I use ModelSim primarily for simulation, but also as an editor for VHDL and TCL files. I chose ModelSim because:

  • I had experience with it from University courses
  • I could get it for free for use on academic projects
  • There is a starter edition available with no license

ModelSim PE Student Edition:

ModelSim Altera Starter Edition:—simulation/modelsim-altera-software.html

The starter has a 10,000 executable line limit. I do not know if this is a throttling limit like the Student edition, or if it is a hard limit.


Sometimes ModelSim won’t open the TCL files locally, in that case, I use Notepad++ to edit them. I have not yet added any plugins for this project.