New Horizons

Welcome to my blog

My name is Sven Andersson and I
work as a consultant in embedded
system design, implemented in ASIC
and FPGA.
In my spare time I write this blog
and I hope it will inspire others to
learn more about this fantastic field.
I live in Stockholm Sweden and have
my own company


You are welcome to contact me
and ask questions or make comments
about my blog.


New Horizons
What's new
Starting a blog
Writing a blog
Using an RSS reader

Zynq Design From Scratch
Started February 2014
1 Introduction
Changes and updates
2 Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC
3 ZedBoard and other boards
4 Computer platform and VirtualBox
5 Installing Ubuntu
6 Fixing Ubuntu
7 Installing Vivado
8 Starting Vivado
9 Using Vivado
10 Lab 1. Create a Zynq project
11 Lab 1. Build a hardware platform
12 Lab 1. Create a software application
13 Lab 1. Connect to ZedBoard
14 Lab 1. Run a software application
15 Lab 1. Benchmarking ARM Cortex-A9
16 Lab 2. Adding a GPIO peripheral
17 Lab 2. Create a custom HDL module
18 Lab 2. Connect package pins and implement
19 Lab 2. Create a software application and configure the PL
20 Lab 2. Debugging a software application
21 Running Linux from SD card
22 Installing PetaLinux
23 Booting PetaLinux
24 Connect to ZedBoad via ethernet
25 Rebuilding the PetaLinux kernel image
26 Running a DHCP server on the host
27 Running a TFTP server on the host
28 PetaLinux boot via U-boot
29 PetaLinux application development
30 Fixing the host computer
31 Running NFS servers
32 VirtualBox seamless mode
33 Mounting guest file system using sshfs
34 PetaLinux. Setting up a web server
35 PetaLinux. Using cgi scripts
36 PetaLinux. Web enabled application
37 Convert from VirtualBox to VMware
38 Running Linaro Ubuntu on ZedBoard
39 Running Android on ZedBoard
40 Lab2. Booting from SD card and SPI flash
41 Lab2. PetaLinux board bringup
42 Lab2. Writing userspace IO device driver
43 Lab2. Hardware debugging
44 MicroZed quick start
45 Installing Vivado 2014.1
46 Lab3. Adding push buttons to our Zynq system
47 Lab3. Adding an interrupt service routine
48 Installing Ubuntu 14.04
49 Installing Vivado and Petalinux 2014.2
50 Using Vivado 2014.2
51 Upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04
52 Using Petalinux 2014.2
53 Booting from SD card and SPI flash
54 Booting Petalinux 2014.2 from SD card
55 Booting Petalinux 2014.2 from SPI flash
56 Installing Vivado 2014.3

Chipotle Verification System

EE Times Retrospective Series
It all started more than 40 years ago
My first job as an electrical engineer
The Memory (R)evolution
The Microprocessor (R)evolution

Four soft-core processors
Started January 2012
Table of contents
OpenRISC 1200
Nios II

Using the Spartan-6 LX9 MicroBoard
Started August 2011
Table of contents
Problems, fixes and solutions

FPGA Design From Scratch
Started December 2006
Table of contents
Acronyms and abbreviations

Actel FPGA design
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 1
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 2
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 3
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 4
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 5

A hardware designer's best friend
Zoo Design Platform

Installing Cobra Command Tool
A processor benchmark

Porting a Unix program to Mac OS X
Fixing a HyperTerminal in Mac OS X
A dream come true

Stockholm by bike

The New York City Marathon

Kittelfjall Lappland

Tour skating in Sweden and around the world
Wild skating
Tour day
Safety equipment
A look at the equipment you need
Skate maintenance
Books, photos, films and videos
Weather forecasts

38000 feet above see level
A trip to Spain
Florida the sunshine state

Photo Albums
Seaside Florida
Ronda Spain
Sevilla Spain
Cordoba Spain
Alhambra Spain
Kittelfjäll Lapland
Landsort Art Walk
Skating on thin ice

100 Power Tips for FPGA Designers

Adventures in ASIC
Computer History Museum
Design & Reuse
d9 Tech Blog
EDA Cafe
EDA DesignLine
Eli's tech Blog
FPGA Arcade
FPGA Central
FPGA developer
FPGA Journal
FPGA World
Lesley Shannon Courses
Mac 2 Ubuntu
Programmable Logic DesignLine
World of ASIC

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Monday, March 26, 2007
FPGA design from scratch. Part 14
Putting it all together

Here is a simple overview of the simulation setup we are going to use when verifying the operation of the full system.

