You can use the NativeLink feature in Quartus® II software to facilitate the seamless transfer of information between Quartus II software and third-party simulators. This design example shows how to use the NativeLink feature in Quartus II software to perform functional or gate-level timing simulation of your design with third-party simulators. The Quartus II NativeLink feature allows you to launch your third-party simulator from within the Quartus II software and run the simulation with just a few clicks of your mouse. All the library preparation and run commands are generated automatically by Quartus II software without requiring your input. All these actions are also stored in a script. The Quartus II NativeLink feature is supported by all the popular third-party simulators. This example demonstrates the use of the Quartus II NativeLink feature for the ModelSim®-Altera® simulator. In this example, you will:
Load an existing project in Quartus II software
Set up the Quartus II project for the NativeLink feature and ModelSim-Altera tools
Perform the functional (RTL) and gate-level timing simulations using the NativeLink feature
Note: This example was developed in Verilog HDL using Quartus II software version 9.0 and
ModelSim-Altera software version 6.4a running on a host with Windows XP SP2.
Using the Design Example
- Download this NativeLink_Modelsim.zip file to your desired location.
- Extract the NativeLink_Modelsim.qar file from the zip file.
- Double click on the NativeLink_Modelsim.qar file, and the Quartus II software will open.
- The Restore Archived Project dialog box will pops up with the Quartus II software. The Archive Name and Destination folder will be prefill for you.
- Click OK to start the QAR archive extraction.
- On the Assignments menu, click Settings to open the Settings dialog box and then under EDA Tool Settings, click Simulation. Verify that ModelSim-Altera is selected in the Tool name field and click OK.
To use the Quartus II NativeLink feature, you must also provide the absolute path for the ModelSim-Altera software:
- On the Tools menu, click Options, then General, then EDA Tool Options.
- In the EDA Tool Options pane specify the path to the ModelSim-Altera executable (for example, c:\altera\90\modelsim_ae\win32aloem).
Set up NativeLink for your testbench:
- On the Assignments menu, click EDA Tool Settings, and then select Simulation.
- In the Simulation settings dialog box, under NativeLink settings, select Compile test bench, then click Test Benches. The Test Bench dialog box appears.
- Select the testbench TB1 and click Edit. (The settings shown are similar to the ones shown in Figure 1.) Click OK.
Start RTL simulation:
- From the Processing menu, select Start and then click Start Analysis and Elaboration.
- From the Tools menu, select EDA Simulation Tool and then click Run EDA RTL Simulation.
Start post-fit gate-level timing simulation:
- Compile your project by clicking Compile in the Quartus II toolbar.
- From the Tools menu, select EDA Simulation Tool and click Run EDA Gate Level Simulation.