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Learn FPGA Design with Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018: Download, Install, and Use



Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018 Free [TOP] Download




If you are looking for a powerful FPGA design solution that can handle complex and high-performance applications, you might want to check out the Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018. This is a comprehensive toolset that provides everything you need to create, verify, and implement your FPGA designs on Xilinx devices. In this article, we will give you an overview of what Xilinx Vivado Design Suite is, what features and benefits it offers, how it compares with other tools, and how you can download and install it for free. We will also show you how to use it to create your own FPGA projects and leverage the advanced capabilities of Xilinx devices.




Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018 Free [TOP] Download



What is Xilinx Vivado Design Suite?




Xilinx Vivado Design Suite is a software platform that enables the development of high-performance FPGA and ACAP (Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform) applications on the latest cutting-edge architectures from Xilinx. It is a highly integrated design environment that supports all aspects of FPGA design, from system-level design and IP integration, to synthesis and implementation, to verification and debugging. It also supports high-level design methodologies such as IP integrator, high-level synthesis, model-based design, and C/C++/SystemC acceleration.


Xilinx Vivado Design Suite was first released in 2012 as a successor to the ISE (Integrated Software Environment) toolset. Since then, it has been continuously updated with new features and enhancements to support the evolving needs of FPGA designers. The latest version, Vivado Design Suite 2018.3, was released in December 2018 and introduced new device support, high-level enhancements, and various improvements to accelerate design integration, implementation, and verification.


Features of Xilinx Vivado Design Suite




Some of the features of Xilinx Vivado Design Suite are:


  • Powerful FPGA layout designing solution: Vivado Design Suite provides a state-of-the-art place-and-route engine that can handle large and complex designs with high utilization and performance. It also offers advanced optimization techniques such as machine learning-based logic optimization, congestion estimation, delay estimation, and intelligent design runs that can reduce timing closure iterations and improve quality of results.



  • SoC, IP, and System based development: Vivado Design Suite enables rapid system integration using the IP integrator tool that allows users to create graphical block diagrams with drag-and-drop functionality. Users can also leverage a rich portfolio of pre-built IP cores from Xilinx and third-party vendors, as well as create their own custom IP using high-level synthesis tools such as Vitis HLS or Model Composer.



  • Accelerated verification: Vivado Design Suite delivers a comprehensive verification environment that supports various levels of design abstraction, from behavioral simulation to hardware emulation. Users can also use the Vitis software platform to develop software applications for embedded processors or accelerators on Xilinx devices.



  • Debugging and analysis: Vivado Design Suite provides a common debug environment that allows users to monitor and control their designs across different domains and platforms. Users can also use various analysis tools such as power analysis, timing analysis, logic analyzer, serial I/O analyzer, memory debug, etc. to optimize their designs for performance, power, and reliability.



  • Device support: Vivado Design Suite supports all Xilinx devices, including the 7 series, UltraScale, UltraScale+, Zynq, Zynq UltraScale+, Versal, and Kintex families. It also supports the latest Alveo accelerator cards and AWS F1 instances for cloud-based FPGA development.



Benefits of Xilinx Vivado Design Suite




Some of the benefits of using Xilinx Vivado Design Suite are:


  • Increased productivity and efficiency: Vivado Design Suite enables users to create FPGA designs faster and easier with its intuitive user interface, automation features, and smart design tools. Users can also reuse their existing IP and code across different projects and platforms, reducing development time and cost.



  • Improved design quality and performance: Vivado Design Suite delivers superior design results with its advanced optimization algorithms, design methodologies, and verification capabilities. Users can also leverage the full potential of Xilinx devices with their high-performance, low-power, and adaptable architectures.



  • Enhanced design flexibility and scalability: Vivado Design Suite supports a wide range of design scenarios, from simple logic designs to complex system-level designs. Users can also scale their designs to meet their changing requirements and target different devices and platforms with ease.



  • Access to the latest technologies and innovations: Vivado Design Suite provides users with access to the latest features and enhancements from Xilinx, as well as the latest industry standards and protocols. Users can also benefit from the vibrant ecosystem of Xilinx partners, customers, and community members who offer valuable resources and support.



Comparison of Xilinx Vivado Design Suite with other tools




Xilinx Vivado Design Suite is not the only FPGA design tool available in the market. There are other tools that offer similar or different functionalities and features. Some of the popular alternatives to Xilinx Vivado Design Suite are:


Tool


Vendor


Description


Pros


Cons


Quartus Prime


Intel


A software platform that enables the development of FPGA and SoC designs on Intel devices.


