FPGA Tutorials

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This page contains links to the data sheets and reference manuals for the parts and software we will be using. They were originally created by Prof. Martine Schlag.

Please don't print them out; this will waste paper.


Basys top.jpg

We will be using the Digilent BASYS Board (shown above) which uses a Xilinx Spartan 3E FPGA.


We will be using the Xilinx ISE WebPack 9.2i(free). The most current version is ISE WebPack 12.3, so make sure you download 9.2i rather than 12.x, 11.x or 10.x!!! You'll need a fast connection to download these tools.

You can download this software(free) from the Xilinx ISE 9.2i Webpack page. Click on archive and then select 9.2. You will need both the 9.2 Webpack and the 9.2SP4 Service Pack.

  1. Register for a Xilinx account (painless).
  2. Fill out the survey.
  3. They will e-mail you a password. After logging in go back to Xilinx ISE 9.2i Webpack page.
  4. Select the Webinstall version
  5. To speed up the installation don't install the Cable Drivers, and only install the set of parts including the Spartan 3E series.
  6. You then need to go back and get the ISE Service Pack 4 for ISE 9.2i from Xilinx ISE 9.2i Webpack page (link in the shaded region).

This software is already installed on the machines in BE104. Please note that you may not use Xilinx's Customer Support if you encounter a problem (this is a condition of the use of this software). The instructors and TAs can offer limited help installing the software. Use Windows 7 at your own risk.


These are industrial strength tools. We will guide you through their use, keeping things as simple as possible. You are welcome to explore other features of the tools, but make sure to save your work first!

Instructions for:

Other links:

The CMPE100 Web: Copyright 2012; Department of Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz.