Avnet Virtex Demo Board

Avnet Virtex demo board

Xilinx Virtex on demo board from Avnet in 2000.

The Xilinx agents in Johannesburg gave us one of their Virtex demo boards to try out. It was packaged in a video cassette box and there were VHDL tools on a disk. All we needed was a low cost Parallel III cable. The FPGA had 40K gates and new configuration memory. We bought the Parallel III cable and tried out some VHDL examples supplied by Xilinx. The LCD display was similar to the Hitachi units we had driven from our 68000 boards, so it was interesting to see how the software and hardware approaches compared. For the LCD, programmable software interfaces are easier, but the Virtex was a much improved device to previous families.

The 256 pin BGA used surprisingly few pins, but it was good enough for the “Hello World” equivalent in FPGA Wonderland and to check the work flow/ target connection.

Xilinx JTAG probes on the demo board

The JTAG connection on the demo board with the Parallel-III cable.