Verilog for Julia
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README.md

Verilog.jl

A Verilog-generation DSL for Julia. Inspired by Chisel, but we like Julia better. Not having to type in semicolons alone makes it worth it!

Write your favorite verilog module as a julia function, by prefixing with the @verilog macro.

@verilog function arbitrary_binary(v1::Wire, v2::Wire{4:0v}, bits)
  @suffix "$(bits)_bit"
  @input v1 (bits-1):0v
  result = v1 ^ Wire(Wire(0b0000,4), v2[4:1v])
end

You can execute this as a standard Julia function, passing Wire values:

julia> arbitrary_binary(Wire(0b10001011,8), Wire{4:0v}(0b11110), 8)
Wire{7:0v}(0b10000100)

Or you can pass it unsigned integers.

julia> arbitrary_binary(0b10001011, 0b11110, 8)
0x0000000000000084

Or if you strip the Wire parameters, and call it:

julia> arbitrary_binary(8)

outputs the string:

module arbitrary_binary_8_bit(
  input [7:0] v1,
  input [4:0] v2,
  output [7:0] result);

  assign result = (v1 ^ {4'b0000,v2[4:1]});

endmodule

You can also write functions that call other functions. Be sure to only call functions directly as an assignment to a new wire. Otherwise, the software emulation will work fine, but the verilog will not correctly generate.

@verilog function yet_another_arbitrary_binary(v1::Wire, bits)
  @suffix "$(bits)_bit"
  @input v1 (bits-1):0v

  previous_function = arbitrary_binary(v1, v1[6:2v], bits)

  result = Wire(0b11100111, 8) & previous_function
end

call this new function with no wire parameters:

julia> yet_another_arbitrary_binary(8)

And shall be emitted the following verilog:

module yet_another_arbitrary_binary_8_bit(
  input [7:0] v1,
  output [7:0] result);

  wire [7:0] previous_function;
  arbitrary_binary_8_bit arbitrary_binary_8_bit_previous_function(
    .v1 (v1),
    .v2 (v1[6:2]),
    .result (previous_function));
  assign result = ({8'b11100111} & previous_function);

endmodule

You can also have multiple outputs by returning a

Goodies.

You can dereference wires using backward notation:

  w2[5:0v] = w1[1:6v]

transpiles to:

  w2[5:0] = {w1[1], w1[2], w1[3], w1[4], w1[5], w1[6]};

You can use the msb keyword in both referencing and dereferencing to automatically link to the most significant bit in a wire.

  w1 = Wire{5:0v}(0b10101)       #constant wire
  w2 = w1[msb]
  w3 = w1[msb:1v]
  w4 = w1[(msb-2):2v]

  w5 = Wire{4:0v}()              #undefined wire
  w5[msb] = w1[0]
  w5[(msb-1):3v] = w1[1:0v]
  w5[2:(msb-4)v] = w1[2:0v]

Ignoring the wire declarations, transpiles to:

  w2 = w1[5];
  w3 = w1[5:1];
  w4 = w1[3:2];

  w5[5] = w1[0];
  w5[4:3] = w1[1:0];
  w5[2:0] = w1[2:0];

A few notes.

On the Wire type.

This is a datatype that represents an indexed array of 3-value logic (1,0,X).
To make your stuff look more verilog-ey, the "v" suffix for unit ranges is provided.

Eg:

  • Wire{6:0v} is roughly equivalent to wire [6:0]
  • Wire{12:1v} is roughly equivalent to wire [12:1]
  • SingleWire is aliased to Wire{0:0v}, roughly equivalent to wire

On wire arrays

Do the natural thing and use the non-initializing Array{Wire{<descriptor>}}(n) constructor from Julia. Note that when transpiling to verilog, the wire arrays will be down-shifted by one to make them one-indexed (this feature may change in the future!). Currently, binary muxes are not supported.

Gotchas:

  • Assigning to wire array member partials is not allowed:
      my_array = Array{Wire{1:0v},1}(6)
      my_array[1]       = Wire(0b11,2)                    # <== this is OK.
      my_array[2][1:0v] = Wire(0b11,2)                    # <== don't do this.
    
  • Assigning wire array member partials with a function is not allowed:
      my_array[3][1:0v] = some_verilog_module(some_input) # <== don't do this.
    

Verilation

(linux-only) if you have a working version of "verilator", you can use the verilate macro.

  @verilate my_favorite_function (parameter tuple)

This will create a function my_favorite_function_c which takes unsigned integers and returns tuples of 64-bit unsigned integers.

What's that @suffix macro?

If you have parameter(s) that you'd like to use to trigger creation of multiple instances of the module, use that. If you have parameters that you're tuning, and won't use multiple versions, don't bother.

What's the @input macro?

If you have a vaguely-typed wire parameter in your function, as in you'd like the number of wires to be dependent on a non-wire passed value, you will want to enforce that type dependence using this macro. Bad things will happen otherwise.

How does Verilog.jl know what to turn into the result?

Since Julia automatically outputs the last line of your function as the result, the name of the last assigned identifier will be the name of the output. If you fail to return an value associated with an identifier, undefined behavior may result. In the future, this will throw an error.

On combinational logic.

Remember, hardware uses combinational logic. Obviously, Julia is sequential, not combinational. Make sure you're never attempting to update any of your wire values. If you do that, Verilog.jl will thread everything correctly. To keep things easy to visualize for yourself, aggressively assign new identifiers for intermediate steps. The @verilog macro will rewrite them and present them as wires in the implementation of the module.

Coming Soon:

  • better documentation!
  • more unit tests!
  • support for sequential logic
  • arithmetic operations on wires longer than 64-bits
  • translation of muxes and simple conditionals
  • tools for automatic verification
  • automatically convert println() to nonsynthesizable "display"