Specifying the Vendor Tools to be Used

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In previous versions of Altium Designer, the software automatically assumed the latest vendor tool was to be used during the Build phase for an FPGA design targeting a physical device from that vendor. However, with the arrival of support for Xilinx Vivado, which is the successor to Xilinx ISE, this assumption could no longer be relied upon. The reason being that Vivado supports only the latest series-7 Xilinx devices, and so assumption of its use – being the latest tool from Xilinx – effectively relegates previous device families and generations to being unusable from within Altium Designer.

To cater for this situation, Altium Designer 14.0 allows the user to choose, for each vendor, which toolchain is to be used. This puts full control in the hands of the designer and caters perfectly for machines that have numerous versions of vendor tools installed, and which are often required to be used across different designs.

Choice of vendor toolchain is made on the FPGA – Place & Route page of the Preferences dialog. Each vendor is listed, along with all supported versions of their tool(s). In addition, the software detects what tools you currently have installed (and their paths).

Specify which vendor tools are to be used during Place & Route as part of your system preferences.

Use the Use column to choose which tool is to be used for each vendor. By default, the <Latest Installed> entry is chosen – designated by a green tick icon (). This means that the latest tool from that vendor will always be used. To specify a different tool to be used, and provided that version of that tool is installed, simply click on the  entry in the Use column, changing it to .

If both 32- and 64-bit versions of a vendor tool are installed, you can specify that the latter is to be used by enabling the Use x64-bit version if available option.


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