(V)HDL Toolsets

Jay Jaeger cube1 at charter.net
Thu May 21 10:55:18 CDT 2020

On 5/21/2020 6:45 AM, emanuel stiebler wrote:
> On 2020-05-20 22:22, Jay Jaeger via cctalk wrote:
>> As I wrote in my last post, but write here for use as a separate thread:
>> I'd be interesting in hearing from folks what toolsets they have used
>> for HDL (VHDL in particular).  I started with Xilinx ISE and then
>> graduated to Vivado for later chipsets - unfortunately, Vivado seems to
>> be something of a dog, in terms of time to compile HDL and synthesize logic.
> I feel your pain ;-)
> To deal with the ISE<->Vivado speeds, we always chose a target which is
> supported on both. One of the reasons, I have the artix7-100 on all my
> boards, makes life much easier.
> Then just use ISE for the "quick around" time, and vivado for the tough
> stuff.

That's a great suggestion.  Fortunately, I do have experience with the
DLL fix for ISE, which they no longer support, so I can run ISE if I
want to.  And, hey, if the design fits, I even have an older Nexsys 2 to
fit it to.

> Vivado was pretty much useless in the first revisions, but now it is at
> a stage, where it is really usable. Yes, it is slow :(

Even that confirmation is helpful.  ;)

> On the other hand, the simulator in Vivado got much better, and works
> for both, Verilog & VHDL, and also in mixed mode, which helps a lot.
> And it is tough to complain about a free tool, which runs on Linux & Win ...

As a hobbyist, I agree.  If I were doing this stuff professionally, in
quantity, I'd be all over them like a wet blanket just from a standpoint
of lost productive time.  I suspect that if either one, Intel/Altera or
Xilinx came up with a substantially more productive toolchain, it could
move the needle on market share.

> A lot of guys I know, use also GHDL for simulations, if command line is
> your thing.

I have seen that suggestion from another correspondent on the list as
well, and I think it is a good one, likely to save lots of time.  I
don't mind command lines - I go all the way back through UNIX 6th
edition to card decks.  ;)



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