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Coolrunner Starter II


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I want to setup a high-school project for my son, I have no previous experience with FPGAs.

A friend recommended coolrunner II starter as a platform.

Dev env is not clear to me, Digilent point to Xilinx Webpack, but it seems this one merged in a 6.8GB ISE Design suite package.


1. Should i use the Xilinx 14.7 ISE as "webpack"?

2. It looks like this ISE is no longer supported, specifically it does not support Windows 10. Any way around that?

3. Does it mean that CoolRunner II is deprecated and I should use other starter kit board?

4. If so, can anyone recommend a starter kit for FPGA that is not deprecated? 

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Hi rkeidar, 

Normally, you would want to use the Xilinx ISE 14.7 webpack edition, but as you noticed, the ISE software is no longer supported by Xilinx; I found this post that explains how they got ISE working on their Windows 8/ Windows 10 machine, so it may work out for you, but we (Digilent) will only be able to offer limited support for the CoolRunner II as it is a deprecated product for us.

That being said, you could still use the CoolRunner II, but I would probably go with a newer board that is supported with the newer Xilinx tool Vivado. It also has a Webpack edition (which you will likely want because that is the free version of the software). I would recommend the Arty board - this is the board I'm learning about FPGAs on. We have a number of resources available for the Arty here and you can always post in the FPGA section of our Forum if you have any questions!


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  • 3 years later...

Hi JColvin,

I'm also starting with the Collrunner II development board. I have little experience with VHDL and FPGA I have, before I worked with MACH and GAL / PAL circuits. I used VHDL files to define a project to display on seven segment LED CR2 output from PMOD ADT7420 temperature value. For my learning it will be very useful to advise where I made a design error for the Xilinx ISE system. Attaching used .vhd and .ucf files from the project. Yours sincerely and thank you Jozef5603.


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Although I would also suggest using an Artix 7 solution (like the one James suggested), if you still want to use the old CoolRunner || you should be aware that you can use the Adept application to program bit file to the board, instead of XIlinx tools (Impact). But you still need the Xilinx tools (ISE) to build the bit file.

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