The SOPC board contains an Altera Stratix Processor, but the description mentions use of an Alteras NIOS II soft core IP. If its a soft core then why are we using a Stratix processor. PIC from: Rapid_prototyping pg.309, author: J.O. Hamblen
The Altera Stratix part is an FPGA, not a processor. The Nios processor core is implemented on the Stratix FPGA. Soft IP cores are merely high level functional descriptions of a component, the soft core has to be implemented on an FPGA or ASIC in order to be used in a device. The FPGA likely contains some custom application-specific logic in addition to the processor core.