Design and Support Resources Guide

Read Me First! – Getting Started with Altera

A starting place to quickly understand and use Altera products, collateral, and resources — available in a half hour Online Course or a PDF version of the training. The information is divided into 5 sections which correspond to a typical design cycle. You will learn how to find and navigate key resources available to get your design to market as fast as possible.



    Information to help you select the right devices and development tools

  • Product Literature
    • Our literature and technical documentation section lists handbooks (that include data sheets), application notes, user guides, manuals, pin connection guidelines, pin-out files, errata sheets, release notes, reliability reports, and more. You'll find product information, like our product selector guides, end market and corporate literature, as well as documentation on our FPGA, CPLD, and ASIC devices and our development software, intellectual property (IP) cores, and technology. You can also request literature services such as subscriptions to weekly technical updates on new or changed documents, eNewsletters, and email announcements for updates on Altera® products, training, upcoming events, and more.

  • Devices
    • Product information on each Altera device series. You can use the left column navigation bar to see a summary of features and capabilities and descriptions about each device series. Or you can select a family in the series from the listings on the page. For example, you can view the About Stratix® Series page or go directly to information on the Stratix IV FPGA family.

      With Altera's Product Selector tool, perform a parametric search to filter your FPGA, CPLD, and ASIC device selection, and then compare features and specifications to help select the proper device for your application.

  • Example Designs
    • Ready-to-use design examples to deliver efficient solutions to design problems. Use these examples to instantiate individual building blocks for use in a system design. For example, variations of external memory controller applications targeting Stratix and Cyclone® FPGA families. Additional design examples can be found as associated with application notes and user guides.

      An index of complete system reference designs using Altera IP cores and tools: PCIe, SRIO, SDI, Triple-Speed Ethernet and other high-speed interfaces, memory controllers, embedded processors, and digital signal processing (DSP). Downloadable with an myAltera account.Please log in to access

  • End Market Solutions
    • High-level, end market solutions for automotive, computer and storage, industrial, military, wireless, broadcast, consumer, medical, test and measurement, and wireline applications.

  • System Building
    • Design embedded systems with the Quartus II development software and SOPC Builder tool. Build and simulate DSP systems using MathWorks/Simulink-to-FPGA DSP Builder design tool.

  • Development Kits
    • Wide range of Altera and Partner development kits to address a variety of applications. Many development kits feature a standard host interface that accepts high-speed mezzanine cards (HSMC) daughter cards. Applications include PCIe®, Ethernet, DVI, and more.

      With Altera's Product Selector tool, perform a search to find the development kit for your application.

  • Buy Online
    • Online store for Altera devices, tools, development kits, programming hardware, and cables.


Downloads and Training


    Prepare to design with Altera® products.

  • Download Center
    • Download Quartus® II software tools (latest and legacy), Nios® II Embedded Design Suite, ModelSim®-Altera, intellectual property (IP), license daemons, Gerber files and PCB footprints, SPICE and IBIS models, device programming software, and more.

  • Get a License
    • Review licensing options and get a license for software, intellectual property (IP), and development kits for products you have downloaded or purchased from Altera. Requires a myAltera account to access.Please log in to access

  • Altera Training Resources
    • Training Curricula
      • Series of courses for targeted designers – FPGA, CPLD, ASIC, embedded systems, ASIC-to-FPGA, digital signal processing (DSP), and system-on-a-chip (SOC).

    • Online Training (Free)
      • Review the technical training catalog for free online training on topics ranging from tool usage to digital signal processing (DSP) filters, DDR implementation, and more.

    • Online Demonstration Center (Free)
      • An online demonstration center providing quick, free demonstrations to introduce Quartus® II software tools and Nios® II Processor embedded tools to new users.


Design Resources


    Help for every phase of product development

  • Design Phase
    • Board Design and Signal Integrity
      • Power Management Resources
        • Power management resources for estimating power at various stages of your design. PowerPlay EPE tools are for use before or during the design process to estimate power usage. The PowerPlay power analyzer tools are for accurate power estimation after the design is complete.

      • Power Distribution Network (PDN) Tool
      • Board Design Guidelines
        • Consolidated information on all aspects of board design, including transceiver design, PDN, power dissipation and thermal management, simultaneous switching noise (SSN), PCB layout, signal integrity, JTAG debugging and configuration, external memory controllers, and more.

      • Device Layout Review Worksheets
        • Device Layout Review Worksheets are available for Altera transceiver-based devices to guide your PCB layout in following Altera’s recommendation – a great tool for your PCB layout design review. Note: These worksheets contain transceiver device specific information such as power rail voltage specifications, but they can also be used as a general guideline for non-transceiver devices in that family.

      • Signal Integrity Center
        • IBIS Models, SPICE Models, board-level and device-level signal integrity tools, SSN estimator, training, and partners.

    • Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) Management
      • Summary and comparison matrix of PLL resources and features available in Stratix and Cyclone device families.

    • HardCopy Design
      • Summary and comparison matrix of HardCopy series ASICs and links to the Hardcopy IV ASIC family available with 6.5+ Gbps transceivers.


Support Help

  • Knowledge Database (KDB)
    • Most recent solutions, known issues, troubleshooters, and self-help tools. Also access to advanced search, search tips, and the KDB Browser to search solutions by product category, area, and sub-area.

  • Altera Forum
    • The Altera Forum ( brings Altera users together to learn from each other. At the forum, you can share projects, news, and ideas related to Altera® products.

  • Altera Wiki
    • The Altera Wiki ( is a community site for Altera users to collaborate on user guides, design tips, and frequently asked questions.

  • mySupport
    • Submit a service request (SR) to an applications engineer. Requires an account to access.Please log in to access

  • Contacting Altera
    • Altera contact information, including sales offices, distributors and representatives, plus corporate office addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses.


  1. Please log in to accessIndicates a myAltera account is required to access the information.