Saturday, July 23, 2011

Set up Xilinx IDS environment for non-IDS tools

The installer for IDS 12.x or newer on Windows no longer sets up environment variables (XILINX, XILINX_EDK, PATH, etc) for running IDS tools during installation. Instead it provides a bootloader batch file that runs first to set up all required environment variables for the current session and then invokes the target application.
You can find out the path and name of the bootloader by looking at the "Target" of the shortcut to any of IDS tools. For example, below are the bootloaders for 64-bit and 32-bit IDS 13.2:

The bootloader makes it very easy to run multiple versions of IDS on the same machine and there is no need to manually modify environment variables any more. Even better, the bootloader can be used with non-IDS applications as well. Here is an example showing how to run Matlab with IDS 13.2.
  • Make a copy of the current Matlab shortcut on the desktop and change the name to something meaningful
  • Right click the new shortcut and open "Properties" window (see the snapshot below)
  • In the "Target" field, add the bootloader before the Matlab executable. A space is needed between the bootloader and the executable:
C:\Xilinx\13.2\ISE_DS\settings64.bat C:\MATLAB\R2011a\bin\matlab.exe
  • Click "Change Icon" to change the icon back to Matlab if needed
  • Apply changes and close the window.

The old Matlab shortcut will run with the ISE version set by the system environment variables. The new shortcut will run with IDS 13.2. The snapshot below shows the two sessions side by side.

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