Memory Architecture

MicroBlaze is implemented with a Harvard memory architecture, i.e. instruction and data accesses are done in separate address spaces. Each address space has a 32 bit range (i.e. handles up to 4 gigabytes of instructions and data memory respectively). The instruction and data memory ranges can be made to overlap by mapping them both to the same physical memory. The latter is useful for software debugging. Both instruction and data interfaces of MicroBlaze are 32 bit wide and use big endian, bit-reversed format. MicroBlaze supports word, halfword, and byte accesses to data memory.

MicroBlaze does not separate data accesses to I/O and memory (i.e. it uses memory mapped I/O). The processor has up to three interfaces for memory accesses: Local Memory Bus (LMB), On-Chip Peripheral Bus (OPB), and Xilinx CacheLink (XCL). The LMB memory address range must not overlap with OPB or XCL ranges.

In our simulation setup we will use two memory modules, one for storing the control program (instruction memory) and one for storing data (ETC test program and test result). The Embedded Test Controller will be connected to the DOPB bus using a reserved address space.

We need help

We have to figure out how to connect everything and we need help. We will take a look at the Xilinix
tutorial web page to see if we can find some help there. EDK 9.1 MicroBlaze Tutorial Virtex-4 seems like a good start. This tutorial demonstrates the process of creating and testing a MicroBlaze system design using the Embedded Development Kit (EDK). The tutorial contains these sections:
  • System Requirements
  • MicroBlaze System Description
  • Tutorial Steps
The tutorial illustrates an Windows XP setup but we will use Ubuntu Linux.

Xilinx Platform Studio

The Xilinx Platform Studio (XPS) integrated development environment contains a wide variety of embedded tools, IP, libraries, wizards, and design generators to quickly facilitate the creation of a custom embedded platform. Sounds good, let's try it.

==> xps
$XILINX does not point to an iSE 8.1 installation

Press enter to close.

Software upgrade

Here is the answer to the question I asked in part 1. It is not possible to run different versions of ISE and EDK. After talking to Xilinx I decided to upgrade to ISE WebPACK 9.1i. Now we will find out how easy an upgrade is. First we will visit the 
Xilinx Download Center to download ISE WebPACK 9.1i. You will be asked for a Product ID and you must use the one specified. I was confused and changed it to the Product ID for my old ISE 8.1i WebPACK DVD and I was not able to download anything. To download ISE WebPACK 9.1i follow the instructions here. When I started the installation I got the following error message: Archive could not be located

Here is the answer from Xilinx's
Answer Database #23669:

This message is normally seen when WebInstall cannot connect to the Xilinx Web site. Please verify that your proxy settings are correct. If you have chosen to use IE proxy settings on Windows, try setting the proxy address and port manually in the WebInstaller instead.
Additionally, you can work around the issue by:
- Downloading the Single File Download version of WebPACK.
- Ordering a WebPACK DVD for a nominal fee.

It was not as easy as we thought. Let's try the single file download instead (1.4GB). Two hours later the file is downloaded.
  1. Create a temporary directory: mkdir temp
  2. cd temp
  3. unzip
  4. Become root : sudo -i
  5. ./setup to start installation

We will install ISE 9.1i in a new directory (xilinx91i) and leave the old ISE 8.2 installation until we know that the new one works.

When the installation has finished we can remove the temp directory and the file. Before we when can start ISE 9.1 we have to change to the new file in our .bashrc startup script. Now we are ready to start ISE.

==> cd /home/svenand/root/projects/ETC
==> ise &

There is no turning back. Let's click the yes button.

Downloading the latest Service Pack.