- Supports a wide range of Intel devices- Offers a comprehensive design environment- Integrates with Intel software tools


- Less user-friendly than Vivado- Less optimized for high-performance designs- Less compatible with third-party IP and tools


Lattice Radiant


Lattice Semiconductor


A software platform that enables the development of FPGA designs on Lattice devices.


- Supports low-power and small-form-factor Lattice devices- Offers a simple and streamlined design flow- Integrates with Lattice IP and tools


- Supports fewer devices than Vivado- Offers fewer features and capabilities than Vivado- Less suitable for complex and high-performance designs


Icestorm


Project Icestorm


An open-source software platform that enables the development of FPGA designs on Lattice iCE40 devices.


- Supports low-cost and open-source Lattice iCE40 devices- Offers a lightweight and flexible design flow- Integrates with various open-source IP and tools


- Supports only Lattice iCE40 devices- Offers limited features and capabilities compared to Vivado- Less reliable and stable than commercial tools


Source:


How to download and install Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018?




If you are interested in trying out Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018, you can download it for free from the Xilinx website. You will need to create a free Xilinx account or log in with your existing one. You will also need to choose the edition that suits your needs. There are three editions available: WebPACK, HLx, and HL System. The WebPACK edition is free and supports a limited number of devices. The HLx edition is paid and supports all devices. The HL System edition is also paid and includes additional system-level design tools.


Downloading Vivado Design Suite




To download Vivado Design Suite 2018.3, follow these steps:



  • Go to the Xilinx download page.



  • Select "Vivado Design Suite - HLx Editions - 2018.3 Full Product Installation" from the drop-down menu.



  • Select your operating system (Windows or Linux) from the tabs.



  • Select your other Vivado Design Suite users and experts.



How to use Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018?




Now that you have downloaded and installed Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018, you might be wondering how to use it to create your own FPGA projects. In this section, we will give you a brief overview of the Vivado Design Flow and some of the key features and tools that you can use to design, implement, and verify your FPGA applications.


Vivado Design Flow Overview




The Vivado Design Flow is the process of creating, verifying, and implementing an FPGA design using Vivado Design Suite. It consists of the following steps:



  • Design creation: This is the step where you define the functionality and architecture of your FPGA design. You can use various methods to create your design, such as graphical block diagrams, HDL code, high-level synthesis, etc. You can also use IP cores from Xilinx or third-party vendors to add pre-built functionality to your design.



  • Design verification: This is the step where you check the correctness and functionality of your FPGA design. You can use various tools to verify your design, such as behavioral simulation, logic simulation, hardware emulation, etc. You can also use software tools to develop and test software applications for your FPGA design.



  • Design implementation: This is the step where you map your FPGA design to a specific Xilinx device and optimize it for performance, power, and area. You can use various tools to implement your design, such as synthesis, place-and-route, timing analysis, power analysis, etc. You can also use smart design runs to automate and parallelize the implementation process.



  • Design debugging: This is the step where you monitor and control your FPGA design on the target device or platform. You can use various tools to debug your design, such as logic analyzer, serial I/O analyzer, memory debug, etc. You can also use probes and triggers to capture and analyze data from your design.



  • Design generation: This is the final step where you generate the output files for your FPGA design, such as bitstream, programming file, report file, etc. You can also generate documentation for your design using various tools.



Vivado Project Mode and Non-Project Mode




Vivado Design Suite offers two modes of operation: project mode and non-project mode. Project mode is the default mode that allows you to create and manage a Vivado project that contains all the files and settings related to your FPGA design. Non-project mode is an alternative mode that allows you to run Vivado commands without creating a project. You can choose the mode that best suits your design needs and preferences.


Project mode has the following advantages:



  • It provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to create and manage your FPGA design.



  • It organizes your files and settings in a project directory that makes it easy to share and reuse your FPGA design.



  • It supports incremental compilation and implementation that saves time and resources by reusing previous results.



  • It supports version control integration that allows you to track changes and collaborate with other designers.



Non-project mode has the following advantages:



  • It provides a command-line interface (CLI) that makes it flexible and scriptable to run Vivado commands.



  • It allows you to specify files and settings on-the-fly without creating a project directory.



  • It supports out-of-context compilation and implementation that allows you to work on individual modules or IP cores independently.



  • It supports batch processing that allows you to run multiple Vivado commands in sequence or parallel.



