Unit 1.5C Installing Xilinx ISE  WebPACK

Design suite

1. Register as a EETAC student at Xilinx

Register at the Xilinx website as an EETAC student using your professional UPC e-mail address. This is very important. Don't type false data about you, but behave like a professional. Xilinx web site contains a huge amount of very useful information about everything we are going to need for Chapters I, II and III. You are going to visit this web site once and again for about 12 weeks. Some resources from the site will be available only for registered people.


2. Download the ISE WebPACK software 

Download Xilinx ISE WebPACK software and install it. By January 2015 there is the ISE WebPACK version 4.7 available (notice that some photos in the tutorial below came from previous versions of the same software). More than 14 GB will be required of hard disk space. The WebPACK, as you see is the introductory software for learning about Xilinx devices and programming them. It is well enough for our introductory course on digital electronics. Optional or advanced courses will require other tools like the Embedded Development Kit (EDK) or the System Generator for DSP, which need specifics licences.


The link for the software:


3. Unzip and install the software

It takes a while and it is time consuming. Unzip the "tar" in your hard disk and execute "xsetup.exe" to start the installation process.


Select edition to install: WebPACK


Installation options:


Select Folder where to install:

Install I



Running the installation: It takes quite a long time to install, and it depends on your computer's performance.

Running the installation

Installation complete:



4. License your software

Click on the "Manage Xilinx Licenses" utility:


Get the free licence for WebPACK under the "Acquire a LIcense" tap:


Information about your PC is sent to Xilinx. Click on "Connect Now" to sign in on Xilinx website:



Information about your PC is sent to Xilinx. Click on "Connect Now" to sign in on Xilinx website:

Manage licences




And now, run the licence application to automatically copy the attached file to the corresponding folder.


So, finally:



5. Run a demonstration project to check that eve thing is all right .

Run a demonstration project (7-segment decoder with blanking input) to check that everything was correctly installed.


  • Run Xilinx ISE and load the project which you have previously unzipped into a folder:


  • Clean up previous project files, so that you can verify that all the process work rightly:

Clean up

  • Compile all (Implement top module)

Module implementation


  • Generate "bit" file:


  • Connect the NEXSYS 2 board to the USB bus, switch the board's power ON, and run Digilent "Adept" programmer to configure the FPGA:



  • Check that it works as expected: (SW7 is BI_L;  SW(3 ..0) are X_IN (3 ..0); Output is 7-segment display 3



NI Board

6. Read books and browse our web or Xilinx site to learn more

  • Read books and browse our web and Xilinx website to learn more on programmable devices and VHDL language. For instance, this is a good document to start getting ideas on the subject.


  • Here you are the ISE tutorials from Xilinx. They are useful, but only as a a reference in case you need to check or remember something very specific. Instead, we recommend you to follow our units and examples, they are specially prepared for our course. We follow a very strict coding style in order to share information and assess our problems easily.


  • Here you are a book, which have some chapters for free. It is based on the use of the Digilent board


  • Unit 1.13C: On verifying the ISim simulator once installed.

  • Unit 1.14C: On learning how to perform a functional / behavioural simulation, specifically for combinational blocks

  •  Unit 1.15C: On learning how to perform a gate-level / timing simulation.

  • The Xilinx University Program (XUP) for more applications and projects ...


In Chapter II, you will find similar units specially tailored for sequential systems