This week at work was quite bad. All week of struggles versus the tools and some really enigmatic bugs - almost no advance in the project.

Trying to configure the Altera APEX20K device on one of our cards, Altera's Quartus tool gives different results for different versions, different options and different cards. For instance, on one card the design works when compiled with version 3, but not with version 4.1 or 5. On another card it works with 3 and 4.1 but not with 5. Changing some options (seemingly unrelated) change the results. This is crazy !

Such tool problems are very annoying, mainly because they damage my self-confidence. When you don't trust your tools, what can you trust ? It's the same in software with a compiler. Imagine working when you continuously suspect the compiler / interpreter is buggy. How pleasant is that ?

Trying to configure another device on another card, this time a Quicklogic antifuse FPGA, we fighted with the weird and old Quicklogic SpDE program. It just doesn't work as it should ! We'll see what other versions of it can offer, maybe mix it with other tools.

Aargh...


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