How To: Simulate a Design with GOWIN IP

Modified on Tue, 9 Jul at 6:08 PM

How To: Simulate a Design with GOWIN IP


This How To guide is intended to be used by GOWIN customers to simulate their FPGA designs with GOWIN IP via Metrics DSim Cloud. It provides a generic procedure that can be applied to all such designs. The procedure gives recommended best practices without limiting the user's flexibility on workflow. There is a GOWIN Reference Design called Gowin_I2C_Master_refDesign which can be downloaded here. It can be examined while going through this guide for a better understanding of the procedure.


  1. Prerequisites
  2. Procedure
    1. Prepare your local workspace
    2. Create a compile list
    3. Create a compile script or list of DSim Cloud CLI commands
    4. Simulate your design in DSim Cloud
  3. Example



  1. Have a working installation of GOWIN EDA on your local machine.
  2. Successfully compile your design in GOWIN EDA.

DSim Cloud

  1. Complete the DSim Cloud Tutorial.
  2. Understand how to run a simulation in DSim - Verilog and/or VHDL, as applicable to your design.
  3. Review considerations for choosing the DSim Cloud local workspace.
  4. Understand how to use libraries in DSim.
  5. Understand how to use DSim Cloud CLI Tool simulator commands.


1. Prepare your local workspace

Ensure that all files needed to simulate your design are under your local workspace. These files include all design, testbench, memory initialization, source code for generated IP blocks, and all source code for the IP that the generated IP blocks depend on (eg. prim_sim.v). For example, your local workspace would be the GOWIN IP Reference Design folder Gowin_<design>_RefDesign. For the purpose of this guide, we will call this local workspace directory my_project.

From the local workspace root directory initialize the local workspace:


Create a folder under *my_project* called *mdc* where you will simulate your design with DSim Cloud. For example, you can create it as *my_project/simulation/mdc*. Copy all your memory initialization files (*\*.mif*) to this folder. *\*mif* files are not compiled but must reside in the same folder where you run your DSim Cloud simulation.

If any source code for an IP block is encrypted, you must instead provide the simulation model file (eg. *i2c_master.vo* instead of *i2c_master.v*). The simulation model file can be generated in GOWIN FPGA Designer as follows:

<span>1.</span>  Under the *Process* tab, right-click **Place & Route**.



<span>2.</span>   Click **Configuration**.



<span>3.</span>   Under *Place & Route*, click **General**.

<span>4.</span>   Double-click the **Value** column in the *Generate Post-PnR Simulation Model File* row.

<span>5.</span>   Change the Value to **True**.

<span>6.</span>   Click **OK**.

<span>7.</span>   Rerun the **Place & Route** step in the *Process* tab.

<span>8.</span>   Find the generated *.vo* file in the same folder as the encrypted *.v* file.

<div id="create-a-compile-list"></div>

### 2. Create a compile list

For all the files required for compilation and simulation, you must know their language type, the library into which they should be compiled, and their source file location. For VHDL files, the order of compilation must be known. If desired, you can create a list of all files needed to compile and simulate the design, to keep track of this information. For example, under *my_project*:

| **Order** | ***file_name*** | **Type\*** | ***library_name*** | ***path*** |

*VHDL = VHDL-1993 unless otherwise noted

You can extract some of this information by opening your design's GOWIN project file, *\*.gprj*, in a text editor.

<div id="create-a-compile-script-or-list-of-dsim-cloud-commands"></div>

### 3. Create a compile script or list of DSim Cloud CLI commands

There are many ways to compile and simulate your design with the DSim simulator, contained within the DSim Cloud platform. Basically, you need to wrap the DSim command options to [analyze, elaborate, and run](./source/dsim/docs/usermanual/ your design, in single quotes so that the DSim command is executed on the remote workspace.

Both IP and design files must be compiled into the appropriate libraries with DSim Cloud CLI commands. The commands are different for Verilog / SystemVerilog files and VHDL files.

**Verilog / SystemVerilog**


mdc dvlcom -a '-lib /.v'


For example:


mdc dvlcom -a '-lib sim_lib ./ip/sim/prim_sim.v' mdc dvlcom -a '-lib ip_lib -F ip_filelist.txt'




mdc dvhcom -a '-vhdl93 -lib /.vhd'


For example:


mdc dvhcom -a '-vhdl2008 -lib work ./src/hdl/my_dut.vhd'


Depending on the complexity of your design, and your familiarity with scripting, you can put all these DSim Cloud CLI commands together in a compile script and run the script with DSim Cloud. The script runs on your local machine and makes calls to DSim through the DSim Cloud CLI.

<div id="simulate-your-design-in-dsim-cloud"></div>

### 4. Simulate your design in DSim Cloud

<span>1.</span>  Start a remote workspace in your local workspace directory *my_project* from section 1 of the Procedure.


mdc workspace start


<span>2.</span>  Navigate to the *my_project/simulation/mdc* folder where you will run your simulation.

<span>3.</span>  If your design requires VHDL IEEE libraries, [set up the precompiled IEEE libraries in DSim Cloud](./

<span>4.</span>  Compile all the files into their appropriate libraries using the methods in section 3.

<span>5.</span>  Elaborate your design. For example:


mdc dsim -a '-genimage image -top test_lib.my_tb +acc+b'


<span>6.</span> Run your design. For example:


mdc dsim -a '-image image -waves waves.mxd -wave-scope-specs wave.list'


<span>7.</span> You can view waveforms and/or download the DSim log to debug your simulation.


mdc view wave waves.mxd
mdc download dsim.log


<div id="example"></div>

## Example

A reference design example, **Gowin_I2C_Master_refDesign**, has been provided for you. It can be downloaded [here]( It contains all the necessary files for you to [simulate the design with DSim Cloud](./


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