Antti Lukats (Guest)
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actually IT IS possible
just not very reasonable

Atmel 40K/94K full bitstream documenation is obtainable
and tools feasible as well, there was even one project
offering 94k dev board and open tools
(the project is unfortunatly dead/vanished by now)

Antti

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