Timing Analyzer GUI Special Features

The Timing Analzyer provides an intuitive and easy-to-use graphic user interface (GUI) that allows you to efficiently constrain and analyze your designs (see Figure 1).

The Timing Analyzer GUI includes the following panes and features:

Figure 1. The Timing Analyzer GUI

View Pane

The View pane is the main viewing area for the timing analysis results. You can use the View pane to view summary reports, custom reports, or histograms. Figure 2 shows the View pane after you select the Summary (Setup) report from the Report pane.

Figure 2. Summary (Setup) Report

View Pane: Splitting

For the proper analysis of timing results, comparison of multiple reports is extremely important. To facilitate multiple report viewing, the View pane supports window splitting. Window splitting divides the View pane into multiple windows, allowing you to view different reports side-by-side.

You can split the View pane into multiple windows using the split icon located in the upper right hand corner of the View pane. Drag the icon in different directions to generate additional window views in the View pane.

 

Split View Pane Horizontally

For example, if you drag the split icon down, the View pane creates a new window above the current window (See Figure 3).

View a 5-second flash demo on how to split window horizontally (a new window will open)

Figure 3. Splitting the View Pane Horizontally

Split View Pane to the Left

View a 5-second flash demo on how to split window vertically (a new window will open)

If you drag the split icon to the left, the View pane creates a new window to the right of the current window (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Splitting the View Pane to the Left

Split View Pane Diagonally

View a 10-second flash demo on how to split window diagonally (a new window will open)

If you drag the split icon diagonally, the View pane creates three new windows in the View pane (see Figure 5).

Drag the split icon downward to create a new window directly below the current window.

Figure 5. Splitting the View Pane Diagonally

Removing Split View Panes

View a 5-second flash demo on how to remove split windows (a new window will open)

You can remove windows that you create in the View pane using the split icon by dragging the border of the window over the window you wish to remove.

Figure 6. Removing Split View Panes

Tasks Pane

Use the Tasks pane to access common commands such as netlist setup report generation.

Two common commands are located in the Tasks pane: Open Project and Write SDC File. The other commands are contained in the following folders:

Note: Each command in the Tasks pane has an equivalent tool command language (Tcl) command that is displayed in the Console pane when the command runs.

Open Project and Write SDC File

To open a project in the Timing Analyzer, double-click the Open Project task. If you launch the Timing Analyzer from the Quartus II software GUI, the project opens automatically.

You can add or remove constraints from the timing netlist after the Timing Analyzer reads the initial Synopsys Design Constraints (SDC) file. After the file is read, the initial SDC file becomes outdated compared to the constraints in the Timing Analyzer. Use the Write SDC File command to generate an SDC file that is up-to-date and reflects the current state of constraints in the Timing Analyzer.

Netlist Setup Folder

The Netlist Setup folder contains tasks that are used to set up the timing netlist for timing analysis. The three tasks located in this folder are listed in Table 1.

 

Table 1. Netlist Setup Folder Commands

Netlist Setup Task Description
Create Timing Netlist Creates a netlist that the Timing Analyzer uses to perform static timing analysis. This netlist is used only for timing analysis by the Timing Analyzer. (1)
Read SDC File Applies constraints to the timing netlist. By default, the Read SDC File command reads the <current revision>.sdc file. (2)
Update Timing Netlist Updates the timing netlist after you enter constraints. Use this command if any constraints are added or removed from the design.

Notes:

  1. Always create a timing netlist before you perform static timing analysis with the Timing Analyzer timing analyzer.
  2. Use the read_sdc command to read an SDC file that is not associated with the current revision of the design.

Reports Folder

The Reports folder contains commands to generate timing summary reports of the static timing analysis results. The nine commands located in this folder are summarized in Table 2.

