Intel® Quartus® Prime Pro Edition User Guide: Power Analysis and Optimization

ID 683174
Date 12/12/2022

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2.5. Power Analysis in Modular Design Flows

In modular or hierarchical design flows you develop each design block separately, and then instantiate these blocks into a higher-level design to form a complete design. The Intel Quartus Prime software supports simulation and power analysis of the top-level design or individual blocks with the design.

Figure 17. Modular Simulation Flow

You can associate multiple .vcd simulation output files with specific node names, enabling the integration of partial design simulations into a complete design power analysis. When specifying multiple .vcd files for a node, more than one simulation file can contain signal activity information for the same signal. In those cases, the Power Analyzer follows these rules:

  • When you apply multiple .vcd files to the same design node, the Power Analyzer calculates the signal activity as the equal-weight arithmetic average of each .vcd.
  • When you apply multiple simulation files to design nodes at different levels in the design hierarchy, the signal activity in the power analysis derives from the simulation file that applies to the most specific design node.

The following figure shows an example of a hierarchical design:

Figure 18. Example Hierarchical Design

The top-level module of the design, called Top, consists of three 8b/10b decoders, followed by a mux. The software encodes the output of the mux to produce the final output of the top-level module. An error-handling module handles any 8b/10b decoding errors. The Top module contains the top-level entity of the design and any logic not defined as part of another module. The design file for the top-level module can be a wrapper for the hierarchical entities or can contain its own logic.

The following usage scenarios show common ways that you can simulate the design and import the .vcd into the Power Analyzer: