Saturday, June 29, 2013

Open VCD in GTKWave from Vivado HLS GUI

When Vivado HLS (VHLS) runs C/RTL cosimulation using SystemC model with "Dump Trace" option, VCD files are created with simulation waveforms.

VHLS GUI does not have a built-in waveform viewer. This blog shows how to "integrate" GTKWave, one of popular and free waveform viewers, into VHLS GUI  so that the generated VCD file can be opened in GTKWave by double-clicking the file in VHLS GUI on a Win7 machine.

Install gtkwave on Win7
  • Download gtkwave.exe.gz and all_libs.tar.gz from
  • Unzip gtkwave.exe.gz to c:\tools\gtkwave
  • Unzip all_libs.tar.gz to c:\tools\gtkwave\lib
  • Add c:\tools\gtkwave to PATH environment variable (A nice utility Rapid Environment Editor can be handy)
  • Add C:\tools\gtkwave\lib\bin to PATH environment variable
  • Set gtkwave.exe to “Run As Administrator (see the snapshot on the next slide). This is required to run gtkwave from VHLS GUI

Create Batch File to Open VCD in gtkwave
  • Create a batch file open_vcd_gtkw.bat
  • Add the lines below and save it
     REM open the VCD file in gtkwave
     set vcd=%~f1
     cd %~d1%~p1
     C:\tools\gtkwave\gtkwave %vcd%
  • Associate .vcd file with open_vcd_gtkw.bat from Windows Explorer (see below).
  • VCD file can now be opened in gtkwave from VHLS GUI by double clicking on it. User Access Control window will pop up during opening the file, click OK to continue

File Association on Windows
  • .vcd is used as an example. Apply to all extenstions.
  • In Windows File Explorer, right click vcd file
  • Select Open With…
  • Click Browse button to select open_vcd.batCreate a batch file open_vcd_gtkw.bat

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Xilinx Document Navigator Tips and Tricks

Xilinx Document Navigator (DocNav) has been out for over two years since I first blogged about it. It has become one of indispensable tools for my daily work. I hope everybody else feels the same way. There are a few tips&tricks I would like to share and hopefully they can be helpful to other users as well:
  • I always press "CTRL-F" to bring up "Find" box in Adobe Reader to search keywords. However, it doesn't come up if the "Find" box is already open in another PDF document. This is a limitation of Adobe Reader. The workaround is to right-click anywhere in the active PDF and select "Find".
  • If you don't want to download and keep >3GB documents all at once, check "Download Web-Based PDF Documents When First Opened" on the Settings Dialog to download and save documents on demand.
  • If the button to slide out "Document Tray" is lost for some reason, unmaximize the DocNav main window, then exit and reopen the application
  • Some PDFs are opened without Adobe tool bar by default (left window in the snapshot below). Hover the mouse over the center area at the bottom and a small tool bar will pop up. Click on the "Adobe" icon to turn on the tool bar for the document.