Table 2. Reports Folder Commands

Report Task Description
Report Setup SummaryGenerates a clock setup summary report for all clocks in the design.
Report Hold SummaryGenerates a clock hold summary report for all clocks in the design.
Report Recovery SummaryGenerates a recovery summary report for all clocks in the design.
Report Removal SummaryGenerates a removal summary report for all clocks in the design.
Report ClocksGenerates a summary report of all created clocks in the design.
Report Clock transfersGenerates a summary report of all clock transfers detected in the design.
Report Minimum Pulse WidthGenerates a summary report of all minimum pulse widths in the design.
Report SDCGenerates a summary report of the constraints read from the SDC file.
Report Unconstrained PathsGenerates a summary report of all unconstrained paths in the design.

Macros Folder

The Macros folder contains commands that perform custom tasks available in the Timing Analyzer utility package. These commands are listed in Table 3.

Table 3. Macros Folder Commands

Macro Task Descriptio
Report All SummariesRuns the Report Setup Summary, Report Hold Summary, Report Recovery Summary, Report Removal Summary, and Minimum Pulse Width commands to generate all summary reports.
Report Top Failing PathsGenerates a report containing a list of top failing paths.
Create All Clock HistogramsRuns the Create Slack Histogram command to generate a clock histogram for all clocks in the design.

Console Pane

The Console pane is both a message center for the Timing Analzyer, and an interactive Tcl. It has two tabs: the Console tab and the History tab. All messages (such as info and warning messages) appear in this pane.

The Console tab allows you to enter and run SDC and Tcl commands. It also shows the Tcl equivalent of all commands that you run in the Tasks pane.

The History tab records all the SDC and Tcl commands that have run.

Note: To run the commands located in the History tab after the timing netlist has been updated, right-click the command, and click Re-run.

You can copy Tcl commands from the Console and History tabs to easily generate Tcl scripts to perform timing analysis.

Report Pane

Use the Report pane to access all reports generated from the Tasks pane, and any custom report commands. When you select a report in the Report pane, it is shown in the active window in the View pane.

Note: If a report is out of date with respect to the current constraints, a “?” icon is shown next to the report.

Constraints Menu

You can use the Constraints menu to access commonly used constraints, exceptions, and commands. The following commands are available on the Constraints menu:

  • Create Clock
  • Create Generated Clock
  • Set Clock Latency
  • Set Clock Uncertainty
  • Remove Clock

For example, you can use the Create Clock dialog box to create clocks in your design.

Figure 7. Create Clock Dialog Box

The following commands specify timing exceptions, and are also available on the Constraints menu:

  • Set False Path
  • Set Multicycle Path
  • Set Maximum Delay
  • Set Minimum Delay

All the dialog boxes used to specify timing constraints or exceptions from commands have an SDC command field. This field contains the SDC file constraint that is run when you click OK.

Note: All commands and constraints created in the Timing Analyzer user interface are echoed in the Console pane.

The constraints specified with Constraints menu commands are not saved to the current SDC file automatically. You must run the Write SDC File command to save your constraints. The following SDC commands are available on the Constraints menu in the Timing Analzyer:

  • Generate SDC File from QSF
  • Read SDC File
  • Write SDC File

The Generate SDC File from QSF command runs a Tcl script that converts the Classic Timing Analyzer constraints in a QSF file to an SDC file for the Timing Analyzer. The file <current revision>.sdc is created by this command.

Name Finder

Use the Name Finder dialog box to select the target for any constraints or exceptions in the Timing Analzyer GUI. The Name Finder allows you to specify collections, filters, and filter options. The Collections field in the Name Finder dialog box allows you to specify the type of name to select. To select the type, in the Collection list, select the desired collection application program interface (API), including:

  • get_cells
  • get_clocks
  • get_keepers
  • get_nets
  • get_nodes
  • get_pins
  • get_ports
  • get_registers

Note: For more information on the various collection APIs, refer to Collections.

The Filter field allows you to filter names based on your own criteria including wildcards characters. You can further refine your results using the following filter options:

  • Case-insensitive
  • Hierarchical
  • Compatibility mode

The Name Finder dialog box also provides an SDC command field that displays the currently selected name search command. You can copy the value from this field and use it for other constraint target fields. The Name Finder dialog box is shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Name Finder Dialog Box