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ModelSim is a multi-language HDL simulation environment by Mentor Graphics,[1] for simulation of hardware description languages such as VHDL, Verilog and SystemC, and includes a built-in C debugger.[2][1] ModelSim can be used independently, or in conjunction with Altera Quartus or Xilinx ISE.[3] Simulation is performed using the graphical user interface (GUI), or automatically using scripts. [4]


ModelSim is offered in multiple editions, such as ModelSim PE, ModelSim SE, and ModelSim XE.[1][5]

ModelSim SE offers high-performance and advanced debugging capabilities, while ModelSim PE is the entry-level simulator for hobbyists and students.[1] ModelSim SE is used in large multi-million gate designs, and is supported on Microsoft Windows and Linux, in 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.[1]

ModelSim XE stands for Xilinx Edition, and is specially designed for integration with Xilinx ISE.[5] ModelSim XE enables testing of HDL programs written for Xilinx Virtex/Spartan series FPGA's without needed physical hardware.[5]

ModelSim can also be used with MATLAB/Simulink, using Link for ModelSim.[6][7] Link for ModelSim is a fast bidirectional co-simulation interface between Simulink and ModelSim.[7][6] For such designs, MATLAB provides a numerical simulation toolset, while ModelSim provides tools to verify the hardware implementation & timing characteristics of the design.[7]

Language support[edit]

ModelSim uses a unified kernel for simulation of all supported languages, and the method of debugging embedded C code is the same as VHDL or Verilog.[1]

ModelSim enables simulation, verification and debugging for the following languages:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Handbook of Digital Techniques for High-Speed Design, Pearson Education India, 01-Sep-2007
  2. ^ Reconfigurable Embedded Control Systems, Idea Group Inc (IGI), 30-Nov-2010
  3. ^ Digital Hardware Design, Laxmi Publications, Ltd., 01-Sep-2008
  4. ^ Synthesizable VHDL Design for FPGAs, Springer Science & Business Media, 21-Oct-2013
  5. ^ a b c Modern Automation Systems, Laxmi Publications, Ltd., 01-May-2009
  6. ^ a b Industrial Control Technology, William Andrew, 12-Aug-2008
  7. ^ a b c Recent Advances in Modeling and Simulation Tools for Communication Networks and Services, Springer Science & Business Media, 20-Sep-2007

External links[edit]