Running a simulation from the command line for either a behavioral or timing simulation requires you to perform the following steps:
- Identifying and parsing design files.
- Elaborating and generating an executable simulation snapshot of the design.
- Running simulation using the executable snapshot.
The Vivado Design Suite provides an
Export Simulation command to let you quickly gather the design files required for
simulation, and generate the simulation scripts for the top-level RTL design, or a
export_simulation command will generate
scripts for all of the supported third-party simulators, or for the target simulator of
From within the Vivado IDE, use the command to open the Export Simulation dialog box as shown in the following figure.
The Export Simulation command writes a simulation script file for all supported simulators, or for the specified Target simulator. The generated scripts will contain simulator commands for compiling, elaborating, and simulating the design.
The features of the Export Simulation dialog box include the following:
Target simulator: Specifies
all simulators, or a specific simulator to generate command line scripts for. Target
simulators include Vivado simulator as well as
various supported third-party simulators. Refer to Simulating with Third-Party Simulators for more information.
Note: On the Windows operating system, scripts will only be generated for those simulators that run on Windows.
Compiled library location: In
order to perform simulation with the script generated by Export Simulation, your
simulation libraries must first be compiled with the compile_simlib Tcl command. The
generated scripts will automatically include the setup files needed for the target
simulator from the compiled library directory. Refer to Compiling Simulation Libraries for more information.
Tip: It is recommended to provide the path to the Compile library location whenever running Export Simulation. This insures that the scripts will always point to the correct simulation libraries.
- Export directory: Specifies the output directory for the scripts written by Export Simulation. By default, the simulation scripts are written to the local directory of the current project.
- Overwrite files: Overwrites the files of the same name that already exist in the export directory.
- Use absolute paths: By default, source files and directory paths in the generated scripts will be relative to a reference directory that is defined in the scripts. Use this switch to make file paths in the script absolute rather than relative.
- Copy source files to export directory: Copy design files to the output directory. This copies the simulation source files as well as the generated scripts to make the entire simulation folder more portable.
Command: This field provides
the Tcl command syntax for the
export_simulationcommand that will be run as a result of the various options and settings that you have specified in the Export Simulation dialog box.
- Help: For detailed information on various options in Export Simulation files dialog box, click the help button.
The Export Simulation command supports both project and non-project
designs. It does not read properties from the current project to query for Verilog
defines and include directories. Instead, the Export Simulation command gets directives
from the dialog box or from
options. You must specify the appropriate options to get the results you want. In
addition, you must have output products generated for all IP and BD that are used in the
export_simulationcommand will not generate output products for IP and BD if they do not exist. Instead it will return an error and exit.
When you click OK on the Export Simulation dialog box, the command gets the simulation compile order of all design files required for simulating the specified design object: the top-level design, a hierarchical module, IP core, a block design from Vivado IP integrator, or a Managed IP project with multiple IP. The simulation compile order of the required design files is exported to a shell script with compiler commands and options for the target simulator.
The simulation scripts are written to separate folders in the Export directory as specified in the Export Simulation dialog box. A separate folder is created for each specified simulator, and compile, elaborate, and simulate scripts are written for the simulator.
The scripts generated by the Export Simulation command uses a 3-step process, analyze/compile, elaborate and simulate, that is common to many simulators including the Vivado simulator. However, for ModelSim and Riviera the generated scripts use the two-step process of compile and simulate that the tool requires.
The Export Simulation command will also copy data files (if any) from the fileset, or from an IP, to the specified export directory. If the design contains Verilog sources, then the generated script will also copy the glbl.v file from the Vivado software installation path to the output directory.
export_ip_user_files -no_script -force export_simulation -directory "C:/Data/project_wave1" -simulator all
When you run the Export Simulation command from the dialog box, the
Vivado IDE actually runs a sequence of commands
that defines the base directory (or location) for the exported scripts, exports the IP
user files, and then runs the
export_ip_user_files command is run
automatically by the Vivado IDE to ensure that all
required files needed to support simulation for both core container and non-core
container IP, as well as block designs, are available. See this link in the
Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Designing with
IP (UG896) for more information. While
export_ip_user_files is run automatically when working with
the Export Simulation dialog box, you must be sure to run it manually before running the
-no_scriptoption is specified when
export_ip_user_filesis run automatically by the Vivado IDE. This is to prevent the generation of simulation scripts for the individual IP and BDs that are used in the top-level design because it can add significant run time to the command. However, you can generate these simulation scripts for individual IP and BD by running
export_ip_user_fileson specified objects (
-of_objects), or without the
export_ip_user_files command sets up
the user file environment for IP and block design needed for simulation and synthesis.
The command creates a folder called ip_user_files
which contains instantiation templates, stub files for use with third-party synthesis
tools, wrapper files, memory initialization files, and simulation scripts.
export_ip_user_files command also
consolidates static simulation files that are shared across all IP and block designs in
the project and copies them to an ipstatic folder.
Many of the IP files that are shared across multiple IP and BDs in a project do not
change for specific IP customizations. These static files are copied into the ipstatic directory. The scripts created for simulation
reference the shared files in this directory as needed. The dynamic simulation files
that are specific to an IP customization are copied to the IP folder. See this link, or "Understanding IP User Files" in
Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Designing with
IP (UG896) for more information.
export_simulationcommand point to the files in the ip_user_files directory. You must run the
export_ip_user_filescommand before you run
export_simulationor simulation errors may occur.