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Compiling Hardware

Here we describe how to compile the hardware to produce a bitstream. This bitstream implements the Ensō NIC and can be loaded into the FPGA.

The following steps assume that you have already installed Quartus.


Synthesizing the hardware can take hours. If you do not need to make hardware changes, you should skip this part and automatically download the appropriate bitstream by running:

cd <root of enso repository>
./scripts/ --download

Generate IP cores

Before synthesizing the bitstream for the first time, you need to generate the IP cores that are used by the hardware. To do so, run the following commands:

cd <root of enso repository>

Synthesize the hardware

After generating the IP cores, you can now synthesize the hardware by running:

cd <root of enso repository>

The resulting bitstream will be placed in the directory where you ran the command and it will be named enso_0.sof. If the design does not meet timing, the bitstream will be saved as neg_slack_enso_0.sof.


The above command will use a single seed to synthesize the hardware. It is often advantageous to synthesize with multiple seeds to increase the probability of finding a design that meets timing. If you have enough memory, you can synthesize with multiple seeds in parallel. (Requires GNU Parallel to be installed.)

To do so, you can specify multiple seeds when running the command. For example, to synthesize with seeds 1, 2, 3, and 4, run:

cd <root of enso repository>
./ 1 2 3 4

This will run a separate synthesis for each seed and save the resulting bitstreams as enso_{seed}.sof, e.g., enso_1.sof, enso_2.sof.