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System requirements

Before starting, please make sure that your system satisfies the following requirements:

  • The system must have libedit installed.
    • For the yum package manager, the package is called libedit-devel
    • For apt-get, it is libeditline-dev or libedit-dev
    • Some systems have both packages. In that case please use libedit, not libeditline.
  • The system should have zlib installed
  • The system should have the macro pre-processing package m4 installed

Build instructions

Create a directory where you'd like the tools to be installed. Example common locations include /usr/local/cad, /opt/cad, /opt/async. Once you've cloned the git repo:

  • Set the environment variable ACT_HOME to point to the install directory.
  • Set the environment variable VLSI_TOOLS_SRC to the root of the source tree (i.e. the /path/to/act).
  • From the $VLSI_TOOLS_SRC directory, run ./configure $ACT_HOME
  • Run ./build

If there is an issue building the software and you want to do a clean build, use make realclean

Once you've built the tools, run make install to install the files, and make runtest to run through a set of test cases.

Note that the environment variable ACT_HOME has to be set to run the ACT tools, so it is best to set it in your .bashrc or the appropriate initialization script read in by your default shell.

Optional: to add the tools to your path add export PATH=$ACT_HOME/bin:$PATH to your .bashrc too

Running large ACT files

ACT files are typically short since they are written by a designer. However, an ACT file generated by another program—especially if the program generates a flattened design—can be large. If an ACT process (or a namespace) has a very large number of instances/connections that are individually listed (i.e. in the input file) and the library crashes, try removing system limits on the stack size (using unlimit or ulimit depending on your shell) and re-running the program.

Synopsys linkages

Some of the library functionality can be linked into Synopsys vcs for co-simulation support. This requires some Synopsys header files (obviously not included in the ACT distribution).