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Spartan-3e Sample Pack Board


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Hi all,

I came across a loose Spartan-3e Sample Pack Board (copyright 2005). There is no information on it on Digilent website, so I assume it was a cheap, one-off sampler for 2005 or 2006. The board itself is an XC3S100E connected to an Intel TE28F320 parallel NOR flash. The demo rolls a die made of 7 LEDs. Nothing fancy, but cool nonetheless.

Anyway, I found a User's Guide indicating it was supplied with a disc of information. Does anyone have access to the material on the disc? This is my first dive into FPGA design, so I don't know what to expect would be on the disc. Source code for the demo? 

Thanks!

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Hi @turboyoda,

Here is our Wiki that has information on all of our current and retired product. I do not see a Spartan-E3 sample pack that has a XC3S100E on it. Is this the user manual that you are referring to?  I believe in this case we sold some accessories for the board but not the board itself. On Monday I will do some more research into this for you. I would also suggest to reach out to Xilinx to see if they have any information for you as well.

cheers,

Jon

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Hi @jpeyron,

While waiting for a response from Xilinx, I found a flyer about this board. It indicates to me that this was a Xilinx promotion, but was possibly designed by Digilent. Maybe it still deserves a place in the wiki? Maybe not.

The forum hits I found on it seem to indicate that this isn't quite a beginner-friendly board (despite its appearances). I'm going to shy away from it for now, but hopefully we can find more about its history. 

Thanks!

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Hi @turboyoda,

I found more information about the Spartan-E3 sample pack. We did this as a one time build for Xilinx in 2005. I don’t think we have any IP other than test files. What I was able to find I have attached below. I have passed on your suggestion about adding the Spartan-E3 sample pack to our wiki.

cheers,

Jon 

S3ESP.zip

Edited by jpeyron
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I use the S3E Sample Pack board on a regular basis and found it really useful. It is great to implement glue logic for bigger projects, as a companion board to monitor or debug signals or to build tools and interfaces to help in demos. Most of the designs at my company use big expensive boards (e.g. virtex 7 vc707) which I don't like to carry with me when travelling or working remotely, having this little guy allows me to work, test and verify sections of my design remotely before implementing them on the bid guy. Having this board with picoblaze forms and ideal tool for many problems.

Digilent offers the breadbordables which are good, but I still find them short of gpios for most designs. I understand they are targeted to small designs but still would be useful to have more pins accessible. There are many unused pins on them.

The only problem with the S3E SP is that its bpi strataflash can't be programmed via jtag, so basically everything design you load to the FPGA is volatile, you need to upload it every time. I found in my old PC an application created by Digilent called "S3E SP Configurator Setup" which is used to program the strataflash (windows only), however the manual says that it can only use the "Jtag 3" cable. I don't know which cable is it, but my HSx JTag cables don't work. It would be great if somebody at Digilent could dig in and post the original packages and tools for this board. And, since all the stuff is old, hopefully post some sources so we can re-build the tools for other os such as linux or mac.

Yet still I found that Xilinx posted, long long ago, an application that uses picoblaze to flash strataflash memories. I got a hold on one of those applications and with some modifications got it to work with my S3E SP. I've been using it for a while with success,now I can store my programs permanently in flash. So I thought that it may be of help for other people to have it - and if you have this board, to return you to use it. So here it is. It requires picoblaze 3 which I didn't include in the package since it is still available officially from Xilinx website even today. It includes a manual with instructions, this is the original manual which was for a different board but the procedure is the same.

Hope it helps.

s3esp_picoblaze_nor_flash_programmer.zip

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