SAN JOSE, USA: Altera Corp. today released the Quartus II software version 9.1, the industry's number-one software in performance and productivity for CPLD, FPGA and HardCopy ASIC designs.
New features and enhancements within Quartus II software v9.1 reduce compile times 20 percent versus the previous software release, while continuing to deliver on average 2X to 3X faster compile times compared to competing high-density 40-nm and 65-nm designs.
New to the software is a Rapid Recompile feature, which significantly improves compile times for small design changes, as well as support for Altera's newly announced Cyclone IV FPGAs.
Quartus II software v9.1 builds upon the productivity advantage Altera consistently delivers with its design software. The software provides the industry's fastest compile times for high-end FPGAs, averaging a 20 percent reduction annually over the past five years. The compile time advantages in the latest release are driven by more efficient place and route algorithms, improved multiprocessor support and faster timing-driven synthesis.
Rapid recompile for faster design iteration
The new Rapid Recompile feature enhances the Quartus II software's ability to further minimize design compilation times.
Rapid Recompile maximizes designer productivity when making small engineering change order (ECO)-style design changes after a full compile is run, reducing compilation times by 50 percent on average versus running another full compile on the design. Rapid Recompile also significantly improves designer productivity during timing closure by preserving critical timing during late design changes.
Expanded device support for Cyclone IV FPGAs
The three smallest Cyclone IV GX devices will be supported in the Quartus II design software v9.1 with the remaining Cyclone IV devices supported in the Quartus II design software v9.1 service pack 1.
This version of the Quartus II software also offers support for the Stratix IV E EP4SE820 FPGA, the industry's highest density FPGA at 820K logic elements (LEs).
Offering software support for Altera's latest FPGA families enables customers to get a jump start on the latest Cyclone and Stratix FPGA designs today.
Additional features of Quartus II Software v9.1 include:
* Non-Rectangular Partitions with Incremental Compile—Non-rectangular regions help users create more compact and efficient floorplans, making it easier to achieve quality metrics. This new feature provides users a simpler and easier interface for finer control during design partitioning.
* Expanded SSN Analyzer Tool—With new support for Arria II GX FPGAs and Stratix IV GX FPGAs, this tool provides feedback on potential simultaneous switching noise (SSN) violations during pin assignments.
* New and Expanded IP Base Suite—Three new memory controllers supporting RLDRAM II, QDRII / II+ and DDR1/2/3 increase the suite to 14 intellectual property (IP) cores.
* Initial Support for VHDL 2008—Quartus II software maintains its leadership in language support by providing a more flexible language structure that allows users to create reusable code structures.
* Nios II Processor—The "/e" variant of the Nios II soft processor is now available without a license fee. This release also marks the debut of the Nios II software build tools for Eclipse, which provides improved software-development productivity.
Expanded OS Support—Support for Linux SUSE 10 is now available.
"Design teams today continue to look for ways to maximize productivity as they face the challenges of tighter budgets, shrinking R&D resources and truncated design schedules," said Chris Balough, senior director of software, embedded, and DSP marketing at Altera. "Quartus II software's increased productivity advantage ensures our customers can get their FPGAs to market quicker and with reduced engineering expenses."
Pricing and availability
Both the Subscription Edition and the free Web Edition of the Quartus II software version 9.1 are currently available for download. Quartus II software subscribers receive the ModelSim Altera Starter Edition and a full license to the IP Base Suite, which includes 14 of Altera's most popular IP (DSP and memory) cores.
The annual software subscription is $2,495 for a node-locked PC license and is available for purchase at Altera's eStore or from authorized distributors.