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Valued Contributor III
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What is wrong with Quartus II?

Hello, 

I currently spend more time waiting for Quartus II than conceiving and compiling a whole project. 

I systematically have to wait for minutes each time a compilation is over, or QSys generated, or whatever action is performed, before being able to get back hand on the application and thus going further. 

Most of the time it ends by forcing the application to quit and starting it fresh again (and go through a 'clean project' just in case, but not sure it is very efficient...). 

 

Quartus II has never been very user friendly, but nowadays it is absolutely unusable. 

What to do? 

 

I'm running Quartus 17.0 build 595 lite edition on a windows 10 computer, quad core i7, 2.50 GHz, 16 GB RAM. 

 

Any advice? 

Thanks 

-jylo
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Valued Contributor III
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have you got a dead server listed in the LM_LICENCE_FILE? in the past I have had this cause lock-ups in various programs. 

Quartus has always locked up for a couple minutes at the end of a larger compile. You just have wait for it to finish.
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Valued Contributor III
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Thanks Tricky for your feedback. 

This is actually a fresh install on this computer with a brand new license file... 

It looks like Quartus is stuck somewhere with a CPU consumption of about 15% but nothing else (apparently no disk access). 

-jylo
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Valued Contributor III
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--- Quote Start ---  

I'm running Quartus 17.0 build 595 lite edition on a windows 10 computer, quad core i7, 2.50 GHz, 16 GB RAM. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Hi ... am seeing very similar things. Currently I'm using Quartus Prime Lite 16.0, 17.0 and 17.1 for various comparisons and benchmarks. I've been using Intel's "MyFirstFPGA" as a benchmark, with command-line launching on Ubuntu 16.04 server Linux. 

 

git clone --quiet https://github.com/intel-iot-devkit/terasic-de10-nano-kit cd terasic-de10-nano-kit/tutorials/MyFirstFPGA ./build_example.sh  

 

On my normal computer this takes 6 minutes (!), so I'm using rent-by-the-hour servers at AWS. with best performance about a minute. 

 

Following all with "Info: Version 17.0.0 Build 595 04/25/2017 SJ Lite Edition" 

70.02 sec aws t2.large ( 8 Gbyte, 2 x Xeon CPU E5-2676 v3 @ 2.40GHz) 64.65 sec aws c4.2xlarge (16 Gbyte, 8 x Xeon CPU E5-2666 v3 @ 2.90GHz) 432.07 sec intel dn2800mt ( 4 Gbyte, 4 x Atom CPU N2800 @ 1.86GHz)  

 

I found this thread at Reddit very good on the same topic, which suggests some interesting alterenatives to using Quartus all day https://www.reddit.com/r/fpga/comments/7gsqro/quartus_turn_off_optimization/ 

 

Why does it take so long? Well, during solving of another problem I ran strace (http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/strace.1.html) on the generate portion of qsys and found 17,506,064 one-byte write system calls, to make the files  

soc_system/synthesis/soc_system_hps_0_hps.svd[ and soc_system.regmap: 

4651 open("/home/ubuntu/DE10_NANO_SoC_GHRD/F/synthesis/soc_system_hps_0_hps.svd", O_WRONLY|O_CREAT|O_TRUNC, 0666) = 180 4651 write(180, "<", 1) = 1 4651 write(180, "?", 1) = 1 4651 write(180, "x", 1) = 1 4651 write(180, "m", 1) = 1 4651 write(180, "l", 1) = 1 4651 write(180, " ", 1) = 1 (17.5m more ...!)  

 

I did some quick tests and running the writes together would save about 10 seconds in this one optimisation. I do hope it's not indicative of general code quality. 

 

For what it's worth, I've found 16.0 much more responsive. It does feel like command line is much better for these long "batch" processes. 

 

Kind regards, 

Jonathan.
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Valued Contributor III
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Which compilation phase is signaled? How does the stuck show in compilation report - flow elapsed time?

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Valued Contributor III
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Hi FvM, 

It's not during compilation phase, but after. 

For example I do a compilation, it ends normally after about 15 minutes. Then when trying to select 'Convert Programming Files...' or 'Quartus programmer' or even 'Signal Tap', the IDE is no more responsive. No way to click on anything. it's completely stuck. Just have to wait sometimes for minutes. And sometimes I'm not patient enough and then I do kill the application. 

Other example, after a generation in QSYS, it may take minutes before I'm able to click on the start compilation button... 

 

Lately I've to kill the application many times a day. 

-jylo
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Highlighted
Valued Contributor III
59 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

Hi ... am seeing very similar things. Currently I'm using Quartus Prime Lite 16.0, 17.0 and 17.1 for various comparisons and benchmarks. I've been using Intel's "MyFirstFPGA" as a benchmark, with command-line launching on Ubuntu 16.04 server Linux. 

 

On my normal computer this takes 6 minutes (!), so I'm using rent-by-the-hour servers at AWS. with best performance about a minute. 

 

Following all with "Info: Version 17.0.0 Build 595 04/25/2017 SJ Lite Edition" 

70.02 sec aws t2.large ( 8 Gbyte, 2 x Xeon CPU E5-2676 v3 @ 2.40GHz) 64.65 sec aws c4.2xlarge (16 Gbyte, 8 x Xeon CPU E5-2666 v3 @ 2.90GHz) 432.07 sec intel dn2800mt ( 4 Gbyte, 4 x Atom CPU N2800 @ 1.86GHz)  

 

I found this thread at Reddit very good on the same topic, which suggests some interesting alterenatives to using Quartus all day https://www.reddit.com/r/fpga/comments/7gsqro/quartus_turn_off_optimization/ 

 

Why does it take so long? Well, during solving of another problem i ran strace (http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/strace.1.html) on the generate portion of qsys and found 17,506,064 one-byte write system calls, to make the files  

soc_system/synthesis/soc_system_hps_0_hps.svd[ and soc_system.regmap 

 

I did some quick tests and running the writes together would save about 10 seconds in this one optimisation. I do hope it's not indicative of general code quality. 

