Critical Issue in Quartus II Software Version 4.1& 4.1 Service Pack 1

An issue has been discovered in Quartus® II software versions 4.1 and 4.1 service pack 1 that can cause a small percentage of designs that use counters to generate incorrect logic within Stratix®, Stratix GX, Cyclone™, MAX® II, and HardCopy® Stratix device families. When this issue occurs, designs that target these devices will function differently in the device than what the user intended. This issue occurs in the Quartus II software across all OS platforms and in the free Quartus II Web Edition software; Quartus II software versions 4.0 and earlier are not affected by this issue. This page is intended to inform you about the issue and to provide instructions to fix it. Altera has corrected this issue, and patches are now available for installation.

How Can This Issue Affect My Design?

All platforms of Quartus II software version 4.1 and 4.1 service pack 1, including the free Web Edition, have an issue in the counter implementation such that when synchronous clear and asynchronous set signals are used, the synchronous clear signal logic is not generated. This issue occurs only when all three of the following conditions occur:

  1. The design targets a Stratix, Stratix GX, Cyclone, MAX II, or HardCopy Stratix device.
  2. The counter uses both synchronous clear and asynchronous set signals.
  3. The counter is explicitly instantiated with the lpm_counter megafunction in Quartus II integrated synthesis or any third-party synthesis software or in a schematic file, or is inferred by Quartus II integrated synthesis.

Note: Third-party synthesis tools do not infer the lpm_counter megafunction and users of these tools will not be affected by this issue unless the user explicitly instantiates the lpm_counter megafunction in their VHDL or Verilog code.

How Can I Detect if This Issue is Affecting My Current Design?

You can discover this issue within gate-level simulation. Your testbench would need to simulate the synchronous clear behavior.

How Do I Fix This Issue?

Patches are now available to fix this issue. For each Quartus II software platform you have two options. You can download a patch file specific to your Quartus II software that fixes only this counter issue, or you can download a service pack 2 release that includes service pack 1 and the fix for this counter issue. This fix disables the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA Tools only)" feature for the lpm_counter megafunction, this feature will be supported in the next release of the Quartus II software.

Note: After installing a patch, if any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function to make sure the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option is turned off. You must then re-compile the design to complete the fix. Additional work-around information is available in the Altera solutions database.

Please use the following tables to download the correct software patch for your specific installation. Table 1 is for subscription customers and Table 2 is for Web Edition users.

Table 1. Quartus II Subscription Patches

Version Installed Platform Actions
Quartus II Software Version 4.1

Patch Installation Instructions

PC or Unix/Linux Option 1 - Install service pack 2
(Includes service pack 1 and the counter issue fix)
  1. Download and install service pack 2.
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" feature.
  3. Re-compile the design.

Option 2 - Install counter issue fix only (faster download)

  1. Download and install PC or UNIX patch file for Quartus II version 4.1 only:
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" feature.
  3. Re-compile the design.
Quartus II Software 4.1 service pack 1

Patch Installation Instructions

PC or Unix/Linux Option 1 - Install counter issue fix only (faster download)
  1. Download and install PC or UNIX patch file for Quartus II version 4.1 service pack 1 only:
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" feature.
  3. Re-compile the design.
Option 2 - Install service pack 2
(Includes service pack 1 and the counter issue fix)
  1. Download and install service pack 2.
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" feature.
  3. Re-compile the design.
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Table 2. Quartus II Web Edition Patches

Version Installed Platform Actions
Quartus II Web Edition Version 4.1PCOption 1 - Install Quartus II Web Edition Version 4.1 Including service pack 2
(Includes service pack 1 and the counter issue fix)
  1. Download and install Quartus II Web Edition Including service pack 2.
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" feature.
  3. Re-compile the design.
Option 2 - Install counter issue fix only (faster download)
  1. Download patch for Quartus II Web Edition version 4.1 only:
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)"
  3. Re-compile the design.
Quartus II Web Edition Version 4.1 Including service pack 1PCOption 1 - Install counter issue fix only (faster download)
  1. Download and install quartusii_41_sp1_web_edition_counter_patch_1_11.exe. (83 MB)
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" feature.
  3. Re-compile the design.
Option 2 - Install Quartus II Web Edition Version 4.1 Including service pack 2
(Includes service pack 1 and the counter issue fix)
  1. Download the and install Quartus II Web Edition Including Service Pack 2.
  2. If any lpm_counter megafunctions are included in your existing design files, rerun the lpm_counter MegaWizard function with the "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" option turned off. This new patch will not allow you to enable "Generate a Clearbox body (for EDA tools only)" feature.
  3. Re-compile the design.
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