About Quartus® Prime Scripting
The Quartus® Prime software provides both a GUI and a scripting interface. Although you can use either of these interfaces to perform every stage of the design flow, the scripting interface reduces memory requirements and allows you to optimize efficiency by automating common tasks. For example, you can use scripts to create a project, make and edit assignments, view information about devices, run compilations or simulations, perform timing analysis, and access reports.
The Quartus® Prime command-line executables provide control over each step of the design flow. Each executable includes options to control commonly used software settings. You can also call command-line executables from shell scripts and makefiles. The Quartus® Prime command-line executables provide scripting flexibility without requiring you to exit the Quartus® Prime GUI. You can switch between the Quartus® Prime GUI and command line executables at different stages in the design flow. For example, you might use the Quartus® Prime GUI to edit the floorplan for the design using the Chip Planner, use a script to iteratively place and route the design, and then return to the Quartus® Prime GUI to further debug the design.
Tcl is an EDA industry-standard, platform-independent scripting language that is similar to both shell scripting and higher-level programming languages. All Quartus® Prime-specific Tcl commands control the command-line executables and are grouped into Tcl packages. The Quartus® Prime command-line executable you use to interpret your Tcl command or script determines the packages that are loaded and available to load, reducing overall memory usage.