When we thought we were finished it is time to download the latest Service Pack. We have to visit the Xilinx
Download Center again and download the file (468MB).

One hour later the file is downloaded.
  1. Create a temporary directory: mkdir temp
  2. cd temp
  3. unzip
  4. Become root : sudo -i
  5. ./setup to start installation of Service Pack 3

The installation takes time. Be patient.

When the installation is finished we start ISE and see the following startup window. We have the latest version of ISE installed. It took us half a day to fix.

Upgrading from EDK 8.1 to EDK 9.1i

Here is the last part of our upgrading odyssey. Let's first find out
what's new in EDK 9.1i. It looks like a lot of good stuff, especially the new version (v6.0) of MicroBlaze is interesting to us. The only problem is that I can't find a place to download EDK v9.1i. I have looked all over Xilinx's web page but nowhere I can find a download page for EDK 9.1i. Read more.

When I can't find EDK 9.1i I will try to download EDK 8.2 instead. When I click the EDK 8.2 download link I am transfered to the
Electronic Fulfillment page. Here is what the electronic fulfillment is all about:

Electronic Fulfillment is an online software delivery service provided by Xilinx to in-maintenance ISE™ and EDK design tool customers. Xilinx Electronic Fulfillment provides you with:
  • Email notifications and online access to software.
  • Personalized download site for in-warranty customers.
  • 24x7 access with four secure file transfer options.
  • Immediate access to your software and registration ID.

Electronic Fulfillment is a service provided to in-maintenance customers only; new customers are not eligible. Electronic Fulfillment does not replace regular product update shipments, which will still be mailed to all in-warranty customers. When I proceed to the Electronic Fulfillment Download Center I get the following message:

We encountered a problem with your request. Our system records indicate you are not entitled to access the Xilinx Download at this time.

This is a case for Xilinx WebCase. Before we can start using WebCase we have to register and get an approval from Xilinx. One working day later I get an email telling me I can start using WebCase. Here are the questions I am going to send to Xilinx:

1. I bought a PowerPC and MicroBlaze development kit DO-ML403-EDK-ISE-USB-EC from Avnet including the software ISE WebPACK and EDK 8.1. Shouldn't I be entitled to a one year in-maintenance for this product.

2. Are all software updates distributed on DVD. Why haven't I received the EDK 8.2 DVD.

3. When will EDK 9.1i be available from the download center.

4. How can I extend the in-maintenance period after one year.

I am sitting here waiting for an answer. I can't continue my design. I can't use IES 9.1 together with EDK 8.1 and I can't download a newer version of EDK. I am stuck.

All of a sudden (on Good Friday) I received the following email from Xilinx:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for choosing the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit (EDK) as your embedded hardware and software development solution for Virtex(tm)-5, Virtex-4, Virtex-II Pro and Spartan(tm) Series PowerPC(tm) and MicroBlaze(tm) processing systems. Your Xilinx EDK 9.1i software is now available for download!*

The Xilinx EDK software is built from much the same core technology as the industry's favorite FPGA design environment, Xilinx ISE(tm). The graphical user interface for EDK, DesignVision Award winning Xilinx Platform Studio(tm)(XPS), is the technology that integrates all the processes from design entry to debug and verification, helping you quickly get started with your embedded designs.

Please be aware that EDK 9.1i requires a valid installation of ISE 9.1i, including ISE Service Pack 1, to function properly.

You can navigate to your XEF site through the Software Download Center at the following link:

Thanks Shelly. Here we go again! Let's start the download. This time nothing stops us.

We will download EDK 9.1i

One hour later the file is downloaded.
  1. Create a temporary directory: mkdir temp
  2. cd temp
  3. unzip
  4. Become root : sudo -i
  5. cd /home/svenand/temp/EDK
  6. ./setup to start installation of the Linux version of EDK 9.1i
  7. When finished source the file install_dir/
After installing new software versions of ISE and EDK we have to compile all simulation libraries again. See part 13 Compiling everything for instructions.

We are now ready to start using EDK 9.1i and the Xilinx Platform Studio. Read part 15 to find out more.

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