Intel® Quartus® Prime Standard Edition User Guide: Third-party Simulation

ID 683080
Date 2/05/2024
Document Table of Contents Generating Standard Delay Output for Power Analysis

To improve accuracy of power analysis, you can generate a Standard Delay Output (.sdo) file that includes back-annotated delay estimates for QuestaSim* simulation. QuestaSim* simulation can then output a more accurate .vcd for use as power analysis input. You must run Fitter (Finalize) before generating the .sdo.
Using an SDO in Power Analysis
  1. Click Assignments > Settings > EDA Tool Settings > Simulation. In Tool name select QuestaSim* and Verilog for Format for output netlist.
    Figure 7. More EDA Netlist Writer Settings
  2. Click More EDA Netlist Writer Settings. Set Enable SDO Generation for Power Estimation to On. Set Generate Power Estimate Scripts to ALL_NODES.
  3. To run the Fitter, click Processing > Start > Start Fitter (Finalize).
  4. Create a representative testbench (.vt) that exercises the design functions appropriately.
  5. To specify the appropriate hierarchy level for signals in the output .vcd, add the following line to the project .qsf file: 4
    set_global_assignment -name EDA_TEST_BENCH_DESIGN_INSTANCE_NAME 
         <DUT instance path> -section_id eda_simulation
  6. After Fitter processing is complete, click Processing > Start > Start EDA Netlist Writer. EDA Netlist Writer generates the following files in /<project>/simulation/questa/power/:
    • <project>.vo (contains a reference to the .sdo file by default)
    • <project>_dump_all_vcd_nodes.tcl—specifies nodes to save in .vcd
    • <project>_v.sdo—back-annotated delay estimates
  7. Create a QuestaSim* script (.do) to load the design and testbench, start QuestaSim*, and then source the .do script.
  8. To specify the signals QuestaSim* includes in the .vcd file, source *_dump_all_vcd_nodes.tcl in QuestaSim*.
  9. To generate the .vcd file, simulate the test bench and netlist in QuestaSim*. The .vcd file generates according to your specifications.
  10. Specify the .vcd as an input to power analysis, as Generating Signal Activity Data for Power Analysis describes.
4 Specify the full hierarchical path in the testbench, not just the instance name. For example, specify a|b|c, not just c.