The good news: starting with the Xilinx® Spartan™-3E device, you can now use industry-standard SPI Serial Flash to configure your Xilinx FPGAs. Even better news: this will be the trend for all new Xilinx devices going forward, meaning that you will have multiple vendors from which to choose inexpensive and readily available memories.

The bad news: Xilinx won’t be supporting these devices with programming tools—you are left on your own to program them. In this article, I’ll take a look at SPI Flash, explain your options, and help you get up and running quickly.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / Fourth Quarter 2005. Article © Xcell Journal.