Scarab IDE Beta Build

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  rawilsoniii 2 years ago.

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  • #1664

    Ingmar Guillaume
    Participant

    Can an admin answer me whether it is worth coming back to this site/forum to check on IDE progress, or that I should just give up and buy a Mojo V3 board?

    #1903

    Hlide
    Participant

    Windows 10 here, ScarabIDE doesn’t launch… I’m getting disappointed for every bit of this hardware piece… pin 18 on J3 (output pin) is not soldered to +5V… not many complete tutorials… no running IDE… incompatible with Vivado…

    #1905

    Ingmar
    Participant

    Hlide,

    not many complete tutorials (did you find any?), 😉
    no running IDE (That was notified over a year ago)
    incompatible with Vivado–>hold on, there is a trick to run C code through Vivaldo, generate intermediate code, then run it through ISE. Don’t remember the link, but it works. It is on the Xilinx fora somewhere. If I find the thread, I’ll post it here.

    #1907

    admin
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your feedback. We really appreciate it because this will help us improve our products.

    I would like to start with the money side since it is mentioned by @Ingmar in another thread. We built miniSpartan6+ to make it easy for beginners to start with FPGA design. At the time we started, most of the FPGA kits were big and expensive. Papilio, Mojo and Pipistrello thankfully were in the market at that time and they started to change the market of FPGA kits by making it smaller and cheaper.

    We continued what they started and we added more stuff to our kit and we made it even cheaper than any other kit with the same specs in the market. We did that because we felt that the user should have everything in one kit instead of buying daughter boards and shields.To do that we had to lower our profit and this made it difficult for us to go with distributors.

    We reached many distributors. They like our kit but they ask often for a high discount to carry it, which we can’t afford with our current margin. One solution is to raise the price of our kit, which we don’t like. We take the other path which is shipping it ourself, which is taking a lot of our time and we are still not good at it. We are working right now on finding a third party to handle inventory and shipping for us.
    And by the way, we got some feedback that $75 for FPGA kit is still high for some users. That’s why we built miniSpartan3 to offer a lower cost FPGA board to start with.

    About the Scarab IDE, the idea behind our products is to make it easy to start with FPGA design. We like the idea of an easy to use and simple IDE which was introduced by Mojo IDE. Scarab IDE is a modified version of Mojo IDE. We added libraries to it so that you the user won’t need to rewrite common functions again.

    We released Scarab IDE last year and it is in a working state but we stopped working on it for different reasons.

    The main reason is that ISE from Xilinx is much better that any IDE. ISE is free and you need to install it anyway with Mojo IDE and Scarab IDE to be able to synthesize your HDL code. ISE had different powerful tools that we can’t add to any IDE.

    Vivado is a new IDE from Xilinx but unfortunately it doesn’t support Spartan 6 or Spartan 3. We can’t do anything about that.

    Windows 8/ Windows 10 problems are because Xilinx stopped supporting ISE. Again we can’t do anything about that. Some users were able to get it working, and you can find some guides on this.

    The 5v for HDMI output port is mentioned in other threads in our forums. The short summary: when we designed the board we didn’t see that 5v is required for HDMI output, since we are not reading the EDID from the monitor and we are not using the hot plug detect. When we test it, it was working with TVs and monitors. We found this problem recently and we are going to fix it in our new designs.

    For the tutorials, we published some and started but didn’t finish the rest. But now we have a plan to put more tutorials and projects soon. Please also take a look at our forums, where generous users have already shared projects.

    As I mentioned at the beginning, your feedback is the only way for us to improve our products. Yes we were not doing good in communication and support but we are working on it.

    #1910

    Ingmar
    Participant

    Admin

    that’s all great and fantastic, but I asked these questions over a year ago. To say that you are not good at communication is actually the least you can say.

    I supported you on KS because I wanted to learn about FPGA, and I don’t think that 75$ is a lot, on the contrary.

    But, a little response (again communication) would have been extremely nice.

    Instead of letting buyers in the cold, you might as well have figured it out yourselves how we can run ISE on 8.1 or higher (it’s just a matter of replacing a DLL), and add a small “tutorial” on this site.
    Instead of letting buyers in the cold about Vivado, you might as well have mentioned this here on the forum.
    Instead of letting buyers in the cold about the IDE development, you might as well have mentioned that when I asked about it a year ago.
    Instead of taking this for granted, you might as well have published a few examples instead of letting http://hamsterworks.co.nz/ do the work for you.
    Instead of abandoning the IDE, you might as well have published a few small tutorials.
    Instead of …

    You see what I mean?

    Do something about your communication!!! This is an interesting technology that not a lot of hobbyist master. I for instance want to implement an FFT on it, but it has been lying on the shelf because I have no clue where to begin. Yes, I know, there are tutorials, but not for your board. If you are an absolute beginner in this, it’s not easy to adopt found code and adjust it to run on your hardware.

    And note that I am not pissed off, I’m just hugely disappointed.
    But, may I add, it’s not too late. Do something about it.

    #1911

    Hlide
    Participant

    Well, I have no option else to install ISE WebPark hoping it won’t corrupt my already installed Vivado WebPark (I have a Z-turn board with Z7020). Even so, I had a long time to find out how to make the free license to work. But finally I was able to create a project based on “MiniSpartan6+ BringUp” with ISE Design Suite. But I spent more time to understand you must use PlanAhead to generate the bitstream. Now how to upload this bitstream? another time spent to find a working xc3sprog (trying first msp6prog appears not working even when it says it uploads successfully)… and finally a running “bring up” (LEDs counter). Well at least my s6lx25 is not defective.

    As for HDMI, I’m also disappointed that J3 has no HDMI audio output as well as my Z-turn – but it has an audio jack unlike the only buzzer in Z-turn board.

    I’m not an hardware engineer but a software engineer. However, I’ve always longed for programming an FPGA for ten years but their prices were so high and their performances so low, so yes I was expecting a complete system with no need to solder anything to debut FPGA programming :(. It is so hard to find a complete board (video+audio) which has enough projects and tutorials and still good at price and performance :(.

    I chose this miniSpartant6+ because I felt I need to start with it to start simple projects until I can switch on z7020 to make more ambitious projects.

    #2042

    rawilsoniii
    Participant

    New user here. I’m not new to FPGAs, RTL, etc. I am new to home user simple project boards – and have my first one in the form of a miniSpartan6+. I have ISE installed, a full design implemented (coded, synthesized, placed, fitted, routed, passing all timing checks, image built, hardware constructed with my I/O, USB connected to my Windows7, powered up with LEDs on), but now I need to download the bit file to the Flash……. now I’m stuck. I see old references to IDE, but that’s apparently a dead end. I see downloads of xc3sprog for Linux, but I’m not going to build a Linux box just to play with this FPGA kit. There are some old references to a Windows version of xc3sprog, but those links are now dead and Google can’t find any recent links thereto. So, my basic question is how do I download the bit file into the miniSpartan6+ board using a Windows 7 box? I’m not a software jock, so I don’t follow a lot of the discussions around on all different builds, dlls, etc. Looking for a straight forward .exe that recognizes my USB connection to the board. Help, please!

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