- Who can enroll in the Altera University Program?
- How does a professor enroll in the Altera University Program?
- How does a professor get boards and/or devices?
- How does a professor get download cables?
- How does a professor get Quartus II software?
- How does a professor get technical support?
- How does a professor register and submit a request using mySupport?
- Does the Altera University Program offer special development kit prices for universities?
- How long does a Quartus II license last?
- What do I do if my Mentor Graphics ModelSim software is not recognizing my license?
- Which board should I use?
- Can I upgrade my old Altera board?
- How do I get my board repaired or replaced?
- How do I purchase an Altera board?
- What makes the Altera DE2 development and education board better than the competition?
- Where can I find support for the DE2 board?
- Should I use Quartus II Subscription Edition, Quartus II Web Edition, or MAX+PLUS II software?
- How to fix the error related to JTAG server not installed or no JTAG server found?
- What should I do if the JTAG server (jtagserver.exe) service is stopping?
- How do I integrate the Mentor Graphics ModelSim software with the Quartus II software?
- How can I run a free version of the Quartus II Web Edition software on the Linux operating system?
Tutorials and labs
Nios II processor
- What licenses are needed to design Nios II processor-based systems?
- What is the Nios II embedded processor licensing model?
- How does the Nios II processor architecture differ from the first-generation Nios processor?
- What market segment does the Nios II processor target?
- Is Altera obsoleting the first-generation Nios embedded processor?
- Which Altera FPGA families support Nios II processors?
- Can multiple Nios II processor cores be implemented in a single FPGA?
- What is the Avalon system interconnect fabric?
- How do developers build software for a Nios II system?
- What software debugging tools are available for use with Nios II processors?
- What operating systems and middleware components are available in Nios II development kits?
- How do I use the MicroC/OS-II real-time operating system with the Nios II processor?
Professors and instructors in a recognized university or college.
A professor can fill in and submit an enrollment request form.
A professor must be a member of the Altera® University Program to get discounts on development boards (submit enrollment request). For board grants, please fill in and submit a board request form. Information regarding purchasing boards and/or devices can found here.
You can find more information about the available boards on the Development and Education Boards page.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirements.
Quartus® II software is available for Windows, UNIX, and Linux platforms. To receive Quartus II licenses and documentation, a professor must be a member of the Altera University Program (submit enrollment request). Then fill in and submit a license request form.
In addition to the Subscription Edition of the software, you can download the Quartus II Web Edition software at no cost.
This FAQ web page is a good starting point to search for answers to commonly asked questions. For additional technical support, professors can search for documentation and answers to questions by performing a search on Altera's website and other Altera documentation sources.
- Search altera.com—Perform a text-based search on all or parts of the altera.com website.
- DE2 FAQ—View common questions and answers about the DE2 development and education board.
- University Program Forum—Search or post in this forum for discussions related to Altera University Program materials, including DE1/De2 development and education boards, Altera Monitor Program, intellectual property (IP) cores and tutorials and labs.
- Altera Forum—The Altera Forum was founded in 2007 to bring Altera users together and encourage learning from one another. At the Altera Forum, users can share projects, news, and ideas related to Altera products in an effort to make everyone's experience with Altera products better.
- Nios Forum—Search or post in this forum for questions and answers related to Nios®. There is a section for general Nios issues as well as additional sections for more advanced topics such as various operating systems that can run on the Nios II processor.
- Altera mySupport—If none of the resources listed above answer your question, you can submit a service request to Altera's mySupport system.
Follow these steps to register and submit a support request on mySupport:
- Click the "Sign Me Up" button on the mySupport home page. The "Terms of Service" agreement appears.
- Click the "I Accept" button on the Terms of Service agreement page. The first page of the registration process appears.
- Since you are not listed in our database, you must register as a new user. This is the first option entitled "I do not use Altera software. I am a new user." Click the "Step 2" button.
- Complete each of the screens. On the final page of the registration process, click the hyperlink to mySupport.
- Click the "Create a New Request" hyperlink or button. The "Request Type" page appears.
- Click the "Product Related Request" hyperlink.
- Complete the form and submit.
Should you have any problems registering, call 1-888-610-MKTG.
The Altera University Program has special pricing on nearly all kits developed by Altera. Additionally, Altera's commercial kits are discounted in some instances. Altera also offers a line of university-focused teaching and development boards at a very low cost ($125 to $300), including most (if not all) of the features of the commercial kits.
For information about the Altera University Program boards, see the Development and Education Boards page. Purchases and requests for donations can be made in the Members section.
The Quartus II Web Edition does not require a license. The Quartus II Subscription Edition license has a 10 year duration for professors, but may be renew for free at anytime.
You must upgrade the Mentor Graphics® ModelSim® vendor license daemon (mgcld.exe) to the latest version. You can download the latest vendor license daemons, including mgcld.exe, from Altera’s license daemon downloads page.
Altera provides excellent boards that are designed and manufactured for educational use. See the Development and Education Boards page for details on features, performance, and prices.
No. You should consider a newer board for modern embedded design.
Generally speaking, boards are not repairable. We can supply the complete schematics and parts list if you know that a component is damaged and would like to replace it yourself.
There are many ways to purchase an Altera DE2 board. The details are on the Development and Education Boards page. Grants are also available for research projects.
