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How to set up the Xilinx compiler for FPGA code to flash the SPARTAN-6 FPGAs on MATRIX devices.
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README.md

README.md

FPGA Programming Environment Setup

How to set up the Xilinx compiler for FPGA code, and get started with FPGA programming on the SPARTAN-6 FPGAs on MATRIX devices.

Be very careful and deliberate about your FPGA code modifications. Experimenting with FPGA code could disable your MATRIX device.

Please note that the open-source FPGA code for MATRIX devices have the mic digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms omitted. So, reflashing the FPGA with modified code will remove mic functionality. Directions on how to restore the original FPGA configurations with mics is available on our documentation.

Table of Contents

  1. Install Xilinx ISE for Linux
  2. Install Xilinx ISE for Windows
  3. Install Xilinx ISE for Mac
  4. Modify, Compile & Upload Verilog Files for the MATRIX Creator
  5. Modify, Compile & Upload Verilog Files for the MATRIX Voice
  6. General Comments with Tips and Tricks
  7. Simple Example with MATRIX Voice

For Linux

Click here to go to the Xilinx website and download the full ISE WebPack installer for Linux.

The above link will prompt you to either log in to your Xilinx account or you will have to create one.

Once you log in, Xilinx will take you to a page where you will have to fill out more information.

If you are a student/professor, you can enter your institution name for the "Company Name" field or just put "ATTN: your name" in the company field.

After filling out all the required fields, click Next.

You will then be prompted to open or save the Xilinx ISE tar file. Make sure to save the file to your desired location on your computer.

Open up a terminal, navigate to the terminal with the .tar file and enter the following command to extract the contents. It's better not to change the file location once you extract the file so make sure you extract it at a file path you want your Xilinx ISE to be.

sudo tar -xvf Xilinx_ISE_DS_Lin_14.7_1015_1.tar 

Input the following commands to navigate into the extracted directory and run the setup executable.

Keep in mind you will need 22GB free space in root for this application.

cd Xilinx_ISE_DS_Lin_14.7_1015_1
sudo ./xsetup

The ISE 14.7 installer UI will open up. Follow the steps in the video up to time 1:34 to install ISE with the correct settings.

Run the following command in your terminal to run the application.

source /opt/Xilinx/14.7/ISE_DS/settings64.sh;ise

An error will pop saying "a license was not found".

To install the license file, go back to the Xilinx website using this link.

Once again, you will be prompted to log in. Once you do, it will take you to the page to fill out additional information which should be pre-filled. (Verify this works on Mozilla) Click Next.

Select ISE WebPACK check box (you will see it says "No Charge") and click on "Generate Node-locked License".

Once the license is generated, you will automatically be routed to the "Manage Licenses" tab. Click on the download button on the bottom left corner of the window. Make sure to download the license or move it into the filepath of your choosing before continuing on.

Go to your ISE Project Navigator, go to Help > Manage License > Load License and select the appropriate license file.

Congratulations, you have set up your Xilinx FPGA compiler on Linux!

Scroll down to learn how to mofidy the MATRIX device Verilog files, compile them and flash them to your MATRIX device FPGA.

For Windows

Click here to go to the Xilinx website and download the full ISE WebPack installer for Windows.

The above link will prompt you to either log in to your Xilinx account or you will have to create one.

Once you log in, Xilinx will take you to a page where you will have to fill out more information.

If you are a student/professor, you can enter your institution name for the "Company Name" field or just put "ATTN: your name" in the company field.

After filling out all the required fields, click Next.

You will then be prompted to open or save the Xilinx ISE tar file. Make sure to save the file to your desired location on your computer.

Once downloaded, extract the contents of the file. Enter the extracted folder and run xsetup.exe to start the installation process.

The installer is set to download VirtualBox and the Xilinx ISE Virtual Machine on your Windows computer and will prompt you to uninstall VirtualBox for a full re-download through the installer. This is the more straightforward method.

If you already have VirtualBox and are not willing to uninstall it for the Xilinx ISE VM, you can continue with the installation as long as your VirtualBox installation is the same or more recent version than what Xilinx supports.

Follow the directions to continue with the installation. The window below is the most important step.

First, enter the installation directory, this is where your VM will be located.

I would recommend creating the desktop shortcut. It starts the VM and runs the ISE.

The Xilinx ISE VM shares files with your host computer and prompts you to specify the shared file. This is how you will edit files on your host machine and compile them using the Xilinx ISE VM.