Vivado IP Integrator and High-Level Synthesis




Vivado Design Suite offers two powerful features that can help you create FPGA designs faster and easier: IP integrator and high-level synthesis. IP integrator is a tool that allows you to create graphical block diagrams with drag-and-drop functionality. You can use IP integrator to integrate various IP cores from Xilinx or third-party vendors into your FPGA design. You can also create your own custom IP cores using high-level synthesis tools such as Vitis HLS or Model Composer.


IP integrator has the following advantages:



  • It simplifies system integration by providing a graphical representation of your FPGA design.



  • It automates IP configuration, connection, validation, and generation by providing smart features such as auto-connect, auto-infer, auto-validate, etc.



  • It supports hierarchical design by allowing you to create sub-systems or blocks that can be reused across different projects and platforms.



  • It supports design customization by allowing you to modify IP parameters, interfaces, and functionality.



High-level synthesis (HLS) is a tool that allows you to create FPGA designs using high-level languages such as C, C++, or SystemC. You can use HLS to write your design logic in a familiar and expressive way, and then synthesize it into an optimized HDL code that can be integrated into your FPGA design. You can also use HLS to create your own custom IP cores that can be used in IP integrator or other design tools.


HLS has the following advantages:



  • It accelerates design creation by allowing you to use high-level languages instead of low-level HDLs.



  • It improves design quality and performance by applying various optimization techniques such as loop unrolling, pipelining, parallelization, etc.



  • It supports design portability and reusability by allowing you to target different devices and platforms with minimal changes.



  • It supports design verification by allowing you to use the same testbench for both high-level and low-level simulation.



Conclusion




In this article, we have given you an overview of Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018, a powerful FPGA design solution that can handle complex and high-performance applications. We have discussed what Vivado Design Suite is, what features and benefits it offers, how it compares with other tools, and how you can download and install it for free. We have also shown you how to use Vivado Design Suite to create your own FPGA projects and leverage the advanced capabilities of Xilinx devices.


We hope that this article has been helpful and informative for you. If you are interested in learning more about Vivado Design Suite or FPGA design in general, you can check out the following resources:



  • Xilinx Website: The official website of Xilinx, where you can find more information about Xilinx products, solutions, services, and support.



  • Xilinx Documentation: The official documentation of Xilinx, where you can find user guides, tutorials, reference manuals, datasheets, etc. for Xilinx products and tools.



  • Xilinx Training: The official training portal of Xilinx, where you can find online courses, webinars, videos, etc. that can help you learn and master Xilinx technologies.



  • Xilinx Community: The official community of Xilinx, where you can find blogs, forums, wikis, etc. that can help you connect and collaborate with other Xilinx users and experts.



FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Xilinx Vivado Design Suite 2018:



  • What are the system requirements for Vivado Design Suite 2018?The system requirements for Vivado Design Suite 2018 are:



  • Operating system: Windows 7/10 or Linux (Red Hat Enterprise/Ubuntu/CentOS)



  • Processor: Intel Core i3/i5/i7 or AMD Ryzen 3/5/7



  • Memory: 8 GB RAM (minimum), 16 GB RAM (recommended)



  • Disk space: 50 GB (minimum), 100 GB (recommended)



  • Display: 1366 x 768 (minimum), 1920 x 1080 (recommended)



  • How much does Vivado Design Suite 2018 cost?Vivado Design Suite 2018 is available in three editions: WebPACK, HLx, and HL System. The WebPACK edition is free and supports a limited number of devices. The HLx edition is paid and supports all devices. The HL System edition is also paid and includes additional system-level design tools. The prices of the paid editions vary depending on the license type (node-locked or floating) and the duration (1 year or 3 years). You can check the Xilinx pricing page for more details.



  • How do I update Vivado Design Suite 2018?You can update Vivado Design Suite 2018 by downloading and installing the latest version from the Xilinx download page. You can also use the Vivado update tool to check for updates and install them automatically. To use the update tool, follow these steps:



  • Launch Vivado Design Suite and go to Help > Check for Updates.



  • Select the updates that you want to install and click Next.



  • Review the installation summary and click Install.



  • Wait for the installation to finish and click Finish.



  • How do I get support for Vivado Design Suite 2018?You can get support for Vivado Design Suite 2018 by contacting the Xilinx technical support team or by visiting the Xilinx community forums. You can also access the Xilinx documentation and training resources for more information and guidance.



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