KB 01: Install Intel Quartus Prime Lite and Driver
KB01.1 Download and Install Intel Quartus Prime Lite
To download the FPGA software from Intel, you must create an account first.
Register an account on the Intel website.
- Please register a Standard Access account on the following link:
- Fill in the personal information by using your campus email address and phone number in the application form.
- After you submit the registration form, Intel will send you an activation email. Please check your email system and click the link to activate your account.
Download Intel Quartus Prime Lite Software
- Download the FPGA development tools from Intel Download Center (Quartus Prime Software only support Windows x64)
You can download the Quartus Prime Lite (free license) or Standard (need a valid license) from Intel Download Center for FPGAs: Download Intel Quartus Prime Software.
- Looking for Intel Quartus Prime Lite Edition Design Software Version 21.x for Windows and click on it.
- On the Individual Files tab, download the following files:
- Intel Quartus Prime (includes Nios II EDS)
- Questa - Intel FPGA Edition
- MAX 10 FPGA Device Support
Install Intel Quartus Prime Lite
- Wait until all three files are completely downloaded. Open the download folder and double-click the QuartusLiteSetup-21.x.x.xxx-windows.exe to start the installation.
- The Intel Quartus Prime software installer is the main installer program. It installs other software if that installer exists in the same folder. Here, the installer will automatically select the MAX 10 Device and Questa - Intel FPGA Starter Edition (Free).
- After installing Quartus Prime and Questa on the computer, the installer will install the USB-Blaster driver.
KB01.2 Request a License File for Questa-Intel FPGA Starter Edition
Request a License File from Intel
The Intel Quartus Prime Lite Edition is free and does not require a license. Questa-Intel FPGA Starter Edition is also free but requires zero-cost licenses. The Intel Quartus Prime Pro Edition software requires no license for Intel Cyclone 10 GX devices only.
- You must log in to the Intel Self Service Licensing Center to create and manage your licenses. From the Self Service Licensing Center Home page, click Sign up for Evaluation or Free License to request a license for Questa-Intel FPGA Starter Edition.
Select Questa-Intel FPGA Starter Edition, enter 1 in the # of Seats field.
Proceed to click Get License. A window will pop out to ask which computer should the license be assigned to.
- Click +New computer to generate a new license for your computer.
- Open Command Prompt and type ipconfig /all to find the network interface card (NIC) on Windows. The command prints network information as below.
- The Computer Name appears as the Host Name.
- The Primary Computer ID is the number on the Physical Address line. This number is a 12-digit hexadecimal number.
If the system has more than one network card, you can use the NIC ID of any network card connected to the computer.
- Enter the information in the following dialog to generate a new license for your computer.
- Click Generate License and Intel will send the license file to the email address in your My Intel account profile.
Setup License for the Questa-Intel FPGA Starter Edition Software
Download the license file from the email, and save it in the IntelFPGA or IntelFPGA_lite folder.
- Right-click on the Windows Start icon, select System.
- Click Advanced System Settings to open the System Properties dialog.
- In the Advanced tab, click Environment Variables.... In the System Variables, create a New variable with the name = LM_LICENSE_FILE, and click Browse file... to locate the license file.
- Click OK.
KB01.3 Configure Quartus Prime Software
Start the Intel Quartus Prime software.
Specify EDA Tool Settings
Perform the following steps to specify EDA Tool Options.
- Click Tools ➤ Options... ➤ EDA Tool Options to specify the location of your simulator for integration with Intel Quartus Prime.
- In the Questa Intel FPGA field, enter the following Questa-Intel FPGA Edition executable path:
- Questa - Intel Starter (Free): C:\intelFPGA_lite\<version>\questa_fse\win64
- Questa - Intel Standard: C:\intelFPGA\<version>\questa_fe\win64
- Clock OK to close EDA Tool Options diaglog.
Configure the Text Editor
To set up Text Editor, a source file must be created.
- Select File ➤ New... from the Menu bar. Select Verilog HDL File, from the Design Files list and click OK.
