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Designing with Intel Quartus Prime - Essentials

Standard Level - 2 days

This is the first part (days 1 and 2) of the full 5-day Designing with Intel Quartus Prime course below. 

For specific variants of this class please contact Doulos.

Designing with Intel Quartus Prime

(formerly Altera Quartus II)

Standard and Advanced Level - 5 days

This intense and very practical training course covers all the essential concepts and techniques required to design Intel® FPGAs, including the use of the design, implementation, verification and debugging tools that are part of the Quartus Prime environment. Learn how to avoid common design problems, save time, boost efficiency and gain tips and insights from an experienced Intel designer and expert tutor. 

The course is designed to meet the needs of all users, from those new to Intel Quartus Prime, to expert designers looking to maximise the potential of their Intel FPGA designs.

The following learning path shows the most popular module combinations to help you make the optimal choice of modules for your training needs.

Not sure how much training you need? 
Looking to attend specific modules? 

Please contact your local Doulos team to discuss your requirements.

Part of a team? 
On-site training is also available to optimize the course to your precise needs, experience, and project context.

Existing users who wish to become more productive by extending their knowledge of Quartus Prime and exploiting the latest features and techniques. 

Design engineers who are new to Quartus Prime, and want quickly to get fully up to speed with all the key features of Quartus Prime. Please see the pre-requisites below. 

  • Digital and FPGA Design competence
  • A prior knowledge of Verilog or VHDL languages is expected but not compulsory

In addition for the Advanced module: 

  • Solid Background on Static Timing Analysis usingTimeQuest, some experience with Quartus Prime and its features (or previous appropriate training - for example: prior attendence of days 1-2). Please discuss your experience with Doulos prior to booking.
  • How to make best use of the full capability of the Quartus Prime software to implement your design.
  • Reports and Clock Constraints, IO Constraints and Synchronous Interfaces, Source Synchronous Interfaces and Asynchronous Paths and Exceptions using TimeQuest.
  • Use Incremental Compilation techniques, including creating LogicLock™ regions (Floorplanning) and Partitions to reduce compile times and more easily achieve timing closure.
  • Estimating, analysing and optimising power consumption.
  • Improve productivity and quality by automating the design flow using scripts.
  • Functional and timing simulation using ModelSim®.
  • Debugging designs using SignalTap® Prime and SignalProbe.
  • Advanced TimeQuest - Use of Tcl, Timing exceptions and Source-synchronous Interfaces.
  • Timing Analysis for LVDS links
  • Timing Closure, Incremental Compilation and Partial Reconfiguration
  • Concept and use of LogicLock Regions for Floorplanning

Enquire now to book for the full training course, or please select the module(s) you require from the learning path or links above. Not sure what you need? Use the Quartus Prime Learning Path above to help you decide or read on to see full details of the content.

Appropriate topics are followed by practical hands-on exercises.


Designing with Quartus Prime - Foundation (Day 1)

  • Introduction to Quartus Prime, the Intel Environment and Intel Devices
    Quick Introduction to the Intel offer, the Main Devices families and the Design Environment. Operating Systems supported and Roadmaps. Last version new features.

  • The Quartus Prime Design Flow - Part I
    User Interface, Environment, Design Entry Methods (HDLs & Text Editors, Megawizard, Schematics and FSM Graphical Entry, Memory Editor, 3rd Party EDA Tools), Project Creation, Device selection, Management basics. Main steps in the Design Flow from entry to compilation.
    Practical Exercise

  • The Quartus Prime Design Flow - Part II
    Constraints and Assignment Editor, Pin assignments, Pin Planner, CSV Import/Export, Place & Route, Fitter control. Download / target programming, JTag chains, dealing with composite chains, using JTag Indirect Programming (JIC), JTag Server and remote use through Ethernet.
    Practical Exercise on FPGA board
  • The Quartus Prime Design Flow - Part III – Timing Analysis Principles & Introduction to SDC Constraints
    Reminders to Timing Analysis Basics, Introduction to the Synopsys Design Constraints format (SDC), SDC Survival Guide, sufficient for Full Synchronous Designs.

  • The Quartus Prime Design Flow - Part IV – FPGA Downloading
    Download / target programming, JTag chains, dealing with composite chains, using JTag Indirect Programming (JIC), JTag Server and remote use through Ethernet.
    Practical Exercise on FPGA board, for SDC and Downloading
  • Advanced use of Quartus Prime
    Version-compatible databases. Project archival. Creating and comparing Revisions. Using the RTL, Technology & FSM Viewers, Cross-probing. Intelligent Message suppression. Design Rule Checking. Optimization Advisors.
    Practical Exercise


Designing with Quartus Prime - Software Debug and Analysis Tools (Day 2)

  • Design Flow Automation - Scripting
    For improved productivity and quality, design tasks and project management can be automated and secured with command-line scripts and Tcl scripts: Project creation, file management, archival, cleanup, compilation, bitstream creation, result testing, etc...
    Practical Exercise on FPGA board 

  • Chip Planner 
    Concept, applications, use.

  • Power Estimation and Optimization
    Using Powerplay, Early estimation + refined vector-based statistical estimation. Using ModelSim for post-layout timing simulation, using the Msim GUI, and automating with a Tcl Script. Understanding the principles of power reduction at RTL and P&R, using the Power Advisor.
    Practical Exercise : using ModelSim and estimating the Power consumption

  • SSN Analyzer 
    Concept, applications, use.