Altera's DE2 board is the result of the accumulated experience from designing and manufacturing 30,000 boards, all targeted for education. It has the latest Altera FPGA in a size that is useful for all but the most demanding projects. It has robust I/O circuitry and peripherals, including industry-standard connectors for video, audio, USB, and Ethernet. The DE2 is also designed to be more rugged than any other board on the market. It has physical hardware to protect the components, and circuitry to protect the FPGA from electrical damage. Additionally, it is sold near manufacturing cost, which keeps its price extremely low.
Please visit the DE2 FAQ page.
The Quartus II Web Edition software is the most current tool and should be used in all classes and research. Altera also provides the Quartus II Subscription Edition tool for professors, if advanced features are required. Professors may contact email@example.com for an upgrade to the Quartus II Subscription Edition software.
MAX+PLUS® II software is not recommended or supported for new courses.
To install the JTAG server manually, you must install the Quartus II Stand-Alone Programmer. The Stand-Alone Programmer can be download from the Altera's Download Center. The installation process for the Quartus II Stand-Alone Programmer will install the JTAG server.
The JTAG server service may be stopped by other software running on the computer. This is a known issue when running older versions of the McAfee VirusScan software. Version 8.0i (or newer) of the McAfee VirusScan software fixes this problem.
If you are not running McAfee VirusScan or if upgrading does not solve the problem, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to the Mentor Graphics ModelSim and QuestaSim Support chapter in the Quartus II handbook. In particular, the NativeLink integration feature can be used to integrate the ModelSim software into the Quartus II flow. An advantage of using NativeLink is that design files and simulation libraries are automatically compiled in the background.
As of the 11.1 version of the Quartus II software, Altera provides the free web edition for the Linux operating system. You may download the Quartus II Web Edition from here.
Tutorials and labs
All tutorials and laboratory exercises are available to students. Solutions are available to professors only.
Nios II processor
A Nios II license is not required to generate and program systems based on Nios II processors.
A system can be operated in OpenCore Plus mode (without a Nios II license), which allows it to run indefinitely if the board is connected via JTAG to a host computer running Quartus II software. The system times out after one hour if the connection is broken.
Once customers have purchased a Nios II development kit, they are provided with a perpetual, royalty-free license to ship systems using the Nios II embedded processor family and associated peripherals.
With a completely new architecture, Nios II processors reach new levels of efficiency and performance over the first-generation Nios cores by consuming, on average, fifty percent less FPGA resources, while at the same time doubling computational performance. Nios II processors also simplify the processor selection process by providing a set of pre-optimized cores focusing on performance and size.
The Nios II processor family can be used in any application that requires a general-purpose, 32-bit embedded microprocessor.
No. Customers currently developing or shipping a product utilizing a first-generation Nios core may choose to either migrate to a Nios II core or continue with the first generation.
Customers who elect to continue using the first-generation Nios processor can do so with the expectation that Altera will continue to provide push-button compilation support in the Stratix® II and Cyclone® II FPGA families as well as bug-fix support in perpetuity.
Nios II processors are fully supported in the Stratix, Stratix II, Arria® GX, Cyclone, and Cyclone II FPGA families.
Yes. Using the SOPC Builder tool in the Quartus II software, system designers can add as many Nios II processor cores as required by their system. SOPC Builder automatically generates the system fabric necessary to integrate the cores into the system.
The Avalon® system interconnect fabric is Altera's parameterized interface bus used by Nios and Nios II processors.
While most processor systems use bus topologies structured around a system bus shared between all peripherals in the system (as well as require designers to spend a large portion of their time verifying that the interfaces of all their peripherals work), the Avalon switch fabric is custom-built to the interface requirements of every peripheral in the system. This means that system designers need only design the interface that their peripheral requires without worrying about the complete set of Avalon switch fabric transactions. The Qsys System Integration tool automatically creates the proper Avalon system interconnect fabric to support each interface of the peripherals present in the system.
The Nios II software development tool automatically generates a customized C/C++ run-time environment tailored to the system hardware in a push-button manner. The Nios II Integrated Development Environment (IDE) simplifies project setup by supplying several software templates that you can use as starter files in developing custom software solutions.
Altera provides a complete software debugging solution via the Nios II IDE, enabling debugging via an instruction-set simulation (ISS) or directly in system hardware (such as a development board). Direct debugging of a Nios II processor system in hardware is supported through a hardware-assisted debug module. The debug module is feature-rich, supporting processor start, stop, step, hardware breakpoints, data triggers, and processor trace under IDE control.
The Nios II development kits include Micrium Technologies' highly versatile MicroC/OS-II real-time operating system (RTOS), presented as a customizable software component, accessible from within the Nios II IDE. The component enables software engineers to quickly create custom-tailored MicroC/OS-II configurations for their Nios II processor system. Furthermore, MicroC/OS-II provides TCP/IP support through the Lightweight IP (LWIP) TCP/IP stack and FAT file system support through the available MicroC/FS file system add-on component. The MicroC/OS-II RTOS component is licensable for a nominal fee of $2,750 for one developer at one company, for one year with no royalties.
The full version of the Nios II software includes the MicroC/OS-II real-time operating system. However, the operating system is not included in the Nios II Evaluation Edition. For more information, or if you require the full version of the Nios II software development tool, please contact us at email@example.com.