The first version of the ATHENa environment containing full support for all its major features will have a version number 1.0.

The most recent alpha version is version 0.6.4.

This version was posted on December 6, 2012 and is available below in two variants:

The corresponding tutorial (also included in the zip files) is available here:


The History of Changes since ATHENa 0.6 is listed at the end of the Tutorial.

Below we list our development plan from version 0.1 to version 1.0.

0.1 - support for Xilinx FPGAs in a single_run mode; placement_search - automated search for an optimum placement starting point (optimum value of a cost table)
0.2 - support for Altera FPGAs
0.3 - exhaustive search for optimum options of synthesis and implementation tools, enhanced error handling capability
0.4 - new enhanced ATHENa setup, support for multi-core processing, automated verification of designs through functional simulation run in batch mode, enhanced progress reports
0.5 - new heuristic optimization algorithms:  frequency_search and GMU_Xilinx_optimization_1; spooler script
0.6 - support for Linux, new heuristic optimization strategy: GMU_optimization_1, iteration through multiple values of generics, new FPGA families (Spartan 6, Virtex 6, Cyclone IV, Stratix IV, Arria families), support for Verilog and AHDL, support for using ATHENa with Altera MegaWizard Plug-in Manager and Xilinx CORE Generator, data trimming mode, database report generator, support for purely combinational circuits, capability to create replication files that can be used to regenerate optimized results without using ATHENa, tutorial converted to LaTeX.

0.7 - automated verification of designs through post-synthesis and timing simulation in batch mode
0.8 - support for Microsemi (formerly Actel) FPGAs
0.9 - additional heuristic optimization algorithms
1.0 - accommodating comments received by users testing earlier versions.

We reserve the right to introduce changes to this development plan.
The timeline of the project will depend on the future availability of human resources, funds, and contributions by volunteers interested in co-developing the system.

Current and earlier versions of the environment have been (or will be) extensively tested by students taking the following graduate classes at George Mason University:

Fall 2012: ECE 545 Digital System Design with VHDL
Spring 2012: ECE 645 Computer Arithmetic
Fall 2011: ECE 545 Digital System Design with VHDL
Spring 2011: ECE 645 Computer Arithmetic, ECE 746 Applied Advanced Cryptography
Fall 2010:  ECE 545 Digital System Design with VHDL, ECE 646 Cryptography and Computer Network Security
Spring 2010: ECE 645 Computer Arithmetic, ECE 699 Cryptographic Engineering
Fall 2009:  ECE 545 Digital System Design with VHDL, ECE 646 Cryptography and Computer Network Security