  • In-System Memory Contents Editor + In-System Sources & Probes
    Discover these very useful tools, free and easy to use. Concept, Applications, How-To.
    Practical Exercise on FPGA board

  • SignalTap II
    Embedded Real Time Logic Analyzers to debug the design in real time. Concepts, creating the STP file, implementation, applications, preparation, compilation, static and dynamic configuration, buffer types, triggering, sampling, data storage & analysis, the PowerUp Trigger, How-Tos. Viewing Real Time captures of State Machines. Scripting.
    Practical Exercise on FPGA board

  • Advanced SignalTap II
    Advanced Features of Signal Tap for more complex designs and situations : Storage Qualifier, the PowerUp Trigger, State-Based Trigger flow, Mnemonic Tables, Tapping from Technology Map Viewers. Scripting.

  • SignalProbe, Logic Analyzer Interface
    Take advantage of these (Jtag or not) Instrumentation debugging tools that come with Quartus Prime at no extra cost to drive an external Logic.



Designing with Quartus Prime - Timing Analysis (Day 3)

  • TimeQuest Part I: Introduction, Concepts and User Interface.
    Reminders to Timing Analysis Basics. Introduction to the Synopsys Design Constraints format (SDC), STA from the Graphical User Interface and from SDC files. Slack Calculations. Multi-corner Analysis. The TimeQuest STA practical flow. Base Flow with Quartus Prime.
    Practical Exercise.

  • TimeQuest Part II: Reports and Clock Constraints
    Timing Reports, Advanced Reporting, Waveform Analysis, Tcl Scripts, Custom Reports. Cross probing with Quartus tools (Chip Planner, Technology Map Viewer), Synopsys Design Constraints format (SDC): terminology and syntax, Constraining Base, Generated and Virtual Clocks, PLL constraints, Clock Latency, Clock Uncertainty, Metastability & Jitter analysis.
    Practical Exercise

  • TimeQuest Part III: IO Constraints and Synchronous Interfaces
    Constraining Combinatorial interfaces, IOs Minimum and Maximum Delays, use of Virtual Clocks, Pin Load and Avanced IO Timing, Reporting IO Timings.
    Practical Exercise

  • TimeQuest Part IV: Asynchronous Paths and Exceptions
    Advanced Concepts, Recovery-Removal Analysis, Asynchronous and False Paths, Clock Domains, Crossing management, Clock Multiplexing, Multi-Cycles Paths.
    Practical Exercise

  • Timing Optimization Options
    Optimization options, Synthesis Options, Timing Driven Synthesis, WYSIWIG Re-synthesis, Physical synthesis, re-timing, Register duplication. Pros & Cons. Fitter Options.

  • Design Space Explorer. Concept & use.


Designing with Quartus Prime - Advanced Timing Analysis (Day 4)

  • Part I – SDC Reminders and Use of Tcl for TimeQuest
    Quick reminders on SDC Basics Timings Constraints. Use of Tcl for advanced and custom Timing Analysis, Command-Line, Custom Reports. Use of Tcl for creation of advanced SDC constraints.

  • Part II – Timing Exceptions
    Advanced concepts on Multicycles Constraints (Setup, Hold). Management of the Timing Exceptions and their Priorities in TimeQuest. Clock Enables analysis, Fanout Registers Constraints. Specific custom reports for the Exceptions.
    Practical Exercise
  • Part III – Source-Synchronous Interfaces - SDR
    Introduction to Source Synchronous Interfaces. Concepts and use. SDR and DDR schemes, Centeraligned and Edge-aligned. SDC Constraints for SDR Source-Synchronous Input and Output Interfaces. Different case of analysis (FPGA-centric or Board System), Virtual Clocks, PLLs management. Associated Timing Reports.
    Practical Exercise
  • Part IV – Source-Synchronous Interfaces - DDR
    SDC Constraints for DDR Source-Synchronous Input and Output Interfaces. Different case of analysis (FPGA-centric or Board System), PLLs/DDIO management. Exceptions. Associated Timing Reports.
    Two Practical Exercises (one optional)
  • Part V – Feedback Design
    Concept, analysis and associated constraints. Clock and Data cases. Associated Timing Reports.
    Practical Example
  • Part VI – Timing Analysis for LVDS links
    Analysis regarding the hardware used (SERDES, ALT_LVDS, etc …) Transmission and Recption, DPA or not. Constraints, analysis, and Associated Timing Reports.
    Optional Practical Exercise


Designing with Quartus Prime - Timing Closure, Incremental Compilation and Partial Reconfiguration (Day 5)

  • Optimization Techniques to improve Timing Closure
    Advanced Options, Fitter Aggressiveness, Clocks and Global Signals Management (Global / Regional), High Fan-Out Signals, Routing Congestion, Resource Balancing.

  • Part I – Incremental Flow Introduction
    Concepts, Advantages, How-Tos. Techniques to partition a design and achieve better results for complex or challenging designs.

  • Part II – The Partitions and the Top-Down Flow
    Partitions Definition, Recommendations. Critical Paths and Clock Domain Crossing Management, Wrapper Files. Incremental Compilation Advisor. Partition Netlist Types, choice for each compilation. Design Partition Planner. Early or Late Partitioning. Black Boxes Management. SignalTap and the Incremental Compilation. Compilation Time Reduction, Performance Preservation. Top Down Flow.
    Practical Exercise

  • Part III – Floorplanning with LogicLock Regions
    Concept and use of LogicLock Regions for Floorplanning. Definition and creation of the different types of regions, use with the Incremental Flow. Early or Late Floorplan. Early Timing Estimate Tool.

  • Part IV – Team-Based Flows
    Implementation of the Team-Based flow, especially for complex projects. Use of Virtual Pins. QXP Netlists. Black Boxes Management. Use of scripts. Recommendations and Restrictions
    Practical Exercise

  • Part V – Partial Reconfiguration
    Principles and How-Tos. For Which Projects/Devices. Impact on the Conception Flow.

Looking for team-based training, or other locations?

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