Forums

FPGA CAD researchers: documentation, APIs, file formats & tutorials for academics to interface to Quartus

Started by Vaughn Betz January 7, 2004
I am pleased to announce that Altera has opened up its Quartus II CAD
suite to university researchers.  The Quartus University Interface
Program, or QUIP, toolkit is designed to enable university (or other)
researchers to plug new CAD tools and ideas into the Altera Quartus II
CAD flow.

QUIP describes Altera's devices, interfaces by which data can be sent
into the Quartus II software at various points in the CAD flow, and
data formats in which data can be dumped out of the Quartus II
software.  QUIP also includes tutorial and sample programs showing how
to use the various APIs and data file formats.  This toolkit enables
researchers to write point CAD tools that perform one CAD optimization
in a new or better way, and integrate their new CAD tool into a
complete CAD flow so they can get realistic results on how this new
idea improves circuit timing, routability, device utilization, compile
time, or other metrics.

You can augment or replace virtually any phase of the Quartus II CAD
flow (e.g. all of  synthesis, or logic optimization, or technology
mapping, or placement, etc.) or add new phases (floorplanning,
wire-type routing, physical synthesis, etc.).  You can then get
statistics back from the Quartus II CAD suite showing how much your
new tool or algorithm improves circuit timing, routability, device
utilization, or other metrics.  You can quickly test new CAD ideas in
an industrial strength tool flow, and avoid having to write a complete
CAD suite to test your ideas.

The benefit to academics is the ability to focus more on innovative
CAD algorithms and tools, and less on putting together entire CAD
flows to test out these new algorithms and tools.  In my PhD I spent
five years writing a place and route system, including timing
analyzer, etc., so this would certainly have helped me graduate
faster!

The benefit to us at Altera is (we hope!) more FPGA CAD research, and
research not just on simplified FPGA architectures and on simple
benchmark circuits, but on the full range of problems presented by
today's complex FPGA architectures, and the complex hardware designs
going into those FPGAs.

For more details on QUIP, and to download all the documents,
tutorials, APIs, etc, see
http://www.altera.com/education/univ/quip/quip-overview.html.  Feel
free to contact me, or mail quip@altera.com, or post to this
newsgroup, if you have any questions.

Regards,

Vaughn Betz
Altera
That looks super cool!!! I think I need to go back and do a Ph.D. just
so I can try to beat you guys using my new "transmorgrofiying 3D
wire-cutting placement algorithm" idea (now that you have made it so
easy to make comparisons)!!

Seriously, I didn't even know that this was coming out, and it looks
great! What a great idea ... the only problem is I think that you are
going to put the "academic" version of VPR out of business, which
could hurt your chances at becoming a professor in the future after
you have finished getting that Altera stock price up high enough to
make me a millionaire ..


Alexander Marquardt

Former Altera Engineer
Current MBA Student in Spain (http://mba.iese.edu)
Future Bartender in South America



vbetz@altera.com (Vaughn Betz) wrote in message news:<48761f7f.0401062338.4ce4f3d3@posting.google.com>...
> I am pleased to announce that Altera has opened up its Quartus II CAD > suite to university researchers. The Quartus University Interface > Program, or QUIP, toolkit is designed to enable university (or other) > researchers to plug new CAD tools and ideas into the Altera Quartus II > CAD flow. > > QUIP describes Altera's devices, interfaces by which data can be sent > into the Quartus II software at various points in the CAD flow, and > data formats in which data can be dumped out of the Quartus II > software. QUIP also includes tutorial and sample programs showing how > to use the various APIs and data file formats. This toolkit enables > researchers to write point CAD tools that perform one CAD optimization > in a new or better way, and integrate their new CAD tool into a > complete CAD flow so they can get realistic results on how this new > idea improves circuit timing, routability, device utilization, compile > time, or other metrics. > > You can augment or replace virtually any phase of the Quartus II CAD > flow (e.g. all of synthesis, or logic optimization, or technology > mapping, or placement, etc.) or add new phases (floorplanning, > wire-type routing, physical synthesis, etc.). You can then get > statistics back from the Quartus II CAD suite showing how much your > new tool or algorithm improves circuit timing, routability, device > utilization, or other metrics. You can quickly test new CAD ideas in > an industrial strength tool flow, and avoid having to write a complete > CAD suite to test your ideas. > > The benefit to academics is the ability to focus more on innovative > CAD algorithms and tools, and less on putting together entire CAD > flows to test out these new algorithms and tools. In my PhD I spent > five years writing a place and route system, including timing > analyzer, etc., so this would certainly have helped me graduate > faster! > > The benefit to us at Altera is (we hope!) more FPGA CAD research, and > research not just on simplified FPGA architectures and on simple > benchmark circuits, but on the full range of problems presented by > today's complex FPGA architectures, and the complex hardware designs > going into those FPGAs. > > For more details on QUIP, and to download all the documents, > tutorials, APIs, etc, see > http://www.altera.com/education/univ/quip/quip-overview.html. Feel > free to contact me, or mail quip@altera.com, or post to this > newsgroup, if you have any questions. > > Regards, > > Vaughn Betz > Altera