AR# 64083


How to compile Vivado simulation libraries for third party simulator?


Before you begin working with a simulator other than the Vivado simulator, you must compile the Xilinx simulation libraries for the target simulator.

This article describes how to achieve this.


Xilinx HDL based simulation libraries come pre-compiled for use with the Vivado simulator.

The compile_simlib Tcl command compiles the simulation libraries for use by other simulators.

This command compiles Xilinx simulation libraries for use in the current project, or from a specified directory for use in all projects.

compile_simlib  [-directory <arg>] [-family <arg>] [-force] [-language <arg>] 
                [-library <arg>] [-print_library_info <arg>] -simulator <arg> 
                [-simulator_exec_path <arg>] [-source_library_path <arg>]     
                [-32bit] [-quiet] [-verbose]

For more information on each option, please refer to its help manual by running "compile_simlib -help" in Tcl mode.


Project Mode

From the Tcl Console, run

compile_simlib -simulator modelsim

Non-Project Mode

From a command prompt, run

vivado -mode tcl
compile_simlib -simulator -directory <path of compiled library results>


  • The compile_simlib command should be rerun any time a new third party simulator, or a new Vivado Design Suite version or update is installed.
  • By default (without the -directory option), the libraries are saved in "<project>/<project>.cache/compile_simlib" directory in Project mode, and the libraries are saved in the current working directory in Non-Project mode.
  • When this command is run with a project open, the tool will use the device family, target language, and library settings specified by the project as the default values, rather than the default settings of the command defined below.
    The default settings can be overridden by specifying the necessary options when the command is run.


Starting in 2014.3, the simulation library compilation can be done by GUI mode.

  1. Open the Vivado tools in GUI mode.
  2. Select Tools > Compile Simulation Libraries to open the dialog box as shown below:

The dialog box options correspond to the equivalent Tcl command options.

At the bottom of the Compile Simulation Libraries dialog box, there is a field labeled Command. 

The value of the Command field changes based on the options you select.

Linked Answer Records

Master Answer Records

Answer Number Answer Title Version Found Version Resolved
63904 Xilinx Simulation Solution Center - Design Assistant - Simulation Libraries - compile_simlib N/A N/A
AR# 64083
Date 04/16/2015
Status Active
Type General Article
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