FPGA Programing file

I intend to build an fpga programer for the spartan fpgas of xilinx

I am not sure about the file that i should send over the jtag to program the fpga. I got conflicting information from 2 different forums.

Someone told me that i could either use the .bit or the .bin file. According to him i just had to send one of these files to the jtag programer.

Someone else told me that i would have to generate either a .svf or a .xsvf file from the .bit file using iMPACT. According to him i should be specifying the devices in the jtag chain in iMPACT for generating the correct .svf file.

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Someone please help me out. tell me what file am i to use.

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If you want to use the JTAG port, a .BIT file won't do it. A .BIT file is just the raw bits used to configure the part (plus a short header). This can be sent to the FPGA programming port, but not directly to the JTAG port which has its own protocol. I don't know the details of the correct way to program the JTAG port, but I am pretty sure the .SVF or .XSVF files are the right ones to use although the programming software can likely read any of the valid formats to create the appropriate file for downloading.

The easiest way to do this is to copy the hardware and use existing software. If you build a programmer that works the same as the vendor's programmer, then you can use their software. I am pretty sure there is info available on how to build your own. Nose around on the Internet. Or do you want to build your own from scratch and create open source software? Even then, I would use compatible hardware. Why reinvent the wheel or have others get new hardware to work with your software?


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Don't get confuse ....Use the .bit file to generate mcs file(programming file) using IMPACT

regards, faz

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fazulu deen

xc3sprog know hoe to handle a bit file to programm XC3S and XCF via a bit file. With some understanding of the 1532 bsdl file delivered with Xilinx ISE installation, a plugin for XC2S shopuld be writable.

Uwe Bonnes                bon@elektron.ikp.physik.tu-darmstadt.de

Institut fuer Kernphysik  Schlossgartenstrasse 9  64289 Darmstadt
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Uwe Bonnes

Your best bet (in terms of minimal work) is to port Altera's JAM player to your programmer architecture, which is typically trivial to do. You can then create a .svf file from iMPACT, convert this to a .jbc file using the Altera utilities (I think you need to run 'svf2jam' followed by the JAM compiler), and program the file with your ported JAM player. I always thought it rather ironic that Altera provided such an easy way for in-system programming Xilinx parts!

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David Spencer

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