AN 886: Intel® Agilex™ Device Design Guidelines

ID 683634
Date 8/26/2022
Public
Document Table of Contents

6.1.2. Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator

Table 50.   Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator Checklist
Number Done? Checklist Item
1   Estimate power consumption with the Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator to plan the cooling solution and power supplies before the logic design is complete.

FPGA power consumption is an important design consideration and must be estimated accurately to develop an appropriate power budget to design the power supplies, voltage regulators, decouplers, heat sink, and cooling system. Power estimation and analysis have two significant planning requirements:

  • Thermal planning—The cooling solution must sufficiently dissipate the heat generated by the device. In particular, the computed junction temperature must fall within normal device specifications.
  • Power supply planning—The power supplies must provide adequate current to support device operation.

Power consumption in FPGA devices is dependent on the logic design. This dependence can make power estimation challenging during the early board specification and layout stages. The Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator tool allows you to estimate power utilization before the design is complete by processing information about the device and the device resources that is used in the design, as well as the operating frequency, toggle rates, and environmental considerations. You can use the tool to obtain thermal design parameters, with which you can perform detailed thermal simulation and cooling solution designs.

If you do not have an existing design, estimate the number of device resources used in your design and enter it manually. The Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator tool accuracy depends on your inputs and your estimation of the device resources. If this information changes (during or after your design is complete), your power estimation results are less accurate. If you have an existing design or a partially-completed compiled design, Intel® recommends that you switch from the Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator to the Power Analyzer in the Intel® Quartus® Prime software.

You can create a .qptc file for an Intel® Agilex™ -based design, by selecting Generate Power and Thermal Calculator Import File from the Project menu in the Intel® Quartus® Prime software. You must import the .qptc file into the Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator before modifying any information. Also, you must verify all your information after importing a file. Importing a file from the Intel® Quartus® Prime software populates all input values based on your design and design settings that were specified in the Intel® Quartus® Prime software.

If you do not want to use this method, you can enter the data into the Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator tool manually. You should enter additional resources to be used in the final design manually if the existing Intel® Quartus® Prime project represents only a portion of your full design. You can edit the inputs to the Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator tool and add additional device resources or adjust the parameters after importing the power estimation file information.

When the design is complete, the Power Analyzer tool in the Intel® Quartus® Prime software provides more accurate estimation of power, ensuring that thermal and supply budgets are not violated. For the most accurate power estimation, use gate-level simulation results with an output file (.vcd) from a third-party simulation tool.

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