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How can I find out if library has already been compiled in ModelSim/QuestaSim to speed up simulation scripts?

I have some files that contain multiple vlog commands to compile several libraries and than a vsim command to start simulation later adding the signals to wave window and cursors and running the simulation. There are certain library files that contain the primitives that need to be compiled and take a while. Is there a way to use 'if statement' with some function to see if a library already exists since it has already been compiled, and that this library was compiled using files from a certain location? I am carrying out many different simulations and often the libraries may be the same (depending on which order is being used).

Otherwise, is there a way to compile these into a library in ModelSim/QuestaSim at startup by default?

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If a module with a given name has been compiled, there will be a sub-directory in the library "working" directory that has the same name as the module. Also, there will be a file in that subdirectory called _primary.dat. To compile modules for a simulation, I use one or more GNU make rules similar to this, one for each possible source directory:

WORK = work

$(WORK)/%/_primary.dat: ../rtl/uwb_top/v/%.v
    vlog $+

This allows me to type vlib work; make in my simulation directory, and only the modules that have been updated will be recompiled.

However, if your library module names aren't unique, I don't know of any way to tell which source file was used to create a particular working module.

EDIT

Here's an example of a complete Makefile that shows how I typically specify my target modules. This uses features specific to GNU make.

# Modules for the actual device
DUT_MODULES = dut_top dut_module1 dut_module2

# Modules for the simulation testbench
TB_MODULES = tb_top tb_module1 tb_module2 tb_module3

# Convert module names into full target paths
DUT_TARGETS = $(foreach mod, $(DUT_MODULES), $(WORK)/$(mod)/_primary.dat)
TB_TARGETS = $(foreach mod, $(TESTBENCH), $(WORK)/$(mod)/_primary.dat)

WORK = work

# Default 'make' target
tb: $(DUT_TARGETS) $(TB_TARGETS)

# Rule for device modules
$(WORK)/%/_primary.dat: ../rtl/uwb_top/v/%.v
    vlog $+

# Rule for testbench modules
$(WORK)/%/_primary.dat: ../testbench/v/%.v
    vlog $+

UPDATE (2017)

Modelsim/Questasim no longer store compiled code in the manner described above; instead, a set of files containing a database is used, and the names of compiled modules are hidden inside them.

However, the changes to the Makefile to accommodate this are straightforward. First, remove the /_primary.dat from the target path expressions. Second, add a touch command that creates an empty file with the same name as the target module after each vlog command. The Makefile becomes:

# Modules for the actual device
DUT_MODULES = dut_top dut_module1 dut_module2

# Modules for the simulation testbench
TB_MODULES = tb_top tb_module1 tb_module2 tb_module3

# Convert module names into full target paths
DUT_TARGETS = $(foreach mod, $(DUT_MODULES), $(WORK)/$(mod))
TB_TARGETS = $(foreach mod, $(TESTBENCH), $(WORK)/$(mod))

WORK = work

# Default 'make' target
tb: $(DUT_TARGETS) $(TB_TARGETS)

# Rule for device modules
$(WORK)/%/_primary.dat: ../rtl/uwb_top/v/%.v
    vlog $+
    touch $@

# Rule for testbench modules
$(WORK)/%/_primary.dat: ../testbench/v/%.v
    vlog $+
    touch $@

These extra files do not interfere in any way with the simulator, and the rest of the Makefile works the same as before.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Dave, I tried your method but I got an error. I needed to explicitly define the paths to each design unit before doing the above, then it worked. Is this what you needed to do as well? \$\endgroup\$
    – mrbean
    May 17, 2014 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mrbean: Yes. I never intended the excerpt I showed to represent the entire Makefile; you still need to specify your targets, just as you do with any make-based project. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    May 17, 2014 at 11:48

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