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Creating SVF files in Xilinx ISE WebPACK

Creating an SVF File

Consider you finished off the CPLD/FPGA design and finally want to get it onto the programmable logic IC by means of a download cable which can execute SVF files (like my USB-AtmelPrg). So, here is how to create an SVF file in Xilinx ISE WebPACK e.g. for an XC9572XL CPLD:

  • Select Configure Device (iMPACT) which is visible when expanding the level Generate Programming File invoked before and double-click or use again Run from the context menu. This will bring up iMPACT after some time.
  • Select Prepare a Boundary-Scan File and format SVF:
    iMPACT screen shot [8kb]
    Press Finish.
  • Now, a file selection box will pop up where you should enter the file name of the SVF file to be generated. Enter test.svf and press the return key.
  • iMPACT will inform you that all operations are now directed to a file, so press OK after having read the box.
  • Now, a file selection dialog will show up allowing you to select the design file to be loaded onto the programmable logic chip; in our case this is main.jed.

The SVF file created in the following steps will contain all the actions we perform now in the order we do them. So, select the context menu of the IC symbol to get a list of available commands; this should look as shown below:

iMPACT screen shot [16kb]

In this order, select the following commands:

  1. Erase... to erase the CPLD (or better: to write the erase commands to the SVF file). (Say OK to the next box, of course.)
    Note that may not even be necessary since you can activate erasing when programming as well. But let's be sure this time... You can also first call Get Device ID but this is always done as first step when programming so it is actually not needed.
  2. Program... to actually program the previously selected JEDEC file onto the XC9572XL CPLD. Make sure Verify is activated so that errors at programming time can be detected. Press OK.

That's all. Exit iMPACT now. We have the SVF file ready.
Now, it's merely about downloading it (e.g. via the command svfprog of USB-AtmelPrg's software).


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