- Click Tools ➤ Options ➤ Text Editor, then make sure to check the options as below, and then click OK to save the change.
- Next, close the file without saving it.
KB01.4 Install USB Blaster Driver in Windows 10
If you are the first time use the Intel FPGA board, you must connect the FPGA board to your computer through a USB connection. Then right-click on the Windows Start button to launch the Device Manager.
You have to follow the steps listed below to install the driver.
Follow the steps to install the driver.
- Right-click on the USB-Blaster and select Update driver.
- A windows prompt asks: How do you want to search for driver software? Select Browse my computer for drivers.
- Under Search for driver software in this location, click Browse.
Browse to the C: driver, open the IntelFPGA_lite ➤ <Version> ➤quartus ➤drivers folder, then click OK. Make sure to check the Include subfolders option, and then click Next.
- A warning may appear that says Windows can't verify the publisher of this driver software. This message appears because the driver is not signed. Click Install this driver software anyway to proceed.
- Click the Close button when you see the "Windows has successfully updated your driver software" dialog.
- If you get a problem as the below when you install the USB Blaster driver.
The reason for this error is due to the certificate of the USB Blaster driver has expired (unsigned), and Window requires all drivers have been signed by Microsoft. Windows do not show a clear message to state that you are trying to install an unsigned driver. The above error message will confuse users and make them wonder how to solve this problem.
To solve this problem, the Driver Signature Enforcement feature must be disabled on Windows startup. The KB01.5 will show you the detailed steps. After disabling the driver signature enforcement, you have to redo KB01.3 again to install the USB Blaster driver.
KB01.5 Disable the Driver Signature Enforcement on Windows 10
Using the following methods to disable driver signature verification on Windows 10.
Use an Advanced Boot Option
- Open the Windows Settings by one of the following methods:
(1) Click the notification area in the lower right corner of the screen and select All settings.
or (2) Click the Start menu and select Settings
- Click Update & Security.
- Click on Recovery, and then click Restart now under Advanced Startup.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Select Advanced options.
- Click the Startup Settings.
- Click the Restart button to restart your PC into the Startup Settings screen.
- After reboot, if you can see the Startup Settings screen, press 7 to activate the Disable driver signature enforcement option.
Windows will restart once again, and you will be able to properly install the USB Blaster driver.
Note: the next time you restart Windows, driver signature enforcement will be enabled again. In order to protect your system, it is highly recommended that you restart your system after installing the USB Blaster driver.
- If your screen displays the following BitLocker password prompt screen, it means that your Windows has enabled data encryption.
Press the Power button for 5 seconds to power off your computer.
- To disable driver signature enforcement, the BitLocker must be disabled first. Restart your computer and follow the KB01.5 section to disable BitLocker drive encryption on the system drive.
KB01.6 Disable BitLocker Data Encyption on the System Drive
BitLocker Drive Encryption is available on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Enterprise. Windows 10 Home edition has its version of BitLocker on select devices. You can use the following steps to disable it.
If you do not know which version of Windows you are using, you can find your current license and version by typing About your PC in the Windows search box then press Enter. Scroll down to the Windows specifications section. The version of Windows currently installed on your computer will be found under Edition.
Disabling BitLocker on Windows 10 Pro/Educational Edition
To remove the driver encryption on Windows 10 Pro, use these steps:
- Right-click on the Windows Start Menu button. Click on Control Panel ➤ System and Security. Then click on BitLocker Drive Encryption.
- Click the Turn off BitLocker option on the system drive.
- Confirm the decision to Turn off BitLocker.
Disabling Drive Encryption on Windows 10 Home Edition
Windows 10 Home edition does not include BitLocker, it uses a similar to BitLocker, called device encryption to protect your data from unauthorized access.
- Click the Start menu and select Settings.
- Click on Update & Security ➤ Device encryption. Under the Device encryption section, click the Turn off button.
- Click the Turn off button again to confirm.
After you complete the steps, the device will go through the decryption process, which depends on the amount of data and can take a very long time.