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Simple RTL (VHDL) project with Vivado

Posted by Florent - 02 August 2016


In this tutorial we will create a simple VHDL project using the text editor of Xilinx Vivado 2016.1.

The design will have 4 1-bit inputs and 1 1-bit output. The 2 first inputs, which we will name A and B, will be connected to an AND gate and the two last inputs, C and D, will be connected to an OR gate. The two gates outputs will enter in another AND gate. The project is schematized in the Figure 1.

Project Schematic

Figure 1 - Project Schematic

Create a VHDL project

Start Xilinx Vivado 2016.1 in a GUI mode using the command line as explained in the post 1 or using the desktop icon. On the welcome page click on “Create New Project”. Enter a project name and location.

Vivado - Create a new project

Figure 2 - Create a new project

In the “Project Type” window, select “RTL project” and check the “Do not specify sources at this time”.

Vivado - RTL Project Selection

Figure 3 - RTL Project Selection

Select the Kintex-7 xc7k70tfbg676-1 as default part.

Create the VHDL file

In the Flow Navigator, click on “Add Sources” (alternatively you can click on “File > Add Sources”).

vivado - Add Sources

Figure 4 - Add Sources

In the first page of the “Add Sources” window, select “Add or create design sources”.

Vivado - Add or create design sources

Figure 5 - Add or create design sources

In the “Add or Create Design Sources” page, click on the + button on the left and click on “Create File” or click on the “Create File” button on the bottom.

Vivado - Create Design Source File

Figure 6 - Create Design Source File

In the “Create Source File” window, select “VHDL” for the “File type” field and add a file name. Click “OK” and click “Finish” on the “Add Sources” window.

Vivado - Create a new VHDL file

Figure 7 - Create a new VHDL file

A “Define Module” window will appear. It allows you to define the ports of your new module in order to have a pre-filed VHDL file. Fill it as below.

Vivado - Define Module window

Figure 8 - Define Module window

Modify the VHDL file

In the Data Windows Area, in the “Sources” window, we can see the VHDL file in the “Design Sources”.  We can double click on this file to open the text editor.

Vivado - Sources window

Figure 9 - Sources window

We can see that Vivado has already created the structure of the VHDL file.

VHDL structure created by Vivado

Figure 10 - VHDL structure created by Vivado

In the text editor we can code our block.

VHDL code of the block - Post 4 dev-flow

Figure 11 - VHDL code of the block

When you save your file, if there are syntax errors, the file will be displays under “Syntax Error Files” in the “Sources” window and the errors will be displayed in the messages console.

Vivado - Syntax Error Files

Figure 12 - Syntax Error Files

View the Schematic of the RTL (VHDL) block

In the “Flow Navigator”, in “RTL Analysis”, if we expend “Elaborated Design” we can click on “Schematic”.

Vivado - Open the Elaborated Design Schematic

Figure 13 - Open the Elaborated Design Schematic

This will open the schematic of our RTL bloc. From this schematic we can check that we have correctly coded our bloc.

Vivado - Elaborated Design Schematic

Figure 14 - Elaborated Design Schematic

You can download the VHDL file used for this tutorial here

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