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Current rating: 4.7

The Xilinx Student Edition (XSE) is ideal for ANY digital design course.  The industry-standard Foundation 2.1i software is easy for students to learn and lets instructors focus on higher level design concepts.  Advanced designers will appreciate the many features of the software that allows them to create CPLD and FPGA designs in record time.

Prentice Hall has stopped including The Practical Xilinx Designer Lab Book in the Xilinx Student Edition 2.1i.  This lowers the price, but eliminates the extensive tutorial on the Foundation software with many worked examples.  To make up for this shortcoming, XESS Corp. is providing a series of free tutorial examples.

XSE 2.1i Features

  • Enter your design graphically using a schematic editor or describe it textually with the hardware description language (HDL) editor.  Describe complex finite state machines using the state diagram editor.  Or import designs from OrCAD or Viewlogic.
  • Generate the logic for your design using the FPGA Express synthesizer for the VHDL, Verilog, and ABEL HDLs.
  • Use the implementation tools to place and route your design for any XC9500 CPLD, any Spartan FPGA, any XC4000 FPGA up to an XC4010, or the XCV50 Virtex FPGA.
  • Check your design's logical functions and timing with the integrated simulator.
  • Target digital signal processing applications with Foundation's CoreGen tools.

XSE 2.1i Limitations

  • No live technical support.  Support is provided by FAQs and the answer database at support.xilinx.com.
  • No automatic software updates or upgrades.
  • XC4000 FPGAs larger than the XC4010 are not supported.
  • Virtex FPGAs larger than the XCV50 are not supported.

Minimum System Requirements

  • Pentium processor with 120 MHz clock.
  • Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT (SP3 or SP4).
  • 32 MB system RAM, 48 MB swap space.
  • 2 GB disk space.
  • CDROM drive.