2 items are tagged with software:


Java by day...

I recently got asked how a Java programmer by day comes around to work with embedded MCUs by night. We Java developers are famous to think more in giga bytes, which is somewhat counterproductive in the embedded world.

Actually the reason is simple - I started my electronics career before I became a software developer. Back then East Germany was still alive, and electronics was an expensive hobby. So I stayed with quite small projects, more in the sense of small experiments. After the wall came down, it was easier to start real projects - but being in school limits the financial abilities a little bit. And electronics, back then,still meant only small scale stuff for someone starting in the field.

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Installing Xilinx ISE under Linux

One of the tasks when starting with CPLD (or FPGA) development is to install the tool suite provided by the chip vendor. In the case of the XC9572XL this is the Xilinx ISE software. Xilinx provides a free WebPack version, which contains all the basic tools needed for the first designs.

On my initial test, I installed ISE 12.2, since I had in on a DVD somewhere. But for every start, it printed the error ‘couldn’t load XPCOM’, and some views weren’t working. So I started investigating. One of the things I wanted to make sure was that the installed version supported the Xilinx Parallel JTAG Cable III (a.k.a. DLC5), since I intended to build one. So I downloaded an older ISE version from Xilinx (10.1), and installed that one. Its release notes didn’t mention the DLC5, but the iMPACT tool (which is used for programming the CPLD) knows about it. This meant that the documentation was no reliable way to find out whether a version supports that cable or not - I needed to install them.

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