Beginner help with WebPack


OK, I got my XEM in the mail before the holidy, and now it’s time to start learning.

First off, I’ve never programmed an FPGA before. The whole point of this cool little board for me is to learn FPGAs.

So, I run all the examples. Cool. They all work. I download Xilinx WebPack. I fire it up.

OK, what now. I can see how to load the “First” project into the Project Navagator, but could you walk me through a ‘full compile’? I’m assuming I need to run the process in the Process View window, but which ones? I know enough about FPGAs to understand that there are like a million little steps that all need to be taken to actually generate a new design from scratch, but this design already exists, I just want to make sure I can completelly recompile it from source, and then program the part and get the demo to work with my freshly compiled binary file. How?

Thanks! The first step in a long journey-


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Hi Brian-

First of all, good luck in the quest. It’s a fun ride!

Second, Xilinx’s software has an interesting quirk – you can’t have spaces in the path which makes it difficult from the beginning because our software goes into c:\Program Files. Your best bet is to do the following:

  1. Create a directory somewhere without spaces. e.g. C:\x
  2. Copy “Samples” and “Xilinx” to C:\x (from the FrontPanel install directory)
  3. Go to c:\x\samples\first\verilog and double click on “First.npl”

This should start the Project Navigator and load the project.

  1. In the “Sources” list, click on "First (First.v)
  2. In the “Processes” list, double-click on “Generate Programming File”

You should now have a new First.bit file available to download.

A couple of notes:
Items in the project refer to …\Xilinx\okLibrary.v. This file is akin to an “include” file in C/C++. It lists the HDL components used in First.v.
Right click on “Implement Design” and look at the Translate Properties. You’ll see …\Xilinx\ in the Macro Search Path. This directory has the precompiled HDL modules (.ngc). These are like C/C++ libraries. As an alternative, you could just copy these files (.ngc) to your project directory.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, be sure to ask!



Cool Jake! That totally worked. Thanks for the tips. I’m off an running . . .