Quartus® Prime Standard Edition User Guide: Design Compilation

ID 683283
Date 10/22/2021
Document Table of Contents

1.7. Exporting Design Partitions from Separate Quartus® Prime Projects

Partitions that are developed by other designers or team members in the same company or third-party IP providers can be exported as design partitions to a Quartus® Prime Exported Partition File (.qxp), and then integrated into a top-level design. A .qxp is a binary file that contains compilation results describing the exported design partition and includes a post-synthesis netlist, a post-fit netlist, or both, and a set of assignments, sometimes including LogicLock placement constraints. The .qxp does not contain the source design files from the original Quartus® Prime project.

To enable team-based development and third-party IP delivery, you can design and optimize partitions in separate copies of the top-level Quartus® Prime project framework, or even in isolation. If the designers have access to the top-level project framework through a source control system, they can access project files as read-only and develop their partition within the source control system. If designers do not have access to a source control system, the project lead can provide the designer with a copy of the top-level project framework to use as they develop their partitions. The project lead also has the option to generate design partition scripts to manage resource and timing budgets in the top-level design when partitions are developed outside the top-level project framework.

The exported compilation results of completed partitions are given to the project lead, preferably using a source control system, who is then responsible for integrating them into the top-level design to obtain a fully functional design. This type of design flow is required only if partition designers want to optimize their placement and routing independently, and pass their design to the project lead to reuse placement and routing results. Otherwise, a project lead can integrate source HDL from several designers in a single Quartus® Prime project, and use the standard incremental compilation flow described previously.

The figure below illustrates the team-based incremental compilation design flow using a methodology in which partitions are compiled in separate Quartus® Prime projects before being integrated into the top-level design. This flow can be used when partitions are developed by other designers or IP providers.

Figure 7. Team-Based Incremental Compilation Design Flow
Note: You cannot export or import partitions that have been merged.