Arty Microblaze Base System Design


Features Used

Not Used Used
4 user switches X
4 user LEDs X
4 user RGB LEDs X
4 user push buttons X
10/100 Ethernet PHY X
256MB 800Mt/s DDR3 Memory X
Serial Flash X
Four Pmod ports X
Shield Connector X


This Vivado IP Integrator project implements a Microblaze system with cores that communicate with all of the peripherals on the Arty. This design can be used as a catch all hardware design for most Microblaze applications using ARTY.



  • Arty FPGA board
  • Micro-USB cable


  • Vivado Design Suite 2016.4
    • Newer versions can be used, but the procedure may vary slightly
    • Xilinx SDK 2016.4 must be included in the installation
  • Digilent Board Support Files for Vivado


Arty Support Repository – ZIP GIT Repo

How to...

1. Download the Project

1.1) Download the project repo zip file which can be downloaded here. Once you have downloaded the project, unzip it in the location of your choosing.
1.2) If you want to generate the project in Vivado, continue to step 2. If you want to move straight to Xilinx SDK, skip to step 5.

2. Generate the Project

2.1) If not already installed, install the Vivado Board Files for the Arty by following this guide: Installing Vivado Board Files for Digilent Boards.
2.2) Generate the bsd project in the Projects folder by following this guide before continuing: How to Generate a Project from Digilent's Github.

3. Build the Project

3.1) Click Generate Bitstream on the left hand menu towards the bottom. Vivado will run through both Run Synthesis and Run Implementation before it generates the bitstream automatically.

Note: If you want, you can click each step by itself in the order of Run Synthesis, Run Implementation and then Generate Bitstream.

4. Export to SDK

4.1) Export the microblaze project by going to File>Export>Export Hardware. Click the check box to Include the bitstream, and export it local to project. This will create a .sdk folder in your project directory. Afterwards, click File>Launch SDK. Both the exported location and workspace should be left as <Local to Project>. Click “OK” to launch Xilinx SDK.

4.2) Skip to step 6.

5. Open Xilinx SDK and create a workspace

5.1) Open up Xilinx SDK and create a workspace where your project will be saved.

6. Import the SDK files

6.1) In your project Explorer window on the left side, click File>Import, then under the general folder, select Existing projects. (Or just click Import Project on the main screen).

6.2) Navigate to where you saved the downloaded project, select the sdk folder, and click OK. In the Import window, click Finish to import the system hardware wrapper.

6.3) Import the projects by clicking Finish. You can ignore the warnings that may pop up.

7. Program the FPGA

7.1) Click Xilinx Tools>Program FPGA and click Program. Xilinx SDK will then program the FPGA with a microblaze bit file.

8. Program the Microblaze processor

8.1) Right click on the demo folder and click Run as>Launch on Hardware(GDB). The microblaze program will be programmed onto your Nexys Video.

9. Run the Project

This portion will help you run the demo and observe all its features.

9.1) Observe LED Blink

The demo is running a simple blink on LED5. This behaves much like the arduino sketch blink.