Tutorial: Complex FIR Filter Acceleration for the Nios II on the DE0 Nano Platform (Quartus II 12)

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Overview

 

This tutorial will demonstrate how to create, simulate, build, and run the example Complex FIR application targeting the Terasic DE0 Nano Cyclone IV Development and Education Platform, including the use of data streams connected to the Nios II soft-CPU via Avalon-MM interface and using the Quartus II v12.0 tools.

 

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This tutorial will require approximately one hour to complete, including software run times. To complete the application, you will need access to a Terasic DE0 Nano development board shown above.  This tutorial shows how to use both the CoDeveloper IDE and plugin for Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2010 Express to do desktop software simulation through generating and exporting hardware for integration using Quartus II.  The use of the plugin is optional, however comes with the advantage of the integrated Visual Studio C++ debugger.

 

General Steps

 

This tutorial will take you through the entire process of creating a hardware-accelerated system in the Cyclone IV FPGA using the Impulse and Altera tools following these general steps:

 

1.Describe and simulate the application using C language and either the Impulse CoDeveloper IDE or Microsoft Visual Studio C++.
2.Automatically generate hardware, in the form of VHDL source files, for the hardware accelerator portion of the application.
3.Export the generated files to a Quartus project directory which contains a pre-configured set of Quartus II and Qsys projects based on the "DE0_Nano_SOPC_DEMO" supplied with the DE0 Nano board.
4.Attach the hardware accelerator generated in step 2 to the Nios II CPU via Avalon-MM interfaces.
5.Start a new Nios II EDS project adding all necessary software files representing the application to be run on the Nios II.
6.Run synthesis and place-and-route to generate a binary for download to the FPGA.
7.Download the FPGA binary to the DE0 Nano board using its USB programming cable.
8.Download and run the application on the Nios II using EDS.

 

Steps

 

Loading the Complex FIR Filter Example

Understanding the Complex FIR Filter Example

Compiling the Complex FIR Filter for Simulation

Building the Complex FIR Filter Example

Exporting Files from CoDeveloper

Configuring the New Platform

Generating the System

Generating the FPGA Bitmap

Running the Application on the Platform

 

Note: This tutorial assumes you have purchased or are evaluating the CoDeveloper Platform Support Package for Altera Qsys, and that you have installed and have valid licenses for the Altera Quartus II v12.0, Qsys and Nios II EDS products.  The Quartus II Web or Subscription Editions will include all necessary tools in the single download.

 

Note: Though not required, this tutorial also shows how to make use of the CoDeveloper plugin for Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2010 IDE.  The plugin may be used with any of the purchased or free "Express" editions. Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2010 Express may be downloaded free (requires registration for an activation code) from Microsoft's web site from:

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads