Selecting Default Waveform Format in Active-HDL

Introduction

Several recent releases of Active-HDL were equipped with an optional, stand-alone accelerated waveform viewer, ASDB Waveform. Starting with Active-HDL 7.3, both regular waveform (.awf format) and accelerated waveform (.awc/.asdb format) are integrated with the GUI, but only one format can be used during a given simulation session. This document describes how to select the desired format.

Accelerated waveform is preferred when simulation has to run for long period of time, large number of signals must be observed, and waveform editing capabilities are not required.

NOTE: Not all editions of Active-HDL have accelerated waveform enabled in the license (you can check if you have it enabled by looking for the Accelerated Waveform Viewer feature status in Help | License Information | Diagnose License).

Selecting format

If your edition of Active-HDL is equipped with accelerated waveform, it is selected as the default following installation. To change it to standard viewer/editor or back to accelerated viewer, you can use GUI or console commands. Changing format is possible only when simulation is not running.

To change the default waveform format in GUI:

  1. Go to Tools | Preferences

  2. When Preferences window opens, click Waveform Viewer/Editor entry in the Editors section of the Category: box

  3. Pick Standard Waveform Viewer/Editor or Accelerated Waveform Viewer entry from the list in the Default Waveform Viewer/Editor box (see Figure 1)

Figure 1: Default waveform format selection.

To check or change the default waveform format in the console or macro, use the waveformmode command with the following syntax:

  • waveformmode without arguments displays current default setting

  • waveformmode asdb sets default format to accelerated waveform viewer

  • waveformmode awf sets default format to standard viewer/editor

Special notes

Files with .asdb extension generated by the simulator are not waveforms: they are databases of signal data created during simulation. Graphical arrangement of signals and formatting of waveforms can be saved in a separate configuration file with .awc extension. Since configuration file is tied to the database file, whenever you save waveform you are asked if you want to save a copy of database with the configuration file. If you only save configuration file (.awc) and then re-run simulation with the same database file name (.asdb), saved configuration file will not work with the newly created database. It is a general rule that .awc file works only with the .asdb file for which it was created and cannot be applied to any other .asdb file (use Waveform | Save to Macro feature to transfer viewer configuration between databases).

The total size of configuration and database files for given simulation is smaller than equivalent standard waveform file (.awf). For example, signal generator triggered by 1GHz clock simulated for 10 milliseconds with clock, enable, and 16-bit signal output recorded, generates 263 megabytes of standard waveform. After switching to accelerated waveform, the same simulation yields 30 megabytes database file and 9 kilobytes configuration file.

Old style stimulators are not visible in the accelerated waveform and cannot be saved with the waveform; force commands should be used instead.

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