The contents of your shared folder will show up in the Xilinx ISE VM as a drive called ISE_Projects as shown below.

Congratulations, you have set up your Xilinx FPGA compiler on Windows!

Scroll down to learn how to mofidy the MATRIX device Verilog files, compile them and flash them to your MATRIX device FPGA.

For Mac

This is not officially supported by Xilinx but the Windows method can be slightly modified to work with Mac.

First download and install the OS X version of VirtualBox.

Click here to go to the Xilinx website and download the full ISE WebPack installer for Windows (yes Windows, we will mod slightly to make it work with Mac).

The above link will prompt you to either log in to your Xilinx account or you will have to create one.

Once you log in, Xilinx will take you to a page where you will have to fill out more information.

If you are a student/professor, you can enter your institution name for the "Company Name" field or just put "ATTN: your name" in the company field.

After filling out all the required fields, click Next.

You will then be prompted to open or save the Xilinx ISE tar file. Make sure to save the file to your desired location on your computer.

Once downloaded, extract the contents of the file.

Then, open VirtualBox. Go to Tools, and click import.

This should take you to a window where you have to select a directory. Navigate to the extracted Xilinx ISE folder, then into the folder ova. Select the ISE_S6_VM.ova file. Then click 'Continue'.

The following window will look like the one shown below. You shouldn't have to change any of the pre-filled fields. Click 'Import'

Then the Xilinx ISE VM will show up in VirtualBox. Click 'Start'.

You will initially get a network error. Click on 'Change Network Settings'.

In the network settings, change the 'Attached to:' field to 'Not attached'. Then click 'OK'.

VirtualBox will now boot into the Xilinx ISE VM. Create a shared folder between your host Mac machine and the Linux Xilinx ISE VM so that you can edit files on your Mac and compile them in the VM.

The process is shown in the GIF below.

  1. Go to Devices > Shared Folders > Shared Folder Settings.
  2. Select the folder of your choice on your Mac.
  3. Check the boxes 'Auto-mount' and 'Make Permanent'. Click 'OK'.
  4. Reboot the VM and your shared folder will now be on the Desktop.
  5. Tip for future: Make sure to refresh the folder every time you change files/folders in the shared folder from your Mac before compiling using ISE in the VM.

Next, update your ISE license.

To install the license file, go back to the Xilinx website using this link.

Once again, you will be prompted to log in. Once you do, it will take you to the page to fill out additional information which should be pre-filled. Click Next. If the log-in page freezes, switch your browser.

Select ISE WebPACK check box (you will see it says "No Charge") and click on "Generate Node-locked License".

Once the license is generated, you will automatically be routed to the "Manage Licenses" tab. Click on the download button on the bottom left corner of the window. Make sure to download the license or move it into the filepath of your choosing before continuing on.

Go to your ISE Project Navigator, go to Help > Manage License > Load License and select the appropriate license file.

Congratulations, you have set up your Xilinx FPGA compiler on Linux!

Scroll down to learn how to mofidy the MATRIX device Verilog files, compile them and flash them to your MATRIX device FPGA.

Modify, Compile & Upload Verilog Files

MATRIX Creator

Clone MATRIX Creator FPGA code repo

To modify the MATRIX Creator FPGA code, type the following commands in your computer's terminal (For Windows use Windows Power Shell, Git Bash or Putty, and make sure to clone the repo into the shared file path with the Xilinx ISE VM).

git clone https://github.com/matrix-io/matrix-creator-fpga.git

If git is not installed on your computer, type the following commands to install it.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install git

You can then navigate to matrix-creator-fpga > creator-core and edit the Verilog files as desired. A simple example with MATRIX Voice is shown below.

Compile and Flash MATRIX Creator FPGA code

To compile the modified FPGA code, open your terminal, navigate to the matrix-creator-fpga > creator-core directory and run the command below. Be sure to have the Xilinx ISE running in the background.

For Windows and Mac:

make clean
make

For Linux, you will have to source the settings64.sh file every time you compile by pasting the following command into your terminal. Alternatively, you can put this line in your ~/.bashrc file so it will run every time you start a terminal session, but this could mess with some programs when you try to run them.

source /opt/Xilinx/14.7/ISE_DS/settings64.sh

Then, in the same terminal run

make clean
make

This should create a system.bit file.

Be advised that this file will not have mic DSP since that IP has not been made public yet.

To flash the system.bit file onto your FPGA, follow the instructions in the documentation here.

See General Comments below for tips and tricks.

