Intel® Quartus® Prime Pro Edition User Guide: Design Optimization

ID 683641
Date 1/07/2022
Public

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6.5.6. Optimize Settings with Design Space Explorer II

The Design Space Explorer II tool (Tools > Launch Design Space Explorer II) allows you to find optimal project settings for resource, performance, or power optimization goals.
Design Space Explorer II (DSE II) processes a design using combinations of settings and constraints, and reports the best combination of settings and constraints for the design. You can also take advantage of the DSE II parallelization abilities to compile on multiple computers.

In DSE II, an exploration point is a collection of Analysis & Synthesis, Fitter, and placement settings, and a group of exploration points is a design exploration. A design exploration can also include different fitter seeds.

DSE II compiles the design using the settings corresponding to each exploration point. When the compilation finishes, DSE II evaluates the performance data against an optimization goal that you specify. You can direct the DSE II to optimize for timing, area, or power.

If a design is close to meeting timing or area requirements, you can try different seeds with the DSE II, and find one seed that meets timing or area requirements.

Figure 47. Design Space Explorer II

You can run DSE II at any step in the design process; however, because large changes in a design can neutralize gains achieved from optimizing settings, Intel® FPGA recommends that you run DSE II late in the design cycle.

Note: When comparing the results of different seed sweeps with DSE II, changing any of the following variables can cause differences in the compilation results between seed sweeps, resulting in a somewhat different fit in each case:
  • The number or type of CPUs that DSE II uses to perform the seed sweeps
  • Any change to the operating system
  • Any change to source file content or location
  • Any change to the Compiler settings or Timing Analyzer settings
For more information, refer to Fitter Seed.

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