- List of Verilog simulators
Verilog simulators are software packages that emulate the
Verilog hardware description language. Verilog simulation software has come a long way since its early origin as a single proprietary product offered by one company. Today, Verilog simulators are available from many vendors, at all price points. For desktop/personal use, Aldec, Mentor, LogicSim, SynaptiCAD, and others offer reasonably priced (<$5000 USD) tool-suites for the Windows 2000/XP platform. The suites bundle the simulator engine with a complete development environment: text editor, waveform viewer, and RTL-level browser. Additionally, limited-functionality editions of the Aldec and Modelsim simulator are downloadable free of charge, from their respective OEM partners (Actel, Altera, Lattice Semiconductor, Xilinx, etc.) For those desiring open-source software, there is Icarus Verilog, among others.
Beyond the desktop level, enterprise-level simulators offer faster simulation runtime, more robust support for mixed-language (
VHDLand Verilog) simulation, and most importantly, are validated for timing-accurate (SDF-annotated) gate-level simulation. The last point is critical for the ASICtapeout process, when a design-database is released to manufacturing. (Semiconductor foundries stipulate the usage of tools chosen from an approved list, in order for the customer's design to receive signoff status. Although the customer is not required to perform any signoff checking, the tremendous cost of a wafer order has generally ensured thorough design-validation on the part of the customer.) The three major signoff-grade simulators include Cadence Incisive (NC-Verilog), Mentor Modelsim/SE, and Synopsys VCS. Pricing is not published publicly, but all three vendors are known to charge $25,000-$100,000 USD per seat, 1-year time-based license. FPGAvendors do not require expensive enterprise simulators for their design flow. In fact, most vendors include an OEM version of a third-party HDL simulator in their design suite. The bundled simulator is taken from an entry-level or low-capacity edition, and bundled with the FPGA vendor's device libraries. For designs targeting high-capacity FPGA, a standalone simulator is recommended, as the OEM-version may lack the capacity or speed to effectively handle large designs.
Below is a list of simulators that implement the Verilog hardware description language:
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