MATRIX Voice

Clone MATRIX Voice FPGA code repo

To modify MATRIX Voice FPGA code, type the following commands in your computer's terminal.

git clone https://github.com/matrix-io/matrix-voice-fpga.git

If git is not installed on your computer, type the following commands to install it.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install git 

You can then navigate to matrix-voice-fpga > voice-core and edit the Verilog files as desired. A simple example with MATRIX Voice is shown below.

Compile and Flash MATRIX Voice FPGA code

To compile the modified FPGA code, open your terminal, navigate to the matrix-voice-fpga > voice-core directory and run the command below. Be sure to have the Xilinx ISE running in the background.

For Windows and Mac:

make clean
make

For Linux, you will have to source the settings64.sh file every time you compile by pasting the following command into your terminal. Alternatively, you can put this line in your ~/.bashrc file so it will run every time you start a terminal session, but this could mess with some programs when you try to run them.

source /opt/Xilinx/14.7/ISE_DS/settings64.sh

Then, in the same terminal run

make clean
make

This should create a system.bit file.

Be advised that this file will not have mic DSP since that IP has not been made public yet.

To flash the system.bit file onto your FPGA, follow the instructions in the documentation here.

See General Comments below for tips and tricks.

General Comments

You can use a text editor of your choice to edit the Verilog files. I prefer to use Visual Studio Code in which you can install extensions to color code your files.

To upload the system.bit file onto your Raspberry Pi:

  1. For Mac and Windows, you can use Cyberduck to SFTP into your Raspberry Pi, and upload the system.bit file.

  2. For Linux, you can mount your Raspberry Pi as a network drive using SFTP.

Remember that you will have to upload the system.bit file to the /home/pi directory and then move it to the appropriate location to be flashed via the terminal using the sudo command.

Simple Code Modification Example for MATRIX Voice

The following goes through a simple modification of the MATRIX Voice FPGA code to connect a Raspberry Pi GPIO straight to a MATRIX Voice GPIO through the FPGA.

Currently, the MATRIX Voice has its own framework for the GPIO coded into the FPGA.

First, we need to understand the MATRIX Voice GPIO pinout and how it is connected to the Raspberry Pi's GPIOs.

The following graphics are taken from the MATRIX documentation.

The MATRIX Voice's expansion GPIO pins.

As you can see in this picture, pins DF0 to DF15 are connected to the FPGA. So, we will pick one of these pins to change FPGA code for. I pick DF15 in this example. It is important to remember that it is connected to FPGA pin R2.

Now to see the MATRIX Voice to Raspberry Pi GPIO connections.

Since we want to expose a Raspberry Pi GPIO, we will have to pick an RPi pin that is connected to the FPGA. In this example, I pick GPIO16 which is connected to FPGA pin P8.

Now to the Verilog files!

After cloning the Github MATRIX Voice repo following the steps above, navigate into the voice_core folder. In the voice.ucf file Ctrl+F to find FPGA pin R2.

You should see that it is connected to GPIO 15. Change the line to the one shown below so that you can write your own code for it and not have it be programmed with the rest of the MATRIX Voice GPIOs. You should comment the changes you make to keep track!

NET "gpio_io_15" LOC="R2" | IOSTANDARD = LVCMOS33; # CHANGED

Next, Ctrl+F to find FPGA pin P8. This is connected to RPi GPIO 16. Uncomment the code if it is commented, and rename the pin GPIO_16_RPi from GPIO_16 for ease of remembering where the pin comes from.

Now, go to the system.v file. You will find a parameter GPIO_WIDTH which will be equal to 16. For this example, we will only have 15 GPIOs being configured using the FPGA GPIO code as we will be exposing the RPi GPIO for one. So, we will have to change all instances of GPIO_WIDTH in the Verilog files to 15.

This occurs in 2 files: voice_core > rtl > wb_gpio > mux_io.v and system.v. Ctrl+F to find GPIO_WIDTH and change it to the value 15.

Finally, in the system.v file, add the following two lines at the end of the section where all the inputs and outputs are being defined. These are defining both the RPi GPIO and the MATRIX Voice GPIO as bi-directional buses.

  inout GPIO_16_RPi                       , // ADDED
  inout gpio_io_15                    // ADDED

In system.v, in the section where pins are being assigned, paste the following code. This line is what basically connects "a wire" between RPi GPIO 16 and MATRIX Voice GPIO 15.

  // ADDED
  assign gpio_io_15 =  GPIO_16_RPi;

Then compile and flash the MATRIX Voice FPGA Verilog code following the steps above.

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