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edge30

What license is shipped with Atlys Spartan 6?

Question

Years ago I purchased my Atlys board.

At that time I had ISE webpack already installed on my PC since I used it on my other boards and also all my designs were state machine based hence this setup was enough and I didn't bother much about license matters.

Today I'm using more complex boards and ublaze extensively. However, it always comes very handy to use my old boards to test portions of my designs before moving to the big system. Specially since this allows me to work from home without having to carry the -very expensive- boards.

However the XPS in the Ise webpack (14.7) doesn't let me build a ublaze inside an spartan device due to licensing. Since this is for personal use, I can't spend several $k in a license.

I really don't recall if my Atlys board included any other license, I don't have the original packaging.

Can anybody in the forum using the Atlys tell me if it comes with a system design seat or how can I do to overcome this problem and use my board with ublaze? I have the same problem with my Nexys 2, my S3 starter kit, S3E sample pack and other old boards... It is really sad to think that I have to scrap all of them.

BTW, I also would like to know if the Vivado Webpack has the same limitations for the new FPGAs (Artix-7, etc)? I'm considering getting the Basys3 but I'm wondering if I'll have the same problem.

Thanks

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Hey Edge,

Unfortunately, for Spartan-6, microblaze is not included with the webPack lisence in ISE. However newer boards can use microblaze designs under their webpack lisences. (artix, kintex, and zynq) The basys3 works fine for microblaze. However if you are creating a microblaze design that requires a lot of memory, the arty may be a better bet since the basys3 does not have external memory. You will be limited by the amount of block ram in the FPGA. 

 

Hope this helps,

Sam

 

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You could also use a vendor independent CPU, instead of microBlaze.   Many such CPUs, such as OpenRISC, LM32, eco32, RISC-V, or even my favorite ZipCPU don't require licenses for their development environments.  I know the ZipCPU works just fine on a Spartan-6, and I have one running on a Basys-3 board without a problem.  (I'm still working on my Arty implementation ... the DDR3 SDRAM is giving me some trouble) Moving away from Xilinx IP will also help make sure your work doesn't suffer from vendor lock-in.  Further, it would allow you to build (and test) solutions from home just as easily as you could from work.

Just some food for thought,

Dan

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