Intel® FPGA Software License Types

The following table lists Intel FPGA (formerly Altera® FPGA) software licenses, information you need to obtain licenses, and the software and tools each license supports. To obtain a license, login to myAltera and use the Self-Service License Generator.

License Types

License Description Required Information Software and Tools
Fixed license

A stand-alone (node-locked, single-user) license tied to the computer on which yiu run the software.

Network interface card (NIC) ID, hard disk serial number, or software guard ID (1)
  • Quartus Prime or Quartus II software
  • Qsys
  • ModelSim-Intel FPGA Edition software (2), (3)
  • MAX+PLUS II software
Floating license Floating network license (5)

NIC ID for Windows  or Redhat Linux license servers (5)

Host ID for UNIX license server (5)

Quartus Prime or Quartus II
1-year license
1-year license available in some development kits Activation code to activate the software (6)
  • Quartus Prime or Quartus II software
  • Qsys
Quartus Prime Lite Edition or Quartus II Web Edition No-cost, entry-level version of software that you can download from; supports selected devices No license required
  • Quartus Prime Lite Edition or Quartus II Web Edition software
  • ModelSim-Intel FPGA Starter Edition software (3)
DSP Builder for Intel FPGAs A digital signal processing (DSP) development tool that interfaces between the Quartus Prime or Quartus II software and MATLAB/Simulink tools NIC ID, or host ID, or software guard ID (1)
  • DSP Builder for Intel FPGAs
IP Megacore Functions Off-the-shelf megafunctions optimized for our devices Variable (6)
  • IP MegaCore functions
MAX+PLUS II BASELINE No-cost, entry-level version of MAX+PLUS II software that can be downloaded from; supports selected low-density devices NIC ID or hard-disk serial number (7)
MAX+PLUS II Student Edition Available for legacy class materials Hard-disk serial number (7)
  • MAX+PLUS II Student Edition software


  1. Legacy versions of Quartus II software prior to version 8.0 used a fixed license that was tied to a USB software guard (a T-guard or dongle). We continue to support software guards for licensing.
  2. The ModelSim-Intel FPGA Edition software requires a valid license. The ModelSim-Intel FPGA Edition software license expires 15 months after the date of purchase. Every 15 months you must regenerate your license file in the Self-Service Licensing Center to renew your license for the specific ModelSim-Intel FPGA Edition software version that you purchased.
  3. The Quartus Prime Lite Edition, Quartus II Web Edition, and ModelSim-Intel FPGA Starter Edition versions 8.1 and later do not require license files.
  4. The legacy FLOATPC, FLOATNET, and FLOATLNX network licenses also require an Altera ID, NIC ID, or host ID.
  5. The FLEXlm license manager allows up to three redundant license servers to serve a network license. The first server specified is the master; use the master’s NIC ID or host ID when obtaining a license.
  6. Because IP cores and development kits are added as feature lines in the software license file, the licensing requirement depend on the software type.
  7. If the PC has more than one hard disk, select the hard disk where the Windows operating system is installed.

IDs Used for Licensing

ID Type Description
Software serial number or activation code Your serial number comprises 14 alphanumeric characters beginning with an "A." This serial number serves as a license activation code to activate your software license via the Self-Service Licensing Center. The serial number is printed on a small sticker located in the center of the letter you received as well as on the external shipping envelope. The sticker has three bar codes with numbers underneath. The serial number is the bottom-most number. 
NIC ID The NIC ID is a 12-character hexadecimal string embedded in the network interface card.
Host ID The server Host ID is an 8-character hexadecimal string that identifies a UNIX workstation.
Software guard ID The software guard ID is a 10-character ID. Software guards (or dongles) connect to a USB port and have an ID that begins with a “T” followed by 9 numbers.
Hard disk serial number The hard-disk serial number is an 8-character hexadecimal ID that identifies the hard disk.