Guest godfool

Software tools

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Guest godfool

Hi there!

Is there a list somewhere with, preferably free or fairly cheap, tools you guys use for stuff? I assume the Xilinx ISE WebPack is a given. How about stuff for laying out boards, block diagrams, etc.

I'd be interested to see what you guys use!

Thanks!

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Guest godfool

I should add that I am on a Mac.

I've found EAGLE for schematics and layout, so that'll work. I haven't found a SPICE simulator, though one may not be needed.

Any other essential software or hardware?

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Guest gmpundlik

Hi,

Xilinx ISE webpack is not available for Mac. It seems there has been some work to provide tools (even if they are only command line tools its fine for us):

http://forums.xilinx.com/t5/Installation-and-Licensing/ISE-Webpack-on-Leopard-10-5/td-p/6403

At this point I don't think there are any Xilinx synthesis tools for Mac. Some time ago our friend Shashi ported the Papilio loader to Mac, but that is it. It will only write finished bit files to the FPGA, cannot merge program files (needs Xilinx data2mem tool).

There is Icarus Verilog and may be a few other open source HDL tools available for Mac but I don't know how they fare.

We have been working on a spinoff IDE from Wiring/Arduino to support as many tools from as many platforms as possible, but again, there not a lot of tools available to use on a Mac.

I guess the best bet is to switch to Windows or Linux, or use VMs for your HDL work.

Girish

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Hello,

I'm primarily on Windows so I use Xilinx ISE Webpack from there. There have been Mac users that tell me they just use ISE in parallels virtual machines.

I also use the free VMWare player to work in Linux and I make heavy use of cygwin and mingw.

For diagrams I just came across Dia which seems to be ok.

To verify Gerbers I use the free version of Viewmate.

Finally, I use Arduino for writing sketches.

Thats all of the software I can think of off the top of my head, but if anything else comes to mind I will post it.

Cheers,

Jack.

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Guest godfool

Thanks guys!

I know the ISE isn't available on Mac, but I've got Ubuntu running in a VM for it right now. I also saw the bit loader for OSX, but haven't tried it out yet.

Dia seems to be like Visio, which is horrible for circuit diagrams (at least for me; it should be much, much simpler). I use Graphviz for some simple block diagrams at the moment, that's worked out nicely so far.

I am surprised you don't mention a schematics and layout program, Jack. How do you design all those boards?!

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Wow! That was a total oversight on my part, I think that saying I used EAGLE for designing PCB was so at the front of my mind that I ended up thinking I had already said it!

Anyway, I do use EAGLE to design the PCB's. It's not that I really like EAGLE, I think its a bit awkward to use, but rather it seems to be the standard for Open Source designs. If cost and Open Source were not an issue I would probably go with Altium's PCB software.

Jack.

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