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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

Ok, now that you have EDK open select the Create New Black Project.  Note: This step will change as soon as Avnet posts the Board Support Package (BSP) for EDK so you can simply just select the Zedboard from a pull down list (you can do this today with the Xilinx ZC702 development kit).

Once we pick a blank project we will be asked what device we would like to target.  In our case the Zedboard has the XC7Z020-1CLG484C device on it.  I put all of my projects in my C:\Xilinx\Projects directory - but you can put yours anywhere you would like with two stipulations:
  • Directory length can not exceed 255 characters 
  • No spaces are allowed in directory or file names

Don't break those two rules, and you can put your files anywhere you want :D.

Here is the next screen you will see:

Architecture: Zynq
Device Size: xc7z020
Package: clg484
Speed Grade: -1

Hit OK.  It will take a minute or so while it configures everything and creates the directory structure you will need to design and configure your hardware and write your software.

Next you will see XPS all loaded up and displaying the current configuration of the ARM subsystem within Zynq:

Cool.  Ok, so as you can see there is a lot of things we can configure for Zynq.  This is a good thing, don't worry.  It allows you a lot of control over how you want your system to interface with the outside world.  In our particular case we are lucky that the nice folks over at Avnet have provided a default configuration for us.

You will need to download the Board Definition File here:

http://zedboard.com/misc/files/zedboard_RevC_v1.xml

I have placed this file in the root directory of my project (same place as system.xmp).  This file is an XML file (go ahead and open it up and take a look if you would like) which contains all of the information needed to configure the ARM sub-system of the Zynq device.  Specificly in our case we will only have certain peripherals pulled out to the outside world, so we need to tell the device this.

Once you have downloaded the Board Definition File and saved it to your project directory, find the "Import" icon above the System Assembly View PS view.

A screen will pop up that is important to take a second to talk about.  Once Xilinx start distributing the Board Support files with their software tools this window will have the Zedboard as a selectable item in the list of available boards (actually the process to get to this point will be completely different, but for now we will do it this way).  Since we aren't there yet, we need to click the + sign on this window and browse to our .xml file.

Once you have your file selected in the second window you can click OK.  A message box will ask if you are sure you want to continue, if you are hit Yes.

EDK will load up the new configuration and after a few seconds it will show the updated System Assembly View.

Note: I am going to a full blog post on what this view means.  I have not yet, so poke around a bit and see what some of the different settings are.