When you design with the Nios® II embedded processor, you have access to a portfolio of robust software development tools and software components available from Altera and our partner ecosystem.
Nios II Embedded Design Suite
The Nios II Embedded Design Suite (EDS) is a comprehensive development package for Nios II software design. The Nios II EDS contains not just development tools, but also software, device drivers, bare metal Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) library, a commercial grade network stack software and evaluation version of a real time operating system.
The Nios II EDS includes:
- Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse
- Nios II Software Build Tools
- Embedded Software
- Device Drivers for Altera® IP and HAL API
The Nios II Software Build Tools are a fully integrated development environment built from the ground up. Nios II Software Build Tools are used as a foundation and designed as plug-ins for industry-standard Eclipse.
Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse focuses on improving software productivity for large software applications and team-based software design.
The Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse includes:
- Eclipse IDE
- Source navigator and editor
- Source debugger and profiler
- Compiler, linker, and assembler for C and C++
- Nios II plug-ins for Eclipse
- Nios II Project Manager
- Nios II Software Templates
- Nios II Flash Programmer
- Nios II BSP Editor
- Quartus II Programmer
- Nios II Command Shell
Learn about all the software tools available for the Nios II embedded processor including compilers, debuggers, and co-verification tools available from Altera’s software tool partners.
The Nios II Software Build Tools are a set of powerful commands, utilities, and scripts to manage build options for applications, BSPs, and software libraries.
Download the Nios II Software Build Tools Handbooks:
With the Nios II embedded processor, you have access to a broad range of embedded software components. The following items are included with the Nios II EDS:
- MicroC/OS-II real-time operating system (production license sold separately)
- NicheStack TCP/IP Network Stack - Nios II Edition (provided for free as part of the Nios II EDS)
- Newlib ANSI-C standard library
- Simple file system
- Hardware design examples and software applications
A complete list of applications examples, operating systems, middleware, and intellectual property (IP) cores are available from Altera and Altera's software tool partners.
Altera provides a complete set of peripheral device drivers and even generates a custom board support package automatically to accelerate your software development effort.
- Hardware abstraction layer (HAL)—Increase your productivity by building your applications on top of the Nios II HAL. The HAL is a well-defined software layer that forms a clear distinction between application and device-level software (refer to Figure 1). The HAL also provides services such as file descriptors, I/O control, and buffering, which are required by the ANSI C library functions, so that your HAL driver does not need to provide these functions. Learn about the HAL System Library (PDF).
- BSP—The Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse automatically generates a complete BSP, including drivers for the peripherals in your system. Learn about the HAL System Library (PDF).
- Custom drivers—Create your own custom drivers on top of the HAL by leveraging the HAL API using a predefined and well-documented driver development procedure. This modular approach promotes consistent, portable, and reusable code. Download Developing Device Drivers for the HAL (PDF).
Figure 1. Nios II HAL
- SPI = serial peripheral interface
- DMA = direct memory access
- CFI = common flash interface