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Project Verification Applications

“Simulator” is an application that, together with the time diagram editor, is intended for functional modeling of a project in order to verify the correctness of its functioning logic.

Timing Analyzer is an application that provides the calculation of time delays from each input to each output logically associated with it.

“MAX + plus II Programmer”
Finally, the MAX + plus II Programmer application is used to program or configure the FPGA.

Programming and reprogramming of microcircuits having an integrated programming system (ISP) can be carried out directly as part of the final product via a special cable that connects either to the LPT port (Byte Blaster) or to the COM port (Bit Blaster) of the computer and the 10-pin technology JTAG interface connector installed on the product board. Cable diagrams can be found on the Altera website. If several FPGAs with built-in programming systems are installed on the product board, then all of them can be programmed through one technological connector. For this purpose, the Programmer application has a Multi-Device mode (unfortunately, free versions of the package do not support this mode). The FPGA connection diagrams to the JTAG interface are given in the documentation for “Bit Blaster” and “Byte Blaster”. To program other chips, you must additionally use an external programmer, which can also be connected to a COM or LPT port.

Service Applications
CAD also includes three service applications:

“Design Doctor” is an application designed to verify the correctness of a project using rules of thumb.

“Message Processor” – a message processor that provides processing, display and localization (indicating the place in the project to which it refers) of three types of messages: error messages (“Error”), warnings (“Warning”) and information messages ( “Info”). The reason for the output of a message can be found through the “Help on Message” option of the message processor. If there are error messages, compilation of the project is not possible until they are completely eliminated. If there are warnings, compilation completes successfully, but the presence of a warning indicates that a problem has been detected that could lead to device malfunction. Therefore, all warnings should be carefully analyzed using the “Help on Message”, until the reasons for their appearance and the subsequent elimination of these reasons (or ignoring the warning, which is sometimes possible) are clarified. Informational messages need only be noted.

“Hierarhy Display” is an application that provides an overview of the hierarchical structure of a project, which can consist of many lower levels drawn up in various editors and folded into symbols of a project, and the number of levels is not limited. The main project (the project of the highest level) must be created in a graphical editor (if the project has only one hierarchy level, then it can be created in any editor).

System Working Directories
During installation of the package, two directories are created: the MAXPLUS2 directory, which contains all the applications and libraries of the package, and the MAX2WORK directory, which contains the CHIPTRIP subdirectory with all the files of the training project discussed in the manual (“MAX + plus II Tutorial”), and a number of subdirectories, used by the electronic reference book (“MAX + plus II Help”). The MAX2WORK directory should also contain the working directories of the created device projects.

The need to create separate directories for each project being developed is due to the fact that in the process of project development, the MAX + plus II system creates and maintains many files related to the current project. First of all, it is a project file (“Project File”), the name of which determines the name of the project as a whole. This file contains the main logic and hierarchy of the project processed by the compiler. In addition, a number of supporting files are created that are related to the project, but are not part of the project logic. Most of the auxiliary files are created and automatically placed in the project directory during the input and compilation of the project. First of all, these are destination and configuration files (.ACF), report files (.RPT), data files for functional modeling and time analysis (.SNF), data files for programming (.POF) and a number of others. The names of these files always match the name of the project. Some auxiliary files are created by the user: for example, to perform functional modeling, a (.SCF) file is created containing a description of the initial and current states of the input signals (inputs) and a list of outputs for which output signals should be defined. Therefore, before starting work on a new project, you should create a working directory for the project, and the directory name can be chosen arbitrarily (i.e. the directory name may not coincide with the project file name).

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