I Have a Digilent Board. Now What Software Do I Need?

Nearly all of the Digilent products require software for use. Recently on the Forum, we’ve been receiving some questions regarding what software to use with specific products. So, I created an all-in-one guide to software.

 

You start at the top with whatever product you have.

flow software
The master flow chart.

 

First, you must determine whether the product is a Digilent product or not.

What type of product?
What type of product?

 

This is the non-Digilent branch. Unfortunately, if it’s a product we don’t produce we may not be of much help. If it is being used with a Digilent product, you can always post on the Forum and see if we can help you. More likely though, you’ll have to visit the website of the company that produces that board.

 

Non-Digilent products choice.
Non-Digilent products choice.

If it is a Digilent product, there are eight categories of products under the Digilent branch. You’ll need to figure out what type of product you have.

Digilent product choices.
Digilent product choices.

If you product is an FMC card, Pmod or Vmod,  or shield, you’re going to have to go to the top of the flow chart. The software that you use with these products is the software that you would use with whatever is driving it.

 

So say you have a PmodBTN connected to a Basys 3. You would then use the software for the Basys 3.

FMC, Pmod, Vmod or shield all lead to the same fate.
FMC, Pmod, Vmod or shield all lead to the same fate.

For our JTAG programming solutions, you have two options. One of the JTAG programmers (programming cable or add on IC) is made by XUP, which means you’ll have to use iMPACT.  All others can be programmed with Adept.

The JTAG options
The JTAG options.

If you have one of our scopes, the EE board or Analog Discovery, you’ll need Waveforms.

The scope options
The scope options.

If you have an NI Academic product, LabVIEW is required.

The NI Academic product options.
The NI Academic product options.

If you have a microcontroller, then there is quite a bit more information you’ll have to figure out. If you have a chipKIT PRO you’ll need to use either MPLAB or MPIDE. For information about the differences between MPLAB and MPIDE you can view this post.

 

If it is a chipKIT then you have to figure out which one you have and follow the appropriate path. You’ll either end up with MPIDE, or LabVIEW.

All of the microcontroller options.
All of the microcontroller options.

If you have an FPGA there are a bunch of combinations of software you could need. Either a combination of ISE and iMPACT, ISE and Adept, or Vivado.

All of the FPGA options.
All of the FPGA options.

Now that you know the general flow of the flow chart, let’s go through a specific example, with the Nexys 4 DDR.

nexys4ddr example
The path of the Nexys4DDR.

First I start with the Nexys 4 DDR at product. I know that it is a Digilent product, so I move left. I also know that it is an FPGA, so I move left to FPGA. Then I find it in the light green boxes below FPGA, and get to the software. I can use ISE and Adept, or Vivado.

 

Now that you have the proper tools, find out what product you have, (or go out and buy one!) and start downloading software.

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