Installing Xilinx Tools#

This document describes how to install the required Xilinx tools for building, compiling, debugging, and flashing the AMDC firmware. In order to use the AMDC, you will need to install the following programs:

  1. Xilinx Vivado

  2. Xilinx SDK

Xilinx regularly updates the Vivado suite of tools. They release main updates in the format of year and version numbering YYYY.V (i.e. 2017.2). These upgrades are sometimes backwards compatible, sometimes not. Vivado 2019.1 is the last version of the Xilinx tools which uses the SDK environment – 2019.2 and onward use the new Xilinx Vitis environment. We will be using the SDK, so we will download and install Vivado 2019.1.

Warning: The Vivado suite of tools takes a lot of space on your PC! Please ensure you have ~35GB of local free space before proceeding! You will also need a fast internet connection to download the required files!

Installing Vivado 2019.1#

This tutorial will assume you are installing Vivado locally on your personal Windows PC.

Ensure you have no Xilinx tools previously installed on your PC (i.e. make sure you don’t have C:\Xilinx folder). If you do, uninstall them now.

Downloading installation executable#

  1. Go to the Xilinx Downloads page expand 2019.1.

  2. Scroll down to the “Vivado Design Suite - HLx Editions 2019.1 Full Product Installation” section for 2019.1

  3. Click on the link for: “Vivado HLx 2019.1: All OS installer Single-File Download” (you will need to download ~21.39GB of data).

  4. This will make you create a Xilinx account. Do this and continue.

  5. Fill out the required “Name and Address Verification” page and click Download.


  1. Run the installer. Wait for it to extract itself… Once it runs, allow it to change your hard drive.

  2. When the installer opens, it will prompt you to get the latest software version. Decline by clicking Continue.

  3. Click Next >.

  4. Enter your Xilinx account login info you created previously and click Next >.

  5. Check all boxes to agree to terms and click Next >.

  6. Select “Vivado HL System Edition” and click Next >.

  7. Recommended but optional to reduce disk space: Under Devices, only select SoCs > Zynq-7000.

  8. Ensure Vivado and SDK are both selected (they are by default) and click Next >.

  9. Recommended but optional: Select “All users” for shortcut and file assocations.

  10. Review the install locations and download sizes (keep the defaults). Ensure you have space and click Next >.

  11. It will prompt that C:\Xilinx does not exist. Click Yes to create the folder.

  12. Click Install. It will now download the needed files and install them. This takes ~20-30 mins (depends on your internet speed)…

  13. At some point, the installer will prompt you to install “WinPcap”. Do this with the defaults.

  14. At some point, the installer will prompt you to set-up MATLAB for the System Generator. This is optional and can be changed later.

  15. Finally, the installation will be complete.


  1. The Vivado License Manager will appear. Close this window without doing anything. Vivado seems to work without setting up the licensing. We will update this later if we learn more about this.

Vivado is now installed!