First week

My First day started with introducing the workplace and the project I’ll be working on followed by a quick introduction about Verilog and the necessary tools that I need to use to do my work.

For this week the goal will be to wrap up all the learning that I need to do and make a blinking LED FPGA design ( basic clock delay using counters and I/O) on Xilinx Spartan X3CS700A mounted on Spartan 3A revision C starter kit from Digilent.

First, I learned GIT.

I watched this video and did this tutorial. Finally I read this article to understand the GIT flow.

Next was learning Verilog

I did the first parts of this tutorial and from time to time found the explanation as well as code snippets from here very useful.

The book “FPGA Prototyping By Verilog Examples: Xilinx Spartan-3 Version” was very useful in Verilog and in using ISE software

Finally I had to be familiar with using several software involved in the process, below is the software and material that helped me approach it:

1- Emacs text editor equipped with Verilog mode for coding in Verilog. The Verilog mode is very useful in automating your Verilog code.

I found this very useful for knowing Emacs shortcuts and this one helpful for using Verilog mode.

2- GTK wave viewer and using the dump VCD feature. More info here

3- Xilinx ISE software and Plan ahead software which does basically everything in the process till you get a bit stream ready to be downloaded to your device. The user guide included with the software was more than enough to get things moving.

4- iMPACT software for downloading the bit stream onto the FPGA board. Help content gave a good reference.

With all the above being done the LEDs were happy to blink for me !!

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