NVC is a GPLv3 VHDL compiler and simulator aiming for IEEE 1076-1993 compliance. See these blog posts for background information. NVC should not be considered a production quality tool and language support is lacking in many areas. However it has been successfully used to simulate several real-world designs.
Brief usage example:
$ nvc -a my_design.vhd my_tb.vhd $ nvc -e my_tb $ nvc -r my_tb
Or more succinctly, as a single command:
$ nvc -a my_design.vhd my_tb.vhd -e my_tb -r
The full manual can be read after installing NVC using
man nvc or
Report bugs using the GitHub issue tracker.
NVC is developed on Debian Linux and has been reported to work on OS X and Windows under Cygwin. Ports to other Unix-like systems are welcome.
NVC has both a release branch and a development master branch. The master branch should be stable enough for day-to-day use and has comprehensive regression tests, but the release branch is more suitable for third party packaging. The latest released version is 1.1.0. Significant changes since the last release are detailed in HISTORY.md.
To build from a Git clone:
./autogen.sh ./tools/fetch-ieee.sh mkdir build && cd build ../configure make make install
Generating the configure script requires autoconf 2.63 and automake 1.11 or later.
To build from a released tarball:
./tools/fetch-ieee.sh ./configure make sudo make install
To use a specific version of LLVM add
to the configure command. LLVM 3.0 or later is required.
NVC also depends GNU Flex to generate the lexical analyser.
If a readline-compatible library is installed it will be used to provide line editing in the interactive mode.
GtkWave can be used to view simulation waveforms. Version 3.3.53 or later is reqiured for the default FST format.
Debian and Ubuntu
On a Debian derivative the following should be sufficient to install all required dependencies:
sudo apt-get install build-essential automake autoconf autoconf-archive flex \ libreadline-dev tcl-dev check llvm-dev pkg-config zlib1g-dev curl
Mac OS X
The easiest way to install NVC on OS X is with Homebrew.
brew install nvc
This will install the latest stable version. The current git master can be installed with
brew install --HEAD nvc
To build from source follow the generic instructions above.
Windows support is via Cygwin. Use
setup.exe to install
clang and the following dependencies:
make. Then follow the standard installation
Due to copyright restrictions the IEEE library source files cannot be freely redistributed and must be downloaded from an external source prior to building. See lib/ieee/README for details.
To recompile the standard libraries:
Note this happens automatically when installing.
To run the regression tests:
The unit tests require the check library.
NVC supports a small subset of VHDL-2008 which can be enabled with the
option. If you require library functions from the 2008 standard you can use the
VHDL-2008 Support Library which provides
backwards-compatible implementations for VHDL-1993. Run
./tools/build-2008-support.rb to download and install this.
NVC provides scripts to compile the simulation libraries of common FPGA vendors.
- For Xilinx ISE use
- For Xilinx Vivado use
- For Altera Quartus use
- For Lattice iCEcube2 use
The libraries will be installed under