Intel® Quartus® Prime Pro Edition User Guide: Getting Started

ID 683463
Date 4/03/2023

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3.10.4. Creating Database-Only Archives

If your project contains sensitive RTL that you do not want to share with Intel support, you can create a database-only archive. A database-only archive contains only the minimum files required to run timing analysis, fitter, assembler, and GUI design-inspection tools like Chip Planner.

A database-only archive includes only the project Quartus databases and any additional files required for compilation. It does not include RTL files.

You can review the complete list of files included in the archive in a report generated when you create a database-only archive.

Security Note:

A database-only archive does not guarantee protection for sharing your design without sharing your RTL. The RTL Netlist Viewer, Technology Map Viewer, and other views, along with the EDA Netlist Writer, are still available for projects exported using this feature.

With some effort, the original content can be reverse engineered.

To disable these features, encrypt your design. For details, see Support for the IEEE 1735 Encryption Standard.

Before creating a database-only archive, your project must have completed one of the following compilation stages:
  • Synthesis

    Archives that are created after running Synthesis can be used to run the fitter and then complete timing analysis, run the assembler, and use GUI-based design-inspection tools.

  • Finalized

    Archives that are created after completing a full compilation flow for your project can be used to complete timing analysis, run the assembler, and use GUI design-inspection tools.

To create a database-only archive, run the following command:
quartus_sh --archive_database -project <project_file> [-use_final_db]

Specify the -use_final_db option to create a database-only archive based on the finalized snapshot of your project. Otherwise, a database-only archive based on the synthesized snapshot is created.

The command generates two files: a .qar file that contains the database-only archive, and a .contents.txt file that lists files that are included in the .qar file.

You can get command syntax details by running the following command:
quartus_sh --help=archive_database