The Vivado Design Suite uses a physical design
database to store placement and routing information. Design checkpoint files (.dcp) allow you to save (
write_checkpoint command) and restore (
read_checkpoint command) this physical database at key points in the
design flow. Checkpoints are a snapshot of the design at a specific point in the flow.
In Project Mode, the Vivado tools automatically
generate design checkpoint files and store them in the implementation runs directory.
These can be opened in a separate instance of the Vivado tools.
This design checkpoint file includes the following:
- Current netlist, including any optimizations made during implementation
- Design constraints
- Implementation results
Checkpoint designs can be run through the remainder of the design flow using Tcl commands. They cannot be modified with new design sources.
A few common examples for the use of checkpoints are:
- Saving results so you can go back and do further analysis on that part of the flow.
place_designusing multiple directives and saving the checkpoints for each. This would allow you to select the
place_designcheckpoint with the best timing results for the subsequent implementation steps.
For more information on checkpoints, see the Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Implementation (UG904).