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New Download and Installation Process for DesignWare Synthesizable IP for AMBA 2.0 and AMBA 3 AXI

Meni Jayaswal, Sr. CAE

The DesignWare synthesizable and Verification IP for the AMBA 2.0 and AMBA 3 AXI protocols enables designers to easily integrate and verify the high-speed protocol into their system-on-chip (SoC) designs, while reducing risk and speeding time to results. The DesignWare solution provides an automated method, coreAssembler, for assembling and configuring IP in a subsystem, and developing an initial verification testbench for AMBA 2.0 and AMBA 3 AXI protocol-based designs.

To obtain the full DesignWare synthesizable IP, you have to download 2 images (.run files), one for AMBA 2.0 (AHB, APB) and one for AMBA 3 AXI .

As part of the 2007.04a release we now offer 2 ways to download the products files -

(a) Standard Download - This provides a static image that contains all of the product parts.

(b) Optimized Download - This method analyzes a DESIGNWARE_HOME and sends an image that contains only those parts not already installed or in need of update. The image from an optimized download is customized to contain only the components that a specific DESIGNWARE_HOME tree requires in order to be brought up-to-date with respect to the latest released image. The net effect on your DESIGNWARE_HOME after installation is the same as if you had installed the standard image.


  1. To download the latest AMBA 2.0 image, go to the following link (also called DWDL page)- https://www.synopsys.com/dw/dwdl.php?id=dw_iip_amba

  2. Before downloading the .run file, make sure to read the 'Special instructions for the dw_iip_amba image' document.

  3. Once you have downloaded the .run file, follow the installation instructions as mentioned below-
    1. Change permissions on the downloaded .run file:
      % chmod u+x image_name.run

    2. Create a DESIGNWARE_HOME environment variable to point at your install location, which must be read/write mounted to all compute servers. All users must set this environment variable. For C-shell:
      % setenv DESIGNWARE_HOME full_UNIX_path/DW_HOME

    3. Execute the .run file to unpack the image:
      % image_name.run --dir full_UNIX_path/DW_HOME --quiet

      If this is a source installation (unencrypted RTL), you will be prompted for the source licenses you have and "Project ID." Put in the value provided. Leave the Project ID blank if you have DesignWare license (encrypted RTL).

      NOTE: With the --quiet option, the script does not prompt you. As the script runs, it lists what is being installed, and then presents README file information. If you want to view the README information before performing the installation, issue the following command:
      % image_name.run --readme

    4. You must ensure that the $DESIGNWARE_HOME/vip directory has both read and write permissions for anyone using the verification models for simulation.

    5. Modify your $PATH variable to include $DESIGNWARE_HOME/bin.

  4. To download the latest AMBA 3 AXI image, go to the following link- https://www.synopsys.com/dw/dwdl.php?id=dw_iip_axi

  5. Before downloading the .run file, make sure to read the 'Special instructions for the dw_iip_axi image' document.

  6. Repeat step 3 for AMBA 3 AXI .run file.


  1. Ensure that your DESIGNWARE_HOME contains a ./bin/dwh_update utility. If you don't have dwh_update, you should download a standalone 'dwh_update.run' image from AMBA 2.0 or AMBA 3 AXI DWDL page (Optimized->Detailed Instructions) and execute it on a UNIX platform to install it.
  2. Set the DESIGNWARE_HOME environment variable to point to the install tree you wish to update.
  3. Change to a working directory in which you have write privileges.
  4. Execute the dwh_update utility as follows: $DESIGNWARE_HOME/bin/dwh_update -info
    This will produce a dwh_all.rpt file in your working directory.
  5. Now on the AMBA 2.0 DWDL page- https://www.synopsys.com/dw/dwdl.php?id=dw_iip_amba
    'Browse..' to the dwh_all.rpt file and press the 'Start Download' button to start downloading an image that is optimized for your DESIGNWARE_HOME tree.
  6. Execute the ".run" file on a UNIX platform to install it as explained above in step 3 of 'Standard Download' process.
  7. Repeat steps 5. and 6. for AMBA 3 AXI. https://www.synopsys.com/dw/dwdl.php?id=dw_iip_axi

    If your DESIGNWARE_HOME is upto date, you will see the following message -

    Your installation:

      # Versioned Entity List.
      # Generated by dwh_update.pl_2.04a on Fri May  4 13:48:45 2007
      # For DESIGNWARE_HOME : /remote/project/amba/dw_home
      # All Versioned Entities
      is up-to-date with respect to this image_id: dw_iip_amba 

    Both the AMBA 2.0 and AMBA 3 AXI images should be installed in the same DESIGNWARE_HOME. coreTools is not a part of AMBA or AXI image, it needs to be installed separately like other tools (DC,PT, etc.) You can find the download and installation instructions in the Installation Guide (IG). Refer the IG for supported tool versions, licensing and environment variables that needs to be set before invoking coreConsultant/coreAssembler.

    The DesignWare QuickStart for AMBA examples are also available as part of DesignWare library. These are a collection of example designs of AMBA subsystems built with DesignWare components. The following QuickStart example designs are available-

    • QuickStart_SingleLayer -- a simulation-only, non-configurable, RTL example using a single AHB and APB bus to connect both synthesizable IP and verification models.

    • QuickStart_MultiLayer -- a simulation-only, non-configurable, RTL example using four AHB and two APB buses with a sophisticated interconnect matrix. QuickStart_MultiLayer includes DMA, ICM, AHB-bridge and many other peripheral components.

    • QuickStart_Drivers -- additional modules (one for each driver) used with the QuickStart_MultiLayer example to simulate the Software Drivers.

    These Quickstart examples should be downloaded and overlayed on the same DESIGNWARE_HOME where the main AMBA 2.0 image is installed.

    Here is the QuickStart single Layer download page-

    Here is the QuickStart multi Layer download page-

    Here is the QuickStart drivers download page-