Xilinx Virtex 7 FPGA bitstream reverse engineered

While my article on HN is getting no traction I might as well post on here some fantastic news: The Xilinx Virtex 7 FPGA bitstream has been reverse engineered by Clifford Wolf.

For some context this is a very popular and cheap series of FPGA devices. For example you can buy the Arty board which has one of these FPGAs for $99, or the slightly more advanced Nexys 4 DDR for $265.

Currently you must use the Xilinx Vivado tool which is a 40 GB download [no, that isn’t a typo], requires a paid license to unlock the full features, and is generally awful to use.

This work should eventually lead to a complete open source toolchain to program these devices, just like Project IceStore for the Lattice devices.

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