Quartus® Prime Standard Edition User Guide: Design Compilation

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

1.2.2. Incremental Compilation Flow With Design Partitions

In the standard incremental compilation design flow, the top-level design is divided into design partitions, which can be compiled and optimized together in the top-level Quartus® Prime project. You can preserve fitting results and performance for completed partitions while other parts of the design are changing, which reduces the compilation times for each design iteration.

If you use the incremental compilation feature at any point in your design flow, it is easier to accommodate the guidelines for partitioning a design and creating a floorplan if you start planning for incremental compilation at the beginning of your design cycle.

Incremental compilation is recommended for large designs and high resource densities when preserving results is important to achieve timing closure. The incremental compilation feature also facilitates team-based design flows that allow designers to create and optimize design blocks independently, when necessary.

To take advantage of incremental compilation, start by splitting your design along any of its hierarchical boundaries into design blocks to be compiled incrementally, and set each block as a design partition. The Quartus® Prime software synthesizes each individual hierarchical design partition separately, and then merges the partitions into a complete netlist for subsequent stages of the compilation flow. When recompiling your design, you can use source code, post-synthesis results, or post-fitting results to preserve satisfactory results for each partition.

In a team-based environment, part of your design may be incomplete, or it may have been developed by another designer or IP provider. In this scenario, you can add the completed partitions to the design incrementally. Alternatively, other designers or IP providers can develop and optimize partitions independently and the project lead can later integrate the partitions into the top-level design.