Spartan 7

General discussion about the Mojo
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Spartan 7

Postby otzen42 » September 30th, 2017, 7:38 pm

Any thoughts of upgrading the Mojo to a Spartan 7 or Artix 7 FPGA? It would require a BGA package it looks like, but it would be nice to upgrade to something that can use the Vivido development environment. ISE isn't supported on anything newer than a 2.6 Linux kernel, so support for it is running out. Vivado runs on the latest 4.x kernels which is much nicer for us Linux users (or in my case Mac users who don't want to pay for a copy of Windows just to run Xilinx tools). VIvado is also a MUCH nicer tool, and does a way better job when it comes to routing designs, particularly if the FPGA is full or has tight timing (it actually mathematically pre-calculates and optimizes where to place the logic before starting iterative placement, rather than just randomly dropping all the logic down and trying to fix the resulting timing failures like ISE does). It also uses a Tcl command interface similar to PlanAhead (with way more functionality), so I expect it should plug in to the Mojo IDE fairly easily (can't say for sure as I have not yet used the Mojo IDE).

I have also heard that ISE does not run well on Windows 10, so I think its days are limited. Strange that Xilinx still makes Spartan 6 devices without a development tool that can run on a modern OS...

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Re: Spartan 7

Postby embmicro » October 30th, 2017, 12:59 pm

We have one in the works. It'll be based on the Artix 7 XC7A35T.

ISE is a huge pain especially with all the work-arounds needed to get it working on modern OS's. We should be able to say goodby for good fairly soon.

We will likely have an announcement with more info on it by the end of the year.

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Re: Spartan 7

Postby Flux » November 3rd, 2017, 8:41 am

That's good news. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the Digilent Arty.

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Re: Spartan 7

Postby cerkit » November 9th, 2017, 10:19 pm

embmicro wrote:We have one in the works. It'll be based on the Artix 7 XC7A35T.

ISE is a huge pain especially with all the work-arounds needed to get it working on modern OS's. We should be able to say goodby for good fairly soon.

We will likely have an announcement with more info on it by the end of the year.


This is welcome news. I was looking at the Digilent offerings because of the issues I've been having with ISE. I'd prefer to stick with Embedded Micro.

Will the form-factor remain the same and retain compatibility with the shields or are they specific to the Spartans?
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Re: Spartan 7

Postby nalexopo » November 18th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Are you gonna make Vivado tutorials as well? I want to start with vivado but I dont have the courage to do it out of the blue. I did make some projects with Mojo and tutorials here helped me a lot to get started. I will definitely would like to buy a new mojo if it comes with vivado tutorials.


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