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Can't get Quartus Prime Standard 16.1 to output SDF

Honored Contributor I

I'm trying to get Quartus Prime Standard 16.1 to output SDF in order to do a gate-level simulation (in Modelsim). I have a detailed set of instructions, which were last updated for Quartus (II/Prime?) 15.0. I am following these, but no SDF is output. Has something changed since 15.0? 


Needless to say, I have gone through all the settings and have searched the web and this forum for help. But no joy. 


Here is the relevant bit of my instructions: 



  1. setup the project to use timequest:  

    • select menu assignments> settings...  

    • on the left, select the sub-category timequest timing analyzer  

    • type counter.sdc as the sdc filename and click add.  

    • click ok  



  2. synthesize the counter using quartus prime’s built-in vhdl synthesis tool:  

    • double-click analysis & synthesis in the tasks pane on the left of quartus prime’s main window.  



  3. next, use timequest to create the sdc (timing constraints) file:  

    • select menu tools>timequest timing analyzer (or click the toolbar icon – it looks like a blue clock.)  

    • select menu netlist>create timing netlist...  

    • in the create timing netlist dialog, select post-map as the input netlist and click ok.  



  4. you will now enter a clock constraint.  

    • select menu constraints>create clock… to open the create clock dialog.  

    • you can leave the clock name field blank.  

    • enter a period of 10ns  

    • click the button with three dots that is to the right of the target field.  

    • in the name finder, with collection set to get_ports, and filter: *, click on list.  

    • double-click on "clock" (or click once and then click on the ">").  

    • you should see the clock as the only selected name. click ok.  

    • click run in the create clock dialog.  



  5. at this point you might add more constraints, including ones for i/o timing. for simplicity, we will not be doing that.  

  6. now save the sdc file that you have created:  

    • select menu constraints>write sdc file… and type counter.sdc (the same file name you entered earlier).  

    • exit from timequest  



  7. in quartus prime, "compile" is used to refer to the whole process of implementing a design, including synthesis and place & route.  

    • click the start compilation button.  

    • when compilation has completed, click ok.  



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3 Replies
Honored Contributor I

What device? I believe gate-level timing simulations are not supported in most newer devices. They take too long and don't show anything that wouldn't come up in an RTL simulation and static timing analysis, so people stopped doing them.

Honored Contributor I

Ah...interesting. I trying 10M08DAF484C8GES. The original (Quartus 15.0) instructions were for a Cyclone IV device and I am trying to update them and, for consistency, changed the device to this Max 10 device. (It doesn't actually matter what device is used.) 


Thanks for your reply.
Honored Contributor I

Yep...I think you're right. I just tried a Cyclone IV device and voila: SDF files aplenty. Thank you. 


Coming from an IC background, not running a timing sim seems a bit scary.