Profiling Nios II Systems

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Profiling Nios II Systems

Profiling Nios II Systems

This example walks you through the two different methods that can be used to profile your Nios II system in terms of resource usage.

Users are adviced to go through this page before starting the tutorials in Profiling Nios II Systems.pdf. The Nios II Embedded Evaluation Kit (NEEK) , Cyclone III Edition is used in this tutorial but the tutorial can be applied for other Development Kits as well.

Example Contents

This example contains tutorials for users to measure the performance of their Nios II systems using the: a) GNU Profiler b) Performance_counter

The contents in the attached zip file is required to run through the tutorial. The source files can be found in the following directories :


Contains the source files for Software Build Tools flow for use with Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse.

-- The steps to use the SBT_flow source files are mentioned in Profiling Nios II Systems.pdf.


Contains the ./create-this-app source files for the CLI flow to be used with the Nios II Command Line Interface.

-- The steps to use the CLI_flow source files Profiling Nios II Systems.pdf.

What the programs do:

a) GNU Profiler - The GNU Profiler provides an overview of the resource usage for the entire system. It adds overhead evenly through the system and users can track processor utilization based on the system clock timer.

b) Performance Counter - The performance counters and timestamp interval timers are utilized in this program to measure the overall performance of a Nios II system, more precisely compared to the GNU profiler. It allows users to identify the code sections that use the most processor time.

Tools Requirements

This design requires the following:

  • Quartus II software version 9.1 or later, including SOPC Builder
  • Nios II Embedded Design Suite version 9.1 or later
  • Understanding of the Nios II system and timers in embedded systems

More Information

For more information about how profiling works in Profiling Nios II Systems and ways to troubleshoot several problems that might occur during profiling, please refer to Application Note 391 which is available at


This design is provided as-is and is not supported by Altera.

Version history
Last update:
‎06-27-2019 12:32 AM
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