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Getting started with Libero SoC

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 5, 2018 4:00:10 PM / by Brian Colgan

Brian Colgan

Libero SoC Design Suite is a software suite designed by Microsemi to offer high productivity with its comprehensive, easy-to-learn, easy-to-adopt development tools for 3rd and 4th Generation Microsemi FPGA devices, including Microsemi's IGLOO2, SmartFusion2, RTG4, SmartFusion, IGLOO, ProASIC3 and Fusion families.

In this blog, we will go through the steps involved in getting Libero installed on your system.

Microsemi SoC Web Portal Registration

First things first we need to get registered on the Microsemi SoC Web Portal. Here you will be able to download Libero SoC software and also be able to access FPGAs & SoCs Documents, Support Cases and Software Licenses. To register, click the link below and click New User:

https://soc.microsemi.com/portal

Once you’re signed up, you can download Libero SoC. You can do this by clicking one of the below links, depending on your operating system.

Download Libero SoC v11.8 for Windows
Download Libero SoC v11.8 for Linux

In this post, we will be going through the installation on a Windows PC.

For Windows there are two downloads to choose from:

  • Web Install (114 KB) - Downloads a small EXE file to your local machine. Internet access is required during installation.
  • ZIP containing EXE - Ensure that you have at least 12GB free on your hard drive.

libero-getting-started

Installing Libero SoC v11.8 and all Components

If you downloaded the ZIP file extract LiberoSoC_v11.8_Win_updated.zip and execute "Setup.exe" in the extracted folder. The Installation Wizard will open.

If you chose the Web install, click setup.exe. Click Run in the Security Warning dialog box. The Installation Wizard will open.

In the InstallShield Wizard you can click Next to start the installation.

libero-soc-license-file

 

The next page will show you the License Agreement. Once you accept, click Next and you will then be asked to pick a destination folder for the installation. The default location should be fine.

Select Complete in the Setup Type dialog box to accept the Libero license agreement then click Next.

environment-variables

Click Install as shown below the run the installation.

updating-libero-soc-ip-vault

Now you can click Finish to close the InstallShield Wizard.

updating-libero-soc-ip-vault-part-2

Downloading and Installing Libero SoC v11.8 SP3

Now we need to install Libero SoC v11.8 SP3. This is an incremental service pack and must be installed over Libero SoC v11.8. These can be downloaded below.

Download Libero SoC v11.8 SP3 for Windows

Download Libero SoC v11.8 SP3 for Linux

For Windows, download the EXE and run it.

Obtaining a license for Libero SoC

Now we need to obtain a license for Libero. Microsemi offers two types of free license, these are the Evaluation License and the Silver License.

The Evaluation License is a free license which is valid for 60 days. It supports mixed language simulation without programming, program generation or debug features.

The Silver license is free and valid for 1 year. It supports single language simulation with programming and debug features.

More information on Libero Licensing can be found here. For this blog series, the Silver Licences will meet our requirements.

To gain access to the license request page, we must complete a short 3-question survey, click the blue button as shown below.

firmware-catalog
 

Once completed you can request a Free License as shown below:

defaults

We will pick the Libero Silver 1 Year Node-lock License for Windows. A node-locked license is locked to a specific hard disk ID or movable USB hardware key dongle. A USB dongle with the accompanying license file allows the software to operate on any PC to which the dongle is attached and the license file and software are installed.

Below you can see that we’re being asked for a Disk ID. The Disk ID is the computer hard drive's serial number, also called Disk Serial Number. It is typically the C: drive in your computer.

To obtain your computer's Disk ID, type the below command in Command Prompt and then enter your C: drive's Disk ID number into the license registration page window where indicated

installing-libero-SoC-step-2

Normally the license file (license.dat) is generated and sent to your email address in less than 30 minutes. The Libero SoC license can also be downloaded from your Microsemi SoC Portal Account.

Installing the Libero License:

The first thing we need to do with the license is download the attachment and put it on the C: drive. Create a folder named flexlm on the C: drive then save your license file in the folder. Confirm that the name of the license file is license.dat.

Next, we need to update our environment variables. This can be done from opening the Control Panel, selecting System, and the opening Advanced System Settings.

Click Environment Variables on the Advanced tab in the System Properties dialog box. Set up three new environment variables as shown below.

Variable

Value

LM_LICENSE_FILE

c:\flexlm\license.dat

SNPSLMD_LICENSE_FILE

c:\flexlm\license.dat

SYNPLCTYD_LICENSE_FILE

c:\flexlm\license.dat

 

installing-libero-SoC-step-3

Downloading and Installing SoftConsole

SoftConsole is the Integrated Design Environment (IDE) for programming microcontroller sub-systems on the Microsemi Devices (e.g. hard ARM core on a SmartFusion2, soft ARM/RISC-V core on an Igloo2). It enables programmers to write, compile, and debug C (or C++) applications for their embedded system. This software can be tested by downloading the code directly to the FPGA and executing it on the actual system. It is a free tool based on Eclipse 4.7.0.

You can download SoftConsole v5.2 from the Microsemi website using the links below:

SoftConsole v5.2 Download for Windows

SoftConsole v5.2 Download for Linux

Once you’ve downloaded Microsemi-SoftConsole-v5.2.0.15-Windows-Installer.exe file to your system, execute it and follow the instructions to finish installing SoftConsole.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed Libero SoC and SoftConsole, wasn’t that easy? Now we just need to update our IP and Firmware catalogues.

Updating the Libero SoC IP Vault

Before we start any design, we should update our IP Vault, this is a quick and painless process.

Launch Libero SoC v11.8 SP3. Make the IP catalogue visible by selecting View > Windows > Catalog.

Now open Options as seen in the screenshot below.

installation-complete

We should have 3 repositories listed, if you don’t click Defaults and they should update to the ones listed below. In case you need to type them in directly I’ve pasted them here:

  • www.actel-ip.com/repositories/SgCore
  • www.actel-ip.com/repositories/DirectCore
  • www.actel-ip.com/repositories/Firmware


obtaining-a-license-from-microsemi

Click OK to close the Options dialog box and have a look for the message “New cores are available” at the bottom of the IP catalogue window. Click “Download them now!” to download the cores.

Updating the Firmware Catalog Vault

We’re almost done! Last step is to update the firmware catalogue. You can open Firmware Catalog directly from the Start bar.

microsemi-soc-licensing

Once you’ve opened the Firmware Catalog, we’re going to open the Vault/Repositories Settings as shown below.

soc-license-descriptions

Click Defaults. Confirm that the following repository appears. Click the Defaults button if the repository field is blank.

www.actel-ip.com/repositories/Firmware

disk-id

At the bottom of the Firmware Catalog dialog will show “New cores are available for download”.

Click on Download them now to download all the most recent drivers for peripherals including Sample code and CMSIS compliant HAL etc.

That’s it! Now you’re ready to get designing, in the next post we will be doing a walkthrough of the Libero SoC Design Flow.

If you have any questions, please email me on bcolgan@epsglobal.com

Click here for further information on Microsemi products or to get a quote.

Topics: Semiconductors, Microsemi