Xilinx Built-In Self Test Tutorial

CSE 372 (Spring 2007): Digital Systems Organization and Design Lab

To ensure that all of the components on your FPGA board are working properly, you can program your board with a "self test" file provided by Xilinx. Begin by setting up your board. Connect the power and USB cables and insert your expansion board into the expansion port. Connect a VGA cable to the VGA port on the left side of the board and a keyboard to one of the PS/2 ports on the right side. If you have a pair of headphones, you can connect them to the line out port on the left side of the board.


Do not put the headphones on your ears, as the sound played through them will be very loud.

Download the .bit file, turn your board on and make sure the download configuration switches are set correctly, and use iMPACT to program your FPGA with the self test. If you forget how to set the configuration switches or program the FPGA, review section VI of the tutorial. Note that you can open iMPACT on its own, without running ISE first, from the Xilinx ISE 8.2i -> Accessories folder in the Windows Start menu.

After programming the FPGA, the user LEDs on the main board should flash for a few seconds, and the self-test should appear on the connected monitor. Check for the following behavior:

  1. The red "System ACE error" LED should blink because no compact flash card is inserted into the board (this is expected and is not an error).
  2. On the monitor, you should see eight color bars (including black) and three grayscale-shaded boxes.
  3. If you type on the keyboard, the last keystroke should be displayed on the monitor; switch the keyboard to the other PS/2 port to ensure that both ports are working.
  4. Toggling the user switches on the main board (component SW7) should toggle the user LEDs (D7-10) on and off.
  5. If you have connected headphones, pressing the five user pushbuttons on the main board should emit five different tones.
  6. LEDs 2-8 on the expansion board should be lit; the other components on the expansion board should not be active.
  7. Finally, once you have confirmed that the other parts of your FPGA board are working, hold down the reset button (SW1, next to the PS/2 ports) for two seconds and make sure that the board resets itself.

If you observe any unexpected behavior during the self test, please demonstrate the behavior to a TA.


Xilinx XUP Virtex-II Pro Development System

Author: Peter Hornyack