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August 2012

Zedboard - Create a PlanAhead Project with Embedded Processor

EDIT:  Git repo of this project can be found here: - enjoy!

To take advantage of any aspect of Zynq's configurable FPGA fabric we are going to need to learn how to use PlanAhead, and specifically how to create a new PlanAhead project with an embedded processor within it.

Giving credit where credit is due.  I used the document in this example project from as my reference when doing this post:

Zedboard - SDK HelloWorld Example

EDIT:  Git repo of this project can be found here: - enjoy!

This is a continuation of this post.  I am trying to split these up a bit so those of us who are a bit more familiar with Zynq and Xilinx don't have to sift through so much information.

Zedboard - Programming Zynq with iMPACT

I had some trouble programming my Zedboard with SDK, so here is how to do it with iMPACT - the Xilinx programming tool.  First launch iMPACT from the start menu.  If you aren't on a 64 bit machine, use the 32 bit version of the tool.

Zedboard - First Xilinx EDK Design

Hello folks.

First, I want to say that I have split this how-to into a couple different parts so those of us who are advanced users don't have to fish through too much information to get started here.

You will need to create a PlanAhead project that has an embedded processor within it.  You can learn how to do that here.

So here is the first post that is going to bring it all together (hopefully!).  We are going to create a project with the  Xilinx tools and push it to our Zedboard.  I've got butterflies just typing the introduction ... :D

Zedboard OLED

Let me start with this took me way longer than it should have.  Like, 4 hours long.

When you boot your ramdisk image on the Zedboard (or at least at the time of this post this is the case) you will find a logo.bin file within your /root directory.  This file is 512bytes large and is used with the script that is found in the /usr/bin directory called load_oled.

Xilinx tools install and license howto

Thought I would touch on the Xilinx tools for the first time here, as the product is made by them ;)

To take full advantage of the AWESOME SAUCE that is Zynq, you will need the Xilinx software and tool chain.  To get it go here:

Linpack on Zynq


I was browsing the Zedboard Forums and saw a post about performance of the ARM processor.  So I thought I would do some linpack tests and post them here.


Zedboard - Modifying Your Ram Disk Image


So one thing that you will notice about your Zedboard, is that every time you reboot your Zedboard any changes you make don't stick.  This is because the / directory is being loaded into Memory, and not to a hard disk or the SD-Card.  This isn't a bad thing, as it allows for every fast boot times.  But as you move along with your projects you may want to modify your Ram Disk Image to include different things such as your custom program code.

Zedboard - Setting up a ARM development environment in Linux

Well now that you have your Zedboard up and running, and your network is configured to talk to the outside world, let's get some code running on this thing!

Zedboard - Network bring up

For reference on bringing your Zedboard up check out my other post here:

So you want to do some networking hu?  Let's try and use the wget command to pull down the google homepage:

zynq> wget
wget: bad address ''