Skip to content

Configuring RocketChip

Alex Abdugafarov edited this page Nov 10, 2018 · 30 revisions

Assumptions and conventions

  • Data here reflects rocket chip as of 5d7a0e (dated 2018-04-23)
  • All Scala sources are referenced relatively to src/main/scala
  • Useful tools for reverse-engineering configuration process, within a custom config:
    • println statements
    • new Exception("comment").printStackTrace()
    • Overriding toString in existing classes
    • ??? statement to cause execution to fail


  • Default configs are located in system/Configs.scala (package freechips.rocketchip.system)
  • Configs in system/Configs.scala are defined as chained config - concatenation of partial configs which are defined in subsystem/Configs.scala
  • Usual approach is to define a partial config(s) and chain them together like this:
class MyCustomPartialConfig extends Config((site, here, up) => {
  case SomePredefinedConfigKey => ???

class MyCustomConfig extends Config(new MyCustomPartialConfig ++ new BaseConfig)
  • These partial configs are defined as (View, View, View) => PartialFunction[Any, Any]
    • Left-hand side arguments are named as site, here, up and their meaning are as follows:
Default name Description Runtime and usage details
site entire config chain being used For the example above that would be MyCustomConfig wrapped within Config(ChainParameters(MyCustomConfig, EmptyParameters)). It's usually used to fetch values of other keys.
here current partial config within configuration chain For the example above, the partial function from MyCustomPartialConfig will be taken and wrapped within PartialParameters. Note that MyCustomPartialConfig instance itself will not be reachable, only its partial function is being passed here
up partial configs following current (and thus having lower priority) in configuration chain Nested ChainViews of partial configs terminated with TerminalView. For the example above: ChainView(BaseConfig, ChainView(EmptyParameters, TerminalView)). It is usually used as up(param, site), i.e. site is being passed explicitly
    • Right-hand side is a partial function from one of the pre-defined keys (which extends Field[T]) to a result of type T. Value is then retrieved from config via params(Key) (where params is a configuration instance)
  • make CONFIG=MyCustomConfig within emulator folder will do a lookup for the freechips.rocketchip.system.MyCustomConfig (lookup is done by SBT). That config is NOT required to reside specifically in system/Configs.scala file.
  • Rocket tiles are configured via RocketTilesKey and RocketCrossingKey. They both extends Field[Seq[...]] because each tile has its own config.
    • Actual layout of rocket tiles is done in subsystem/RocketSubsystem.scala, see trait HasRocketTiles.
    • Each of these config params has nested structure, so tweaking some embedded knob in partial config is done like this:
case RocketTilesKey => up(RocketTilesKey, site) map { r =>
  r.copy(dcache = = 100500)))
Clone this wiki locally
You can’t perform that action at this time.