Open source tools

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Talrowe
Posts: 1
Joined: July 28th, 2015, 5:23 pm

Open source tools

Post by Talrowe » July 28th, 2015, 5:29 pm

I know that embedded micro has been working on some open source tools and saw an article about open source tools for ice fpgas. Is anyone on this site following this? Is this something that is worth looking more into?

http://www.clifford.at/icestorm/

I'm very new to fpgas but I would like to learn more about them. This is something that might be worth incorporating into your ide. Please let me know what you think. Why it would work or why it won't. Thank you for your time and I hope to see a lot of responses and possibly more tools in the ide that are open source.

embmicro
Site Admin
Posts: 834
Joined: March 24th, 2013, 12:45 pm

Re: Open source tools

Post by embmicro » July 28th, 2015, 5:46 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I haven't seen this particular project. However, I have yet to see any open source synthesis tool get remotely close to being as good as Xilinx's own tools. This is largely due to Xilinx having all the documentation (and deciding not to share) as well as a lot of complex optimizations performed. I actually saw a project that targeted the same FPGA that is on the Mojo, but again it wasn't nearly good enough to be anything more than a novelty.

Until an major FPGA manufacture shares all the details needed to make a synthesizer, I doubt there will ever be an open source one that can compete with the proprietary tools. I would really love to see one though.

kallisti5
Posts: 3
Joined: September 6th, 2015, 8:16 pm

Re: Open source tools

Post by kallisti5 » September 6th, 2015, 8:20 pm

+1 on the open source tools... one *BIG* turn off for FPGA's is the high bar to entry. I really don't want to download and activate a 2GB development environment that offers poor Linux support.
The ecosystem around Verilog in most projects depends tightly on how the big closed source tools work. We need to community to step up and start using makefiles and other non-closed source tools for synthesis.

It's sad... so many cool things you can do. I'm actually thinking of selling my Mojo v3 as I can just never find the motivation to write HDL in these tools.

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