When you design with the Nios® II embedded processor, you have access to a portfolio of robust software development tools and software components available from Altera and our partner ecosystem.
Nios II Embedded Design Suite
The Nios II Embedded Design Suite (EDS) is a comprehensive development package for Nios II software design. The Nios II EDS contains not just development tools, but also software, device drivers, bare metal Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) library, a commercial grade network stack software and evaluation version of a real time operating system.
The Nios II EDS includes:
- Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse
- Nios II Software Build Tools
- Embedded Software
- Device Drivers for Altera® IP and HAL API
See what’s new in the latest release
The Nios II Software Build Tools are a fully integrated development environment built from the ground up. Nios II Software Build Tools are used as a foundation and designed as plug-ins for industry-standard Eclipse.
Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse focuses on improving software productivity for large software applications and team-based software design.
The Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse includes:
- Eclipse IDE
- Source navigator and editor
- Source debugger and profiler
- Compiler, linker, and assembler for C and C++
- Nios II plug-ins for Eclipse
- Nios II Project Manager
- Nios II Software Templates
- Nios II Flash Programmer
- Nios II BSP Editor
- Quartus II Programmer
- Nios II Command Shell
Download the Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse Handbook (PDF)
Learn about all the software tools available for the Nios II embedded processor including compilers, debuggers, and co-verification tools available from Altera’s software tool partners.
The Nios II Software Build Tools are a set of powerful commands, utilities, and scripts to manage build options for applications, BSPs, and software libraries.
Download the Nios II Software Build Tools Handbooks:
- Introduction to the Nios II Software Build Tools (PDF)
- Using the Nios II Software Build Tools (PDF)
With the Nios II embedded processor, you have access to a broad range of embedded software components. The following items are included with the Nios II EDS:
- MicroC/OS-II real-time operating system (production license sold separately)
- NicheStack TCP/IP Network Stack - Nios II Edition (provided for free as part of the Nios II EDS)
- Newlib ANSI-C standard library
- Simple file system
- Hardware design examples and software applications
A complete list of applications examples, operating systems, middleware, and intellectual property (IP) cores are available from Altera and Altera's software tool partners.
Altera provides a complete set of peripheral device drivers and even generates a custom board support package automatically to accelerate your software development effort.
- Hardware abstraction layer (HAL)—Increase your productivity by building your applications on top of the Nios II HAL. The HAL is a well-defined software layer that forms a clear distinction between application and device-level software (refer to Figure 1). The HAL also provides services such as file descriptors, I/O control, and buffering, which are required by the ANSI C library functions, so that your HAL driver does not need to provide these functions. Learn about the HAL System Library (PDF).
- BSP—The Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse automatically generates a complete BSP, including drivers for the peripherals in your system. Learn about the HAL System Library (PDF).
- Custom drivers—Create your own custom drivers on top of the HAL by leveraging the HAL API using a predefined and well-documented driver development procedure. This modular approach promotes consistent, portable, and reusable code. Download Developing Device Drivers for the HAL (PDF).
Figure 1. Nios II HAL
- SPI = serial peripheral interface
- DMA = direct memory access
- CFI = common flash interface