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General Description: As of the release of software version 1.5 (and later), Xilinx has modified the way our software is secured. This answer record describes the changes that were made.
Software versions 1.3, 1.4:
In previous software versions (1.3, 1.4), the Xilinx core executables (MAP, PAR, BitGen, etc.) used FLEXlm for software security. Versions 1.3 and later use an install-based security; this means that once the software is installed, no more security checks are performed.
Software versions 2.1i, 3.1i:
During the installation, you are asked to enter the CD-key; this key is found on the back of the CD case.
For 2.1i, the number consists of an "A" for Alliance or a "F" for Foundation, followed by three letters and seven numbers (i.e., ABCD1234567).
For 3.1i, the CD Key, or "Product ID," consists of a "D," two other letters, and eight numbers (i.e., DAS12345678).
This key not only allows the installation to proceed, but determines what software can be installed (evaluation, base, or standard).
An effect of this new security is that the CD contains compressed data files that cannot be copied over directly (as was the case was before).
To summarize, the Xilinx core executables in versions 1.5 and later do NOT need a license, License Manager, or the LM_LICENSE_FILE system variable to be run.
FPGA Express v2.1, shipped with Foundation v1.5, will continue to use FLEXlm for security. However, there is a change needed when updating to this new version -- users will need to modify the existing license file with new package lines. The "old" (FPGA Express v2.0.x) package lines looked similar to this:
For versions 3.1i and 4.1i, the software security has changed in the way the CD Key is handled; users are now required to go to a web site to register the software. Once this is done, users enter the CD Key or Product ID; Xilinx then issues Registration IDs, which customers enter to install the software. The registration ID is issued in the following format: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx.
The licensing for FPGA Express is handled in the same way as in version F2.1i.