USRP Hardware Driver and USRP Manual  Version: 4.1.0.0-130-g311b87df0
UHD and USRP Manual
Running a Testbench

Each executable testbench has its own Makefile that automatically pulls in support for all supported simulators. The build infrastructure supports the following simulators:

  • Xilinx Vivado (XSim)
  • Mentor Graphics ModelSim (may require an additional license)

In general running make <sim_target> will run the simulation and report results in the console. Running make help will print out all supported simulator targets. Currently, the following targets will work:

Supported Targets:
ipclean:    Cleanup all IP intermediate files
clean:      Cleanup all simulator intermediate files
cleanall:   Cleanup everything!
ip:         Generate the IP required for this simulation
xsim:       Run the simulation using the Xilinx Vivado Simulator
xclean:     Cleanup Xilinx Vivado Simulator intermediate files
vsim:       Run the simulation using ModelSim simulator via Vivado 
modelsim:   Run the simulation using ModelSim without Vivado
vlint:      Compile the simulation using ModelSim
vclean:     Cleanup ModelSim intermediate files

Using Xilinx Vivado XSim

XSim is the built-in simulator in the Xilinx Vivado toolchain. If you already met the prerequisites for building an FPGA image, then you don't need to install anything else.

Follow these steps to run a testbench:

  • Navigate to the directory that contains the top level testbench and Makefile
  • Run the setupenv.sh script for the USRP product that you are trying to simulate

    $ source <repo>/fpga/usrp3/top/<product>/setupenv.sh

    This step is required even if the simulation is generic because the toolchain requires an FPGA part number to load simulation models.

  • Run the simulator specific target

    $ make xsim

Using Mentor Graphics ModelSim

Setting Up ModelSim

ModelSim is a third-party simulation tool that is compatible with Vivado and the USRP FPGA build infrastructure.

Use the following one-time setup to install and configure ModelSim on your system

  • Install ModelSim from the Mentor Graphics website. It is recommended that you install it to the default location (/opt/mentor/modelsim)
  • Run the setupenv.sh script for the USRP product that you are trying to simulate

    $ source <repo>/fpga/usrp3/top/<product>/setupenv.sh

    This step is required even if the simulation is generic because the toolchain requires an FPGA part number to load simulation models.

  • Build the Xilinx simulation libraries

    $ build_simlibs

To validate that everything was installed properly run setupenv.sh again. You should see the following

Setting up X3x0 FPGA build environment (64-bit)...
- Vivado: Found (/opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2019.1/bin)
- Modelsim: Found (/opt/mentor/modelsim/modeltech/bin)
- Modelsim Compiled Libs: Found (/opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2019.1/modelsim)

Environment successfully initialized.

Simulating with ModelSim through Vivado

Follow these steps to run a testbench using ModelSim with Vivado:

  • Navigate to the directory that contains the top level testbench and Makefile
  • Run the setupenv.sh script for the USRP product that you are trying to simulate

    $ source <repo>/fpga/usrp3/top/<product>/setupenv.sh

    This step is required even if the simulation is generic because the toolchain requires an FPGA part number to load simulation models.

  • Run the simulator specific target

    $ make vsim

Using this method launches Vivado and uses Vivado to launch ModelSim. This ensures that Xilinx IP is properly included in the simulation.

To run the simulation in the Vivado GUI for debugging, add the GUI option:

$ make vsim GUI=1

Simulating with ModelSim Natively

To run the simulation using ModelSim natively, the process is the same as above, except use the modelsim make target.

$ make modelsim

This calls into Vivado only if Xilinx IP needs to be generated. Otherwise it calls ModelSim directly without invoking Vivado. This leads to significantly faster compile and load times for the simulation. However, this method does not work with all testbenches because some Xilinx IP requires special handling by Vivado.

To load the simulation into the ModelSim GUI for debugging, add the GUI option.

$ make modelsim GUI=1

You may also need to specify special arguments or libraries to use with ModelSim. These can be added using the MODELSIM_ARGS and MODELSIM_LIBS arguments. For example:

$ make modelsim MODELSIM_ARGS="-t 1fs" MODELSIM_LIBS="secureip xpm"

ARGS are simply appended to the ModelSim vsim command line invocation. LIBS are added to the "-L" vsim command line argument. These can also be added to the Makefile for the testbench.

Compiling the Simulation with ModelSim

To compile your code in ModelSim, use the vlint target.

$ make vlint

This can be used to quickly check for syntax errors, or to recompile your code prior to restarting a simulation from within ModelSim.

Using the modelsim and vlint targets allows for very rapid simulation iterations.

Troubleshooting

Vivado Not Found

If running the setupenv.sh script returns an error like the following:

Vivado: Not found! (ERROR.. Builds and simulations will not work)

then it is possible that Vivado was not installed or it was not installed in the default location. If Vivado is installed in a non-default location, just run the following:

$ source <repo>/fpga/usrp3/top/<product>/setupenv.sh --vivado-path=<PATH>

ModelSim Not Found

If running the setupenv.sh script returns an error like the following:

Setting up a 64-bit FPGA build environment for the USRP-X3x0...
- Vivado: Found (/opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2019.1/bin)
- Modelsim: Not found! (WARNING.. Simulations with vsim will not work)

Environment successfully initialized.

or something like this (even when Modelsim is installed)

Setting up a 64-bit FPGA build environment for the USRP-X3x0...
- Vivado: Found (/opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2019.1/bin)

Environment successfully initialized.

then it is possible that Modelsim was not installed or it was not installed in the default location. If Modelsim is installed in a non-default location, just run the following:

$ source <repo>/fpga/usrp3/top/<product>/setupenv.sh --modelsim-path=<PATH>

ModelSim Simulation Libraries Not Found

If running the setupenv.sh script returns an error like the following:

Setting up a 64-bit FPGA build environment for the USRP-X3x0...
- Vivado: Found (/opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2019.1/bin)
- Modelsim: Found (/opt/mentor/modelsim/modeltech/bin)
- Modelsim Compiled Libs: Not found! (Run build_simlibs to generate them.)

Environment successfully initialized.

Just run the following:

$ build_simlibs