ISE
ISE Design Flow Overview
The ISE® design flow is shown in the following figure and described in the following sections.
Note The following sections provide links to additional Help topics. In the Help Viewer, click the Synchronize TOC button Image to view all related Help topics.
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Design Creation
During design creation, you create an ISE project and then, create or add source files to that project. ISE projects can contain many types of source files and design modules, including HDL, EDIF/NGC netlist, schematic, intellectual property (IP), embedded processor, and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) modules. For more information, see the following topics:
Synthesis
During synthesis, the synthesis engine compiles the design to transform HDL sources into an architecture-specific design netlist. The ISE software supports the use of Xilinx Synthesis Technology (XST), which is delivered with the ISE software, as well as third party synthesis tools, including Synplify, Synplify Pro, and Precision software. For more information, see the following topics:
Simulation
At various points during the design flow, you can verify the functionality of the design using a simulation tool. From within the ISE viewing environment, you can use ISim, which is delivered with the ISE software, or ModelSim simulators. Alternatively, you can simulate your design outside of ISE Project Navigator using any supported simulator. For more information, see the following topics:
Constraints Entry
Using design constraints, you can specify timing, placement, and other design requirements. The ISE software provides editors to facilitate constraints entry for timing constraints as well as I/O pin and layout constraints. For more information, see the following topics:
Implementation
After synthesis, you run design implementation, which converts the logical design into a physical file format that can be downloaded to the selected target device. Using the Project Navigator Design Goals and Strategies, you can modify process properties to control the implementation and optimization of the design. To attempt to meet your design goals faster, you can use SmartXplorer to automate multiple implementation runs with different process properties. For more information, see the following topics:
Implementation Analysis
After implementation, you can analyze your design for performance against constraints, device resource utilization, timing performance, and power utilization. You can view results in static report files and by looking at actual device implementation in graphical layout tools, such as the PlanAhead software and FPGA Editor. You can interactively analyze timing and power results using the Timing Analyzer and XPower Analyzer tools. And, you can perform in-system debugging using the ChipScope™ Pro tool. For more information, see the following topics:
Implementation Improvement
Based on the analysis of your design results, you can make changes to design sources, process properties, or design constraints and then, rerun synthesis, implementation, or both to achieve design closure. For more information, see the following topics:
Device Configuration and Programming
After generating a programming file, you configure your device. During configuration, you generate configuration files and download the programming files from a host computer to a Xilinx® device. For more information, see the following topics:

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