 

For what it's worth, I've found 16.0 much more responsive. It does feel like command line is much better for these long "batch" processes. 

 

Kind regards, 

Jonathan. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

So has your Windows 10 system have the latest Meltdown/Spectre patches applied?
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Valued Contributor III
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Have you tried running the same Quartus commands on the Windows command line, instead of using the GUI, and tried disabling your virus scanner? 

 

BTW Jonathan, I get the following results from my Windows 10 PC, i7-8550U 4 Core 1.8Ghz 8GB, using cygwin64 and Quartus 17.1 lite: 

time ./build_example.sh 

real 1m34.358s 

user 0m0.076s 

sys 0m0.153s
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Valued Contributor III
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Once again, my problem is NOT a problem of compilation time! 

It is a problem of frozen GUI AFTER the compilation process, or QSYS generation process, or SignalTap process, or ... whatever process HAS completed. 

Compilation time is long, as it has always been the case (and during that time we can even do anything else). 

But once the compilation is over, you are eager to test it, and it is very frustrating to be stuck in front of a non responsive GUI, just waiting that it allows you to click on the next button... 

 

Maybe should I definitely abandon the GUI... I'm just not that much used with command lines... 

-jylo
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Valued Contributor III
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--- Quote Start ---  

your Windows 10 system 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

... it's Ubuntu 16.04 Linux. But yes, those patches for whatever system will make the system calls even more expensive. Kind regards, Jonathan.
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Valued Contributor III
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--- Quote Start ---  

NOT a problem of compilation time! It is a problem of frozen GUI AFTER the compilation process 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Jylo, I confess I'd misunderstood, apologies. I gave up on the GUI on the Ubuntu system because it didn't appear to be reliably reporting the progress of the sub-processes. 

 

Jonathan.
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Valued Contributor III
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I didn't yet notice a similar problem with the Quartus II Windows GUI. I'm only occasionally using 17.1, most active projects (Cyclone III) are still on 13.1. 

 

Besides the hint to possible license server issues given by Tricky, did you check with a previous version?
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Valued Contributor III
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Are you sure the compilation is completely finished? Check the status. It might still be generating programming files or you've accidentally enabled the generation of something by the EDA Netlist Writer (files for 3rd-party tools).

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Valued Contributor III
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I didn't try with former versions because, for various reason, I had to remove all previous installs on my computers... 

But, indeed, I can't tell it is specifically due to the Quartus version. 

I'm more suspecting some weird behavior between Quartus, maybe Java and the OS for this particular computer. 

 

For sure Quartus II is doing something, but the completion message is displayed and the progress bar says 100% completed. 

I'll check for whatever 3rd-party tools activated that could be favorably removed. 

Thanks for the advice 

 

-jylo
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Valued Contributor III
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BTW, I'm definitely sure that the compilation process is over because sometimes I can even program the device run some tests but when I come back to Quartus and for example click on the menu to check or change the settings, it is completely stuck and I need to kill it to get back hand on it (it just happens to occur!). 

-jylo
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Valued Contributor III
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The assembler and timequest can be run in parrellel, are you sure timequest isnt still running? 

Is there an up to date timing report in the folder?
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Valued Contributor III
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Yes, completely sure: everything shows 100% in the Tasks window and as I just said, it can occurs hours after the compilation process has completed... 

Last case: I compiled the project, went to Nios II to rebuild the application, programmed the device, detected something was wrong and thus wanted to open the settings window under Quartus... simply no way! 

CPU usage at 17% about and nothing happening.
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Valued Contributor III
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Do you have the option for a dialog box to appear when compilation is finished? If that's turned on, you have to click OK in the dialog which could have gotten hidden behind other windows. I always turn that option off and just rely on a system beep to indicate when compilation is finished.

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Valued Contributor III
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Well, the problem is not a problem of compilation at all! 

The problem is that I spend more time waiting for Quartus to allow me doing something that waiting for a compilation to complete (even compilation times are already rather long though...). 

Example of the day: I've done a compilation (which I'm completely sure is over), converted programing files, programed the device (it's a MAX10), ran the system (can thus confirm that compilation was completed), found a problem and then came back to Quartus in order to add lines to signal tap, to verify my timing. And this is the start of long long waiting time. 

Windows mention (Not Responding) in the application bar. Each time I click on whatever button, I get a rolling cursor for minutes before the action can be performed... 

Only solution: kill the application and start it again. 

I'm thus good for a couple actions and then back in troubles... 

 

I think this will end by a clean re-install of Quartus... but not even sure this will help.
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Valued Contributor III
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Well, I probably got badly inspired... :((( 

I took opportunity of a little less stress over the weekend to uninstall Quatus 17.0 and install a fresh Quatus 17.1... 

Very bad idea!!! 

No more way to compile the BSP and I systematically get the error message: 

./drives/inc/iniche/ins_tse_mac.h:34:27: fatal error: altera_msgdma.h: No such file or directory... 

 

Now reinstalling Quartus 17.0... :(
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