ISE and ModelSim installation and cooperation

Code writing is done in ISE, and simulation is done in ModelSim. So, here comes a question: How does ISE cooperate with ModelSime. This passage will present a method to solve this issue.


  1. ISE installation
  2. ModeSim installation
  3. ISE cooperate with ModelSim
  4. Attachment
  5. Program Reference

1. ISE installation

ISE needs about 23 G free disk space for installation, so make sure you have enough space. There is another thing you should remember: NO Chinese characters and SPACE in install path, otherwise, you will encounter some problems when using ISE. The installation is so simple and foolish, so there is no need to elaborate the installation. But there is one thing must to say: How to use ISE while we don’t purchase? There is a document named xilinx_ise.lic in 14.7lic folder in the documents I have given to you. After installation, you can use this file to activate ISE.



If your OS (Operate System) is windows 8, windows 8.1 or windows 10, opening a file dialog causes the tool to crash to the desktop, This can occur when trying to “Load a License”, “Open a Project” (see screenshot below), or any other process that brings up a file dialog box:

Solution: Turning off SmartHeap

  1. Navigate to the following ISE install directory: <install_path>\Xilinx\14.7\ISE_DS\ISE\lib\nt64\
  2. Rename the file “libPortability.dll” to “libPortability.dll.orig”.
  3. Copy the “libPortabilityNOSH.dll” file to the same folder, and rename it to “libPortability.dll”.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 in the following folder: <install_path>\Xilinx\14.7\ISE_DS\common\lib\nt64\

The above steps substitute the original “libPortability.dll” with a “libPortability.dll” file that has SmartHeap disabled, the NOSmartHeap (NOSH) version.

This does not negatively impact the operation of the tools, and should successfully work around the ISE 14.7 crash documented above.

2. ModeSim installation

ModeSim needs about 3.6 G free disk space for installation, so, as the former one, make sure you have enough space. Similarly, NO Chinese characters and SPACE in install path, otherwise, some errors will occur when running ModeSim, and you will get confused.

To crack ModeSim, read ReadMe.txt in modelsim 10.4 crack folder.

3. ISE cooperate with ModelSim

After installation of ISE and ModeSim, the next step we should do is to make ISE cooperates with ModeSim. The approach comes below:

Step 1: Compile Simulation Library

Choose start menu of windows to find Xilinx Design Tools\Simulation Library Compilation Wizard (see screenshot below).

Choose ModelSim SE, 64-bit and simulator Executable Location respectively. Remember, you should choose your real install path of ModeSim. The path D:\modeltech64_10_4\win64 in the below screenshot is my install_path. And click Next.

Select “Both VHDL and Verilog“. And click next.

In this page, there are many Device Families. If we compile all libraries, the time costs and disk space requirement will be enormous. To decrease time costs and disk space requirement, we only choose ‘Sparton3E“. And click Next.

In this page, we don’t need to make any changes, just use default selection. And click Next.

In this page. I recommend you to put the compiled libraries in ModeSim install_path. In this screenshot, D:\modeltech64_10.4 is my install_path, and I create a new folder named xilinx_lib in this path. Other Options don’t require any changes. Note: NO Chinese or SPACE in folder name and path. And click “Launch Compiled Process“. Then, a long time compilation process runs. It will cost around 20 minutes. The real costed time depends on the performance of your own computer. Please wait with patience.

After compilation, some compile logs will appear on the screen. If error occurs, please check edition and path, solve the problems and try again.

Step 2: Cooperation ISE and ModelSim

After compilation of libraries, the next step we should do is the cooperation between ISE and ModelSim. In the Step 1, we generate libraries that ModelSim needs, but some other operations still be required to let ModelSim recognize libraries compiled by ISE.

You will find, in the path of ISE_INSTALL_PATH\14.7\ISE_DS\ISE and ModelSim_INSTALL_PATH, there is a file name modelsim.ini in both paths. Open modelsim.ini file in ISE_INSTALL_PATH, find [Library] in the file, copy the text from the line below [Library] to the  line above [DefineOptionset] except the first line and lines begin with “;”. Then. go to ModelSim_INSTALL_PATH, change the property of modelsim.ini from read only to readable, and open it. Find [Library], and paste the texts copied from ISE_INSTALL_PATH\14.7\ISE_DS\ISE\modelsim.ini to just below [Library]. Save and close file. And change the property of modelsim.ini from readable to read only.

Step 3: Configuration in ISE

Open ISE. Click Edit->Preference and then a Preference – Console dialog will appear on the screen. Click ISE General->Integrated Tools. You will find Model Tech Simulator in the right part. Choose and type in the path of ModelSim execute file (see the screenshot below). My path is D:\modeltech64_10.4\win64\modelsim.exe. You should fill in your real path that contains modelsim.exe file. Finally, click Apply and OK, respectively.

Until now, the whole configuration comes to an end.


4. Attachment

You can find the answer to How to use ISE and ModelSim from this link: Xilinx ISE使用流程(从新建项目到仿真执行)-之一. This article is in Chinese.


5. Program Reference

Half Adder designed by VHDL program language

Full Adder designed by VHDL program language

4-to-2 data selector designed by VHDL program language

3-8 decoder designed by VHDL program language


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