a Makefile to drive the icestorm tools

By | August 25, 2017

I’ve got a tonne of use out of the icestorm project, with it fitting into the way I work really well…

I’ve ended up putting together a simple Makefile that I use when starting a new project, simple rules allow the project to be compiled and even allow you to directly program the fpga’s cram for much faster (but volatile) programming.  While targeting the ice40hx8k breakout board you could easily modify it for one of the plethora of ice40 boards out there…

here’s the Makefile

# project name also the name of the top module
NAME = count

# any changes in a .v file triggers the blif rule
SRC := $(shell find . -name '*.v')

all: $(NAME).bin
prog: $(NAME).bin
     iceprog $<

prog-ram: $(NAME).bin
    iceprog -S $<

$(NAME).bin: $(NAME).asc 
    icepack $< $@

$(NAME).asc: $(NAME).blif
     arachne-pnr -q -d 8k -P ct256 -p pins.pcf $< -o $@

$(NAME).blif: $(SRC)
     yosys -q -Q -p "synth_ice40 -blif $@" $(NAME).v

     rm -f $(NAME).bin
     rm -f $(NAME).asc
     rm -f $(NAME).blif

You might occasionally want to remove the -q param from the yosys command if you want to get an idea of what real estate you’re using.

You’ll also need a constrains file (pins.pcf) here’s a simple one

set_io LEDS[7] B5
set_io LEDS[6] B4
set_io LEDS[5] A2
set_io LEDS[4] A1
set_io LEDS[3] C5
set_io LEDS[2] C4
set_io LEDS[1] B3
set_io LEDS[0] C3

set_io clk J3

Here’s a simple bit of verilog to drive these pins… (count.v)

module count(input clk,output [7:0] LEDS);

reg [26:0] count;
assign LEDS = count[26:19];

always @(posedge clk) begin
 count <= count + 1;


…that’s it! a basic skeleton project that you can use to kick start your own projects.

all you need is the icestorm tools but thats a very simple case of cloning three projects and running make && make install (refreshingly the install really is that simple!)

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