Simulating AXI-based Designs from Xilinx ISE in Riviera-PRO


The full list of Xilinx IPs with an AXI4 interface can be accessed directly from the IP catalog in CORE Generator. The AXI BFM can be used to verify connectivity and basic functionality of AXI masters and AXI slaves with the custom RTL design flow. Delivered with ISE Design Suite installation, it is available at: <XILINX_ISE_INSTALL_DIR>/ise_ds/ise/secureip/aldec/axi_bfm_aldec.


This application note assumes the following:

  1. You have an AXI license (AXI BFM simulation model) which is separately available from Xilinx. Please contact Xilinx if you do not have an AXI license.

  2. You have Riviera-PRO installed.

  3. If your Riviera-PRO license is VHDL only, you need to get the SecureIP license feature from Aldec. If you have a Verilog or mixed-language Riviera-PRO license, you do not need any additional licenses from Aldec to use AXI BFM.

  4. You have Xilinx ISE installed and licensed from Xilinx.

  5. You have created your design with all necessary AXI BFM and other IPs in place.

  6. Make sure that Riviera-PRO has the required Xilinx simulation libraries attached.

NOTE: You may refer to on how to create AXI based systems using Xilinx platform studio. You may refer to on how to try AXI BFM examples available in Xilinx CORE Generator.

Running AXI BFM Simulation

Launching Riviera-PRO on Windows

  1. Make sure that the AXI BFM license is set (i.e. your LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable points to the license server with the AXI BFM license available).

  2. The easiest way to ensure that all necessary Xilinx environment variables are set, is to launch Riviera-PRO directly from the ISE Design Suite Command Prompt which you can access from the Windows Start menu. For Riviera-PRO users the choice depends on the platform version of Rivera-PRO, i.e. either 32 bit or 64 bit.

    Figure 1. Opening Xilinx command prompt on Windows

  3. To launch Riviera-PRO, type rungui in the respective (32 or 64 bit) Xilinx command prompt.

    Figure 2. Invoking Riviera-PRO

    Once the Riviera-PRO GUI is invoked, please browse to the directory where you have the Xilinx-generated simulation scripts for the AXI-BFM based design.

Launching Riviera-PRO on Linux

  1. Make sure that the AXI BFM license is set (i.e. your LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable points to the license server with the AXI BFM license available).

  2. Depending on the Riviera-PRO platform (32 bit or 64 bit) source respectively or script file which is provided in the ISE_DES directory of Xilinx installation directory.

  3. Type rungui in the Linux shell and invoke Riviera-PRO GUI.

    Figure 3. Running Riviera-PRO from Linux Command Shell

Compiling design files

  1. To create the work library and compile design files, execute the *.do script generated by Xilinx. You can also use your own script. Refer to the Figure 4 for an example.

    Figure 4. Running Compilation and Simulation script

  2. The vsim command in the above script file (refer to Figure 4) will initialize the simulation with Xilinx PLI library responsible for the AXI BFM simulation model license checks:

    • libxil_riviera.dll - applies to Riviera-PRO (both 32/64-bit) on Windows

    • - applies to 32/64-bit Riviera-PRO on Linux

    Here is how a sample command for simulation initialization should look like:

    vsim -L secureip -lib work top_level -pli libxil_riviera.dll

    NOTE: The PLI libraries referenced above are a part of Xilinx ISE installation at <XILINX_ISE_INSTALL_DIR>/ISE_DES/ISE/lib/<platform>/libxil_riviera.<extension> (the accurate platform-dependent location is already on your search path provided that you followed Step 3 and 4. If you do not have these libraries, please refer to the following Xilinx's answer record on how to get them.

  3. Once the simulation initialization completes, you may proceed to running the simulation by issuing run -all command.

    Figure 5. AXI BFM License Notification

    If your design has the AXI BFM and the license for it is available, you will see the appropriate notification in the console/shell window (see Figure 5).

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