The Nios II
The Nios II is a proprietary 32-bit RISC architecture processor core developed by Altera for use in their FPGAs. The soft-core nature of the Nios II processor lets the system designer specify and generate a custom Nios II core, tailored for his or her specific application requirements. System designers can extend the Nios II's basic functionality by adding a predefined memory management unit and/or defining custom instructions and custom peripherals.
- Easy-to-use development environment
- No license required for building a system when using the Quartus II Web Edition
- No extra JTAG programming tool needed
- Can only be used in Altera FPGAs
- Some IP cores have time-limited licenses that will stop working after some time. They will continue to work as long as the development board is connected to your host computer.
The Altera Quartus II and Nios II Embedded Design Suite make it very easy to build a NIOS II-based system and to write application software that will run on this system. The complete Nios II system is specified in the Qsys tool where the processor is configured and all other system components are added.
to check out the entire Nios II-based design process in my blog.