Intel® Stratix® 10 Device Design Guidelines

ID 683738
Date 8/24/2022
Document Table of Contents

Power and Thermal Estimation

Table 11.  Power and Thermal Estimation
Number Done? Checklist Item
1   Estimate power consumption with the Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator (PTC) 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 PTC tool allows you to estimate power utilization before the design is complete by processing information about the device and the device resources needed 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 design.

If you do not have an existing design, estimate the number of device resources used in your design and enter it manually. The PTC 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, use the Generate the Power and Thermal Calculator Import File command in the Intel® Quartus® Prime software to provide input to the PTC.

The PTC can read the Intel® Quartus® Prime-generated power estimation file (.qptc file), or alternatively a .csv file generated by an older version of the power estimator tool, called the Early Power Estimator (EPE). You can also transfer the data into the PTC tool manually by referring to the resource usage in the Intel® Quartus® Prime Pro Edition-generated compilation reports for your design. 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 PTC 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.

Note: To obtain the PTC tool, contact your local sales representative.