Language Extensions

The following additional constructs are the extensions Verilator supports on top of standard Verilog code. Using these features outside of comments or “ifdef“‘s may break other tools.

`__FILE__

The `__FILE__ define expands to the current filename as a string, like C++’s __FILE__. This Verilator feature, added in 2006, was incorporated into IEEE 1800-2009.

`__LINE__

The `__LINE__ define expands to the current filename as a string, like C++’s __LINE__. This Verilator feature added in 2006 was incorporated into IEEE 1800-2009.

`error [string]

This will report an error when encountered, like C++’s #error.

""" [string] """

A triple-quoted block specifies a string that may include newlines and single quotes. This extension is experimental and may be removed without deprecation.

$c([string], ...);

The string will be embedded directly in the output C++ code at the point where the surrounding Verilog code is compiled. It may either be a standalone statement (with a trailing ; in the string), or a function that returns up to a 32-bit number (without a trailing ;). This can be used to call C++ functions from your Verilog code.

String arguments will be put directly into the output C++ code, except the word ‘this’ (i.e.: the object pointer) might be replaced with a different pointer as Verilator might implement logic with non-member functions. For this reason, any references to class members must be made via an explicit ‘this->’ pointer dereference.

Expression arguments will have the code to evaluate the expression inserted. Thus to call a C++ function, $c("func(",a,")") will result in func(a) in the output C++ code. For input arguments, rather than hard-coding variable names in the string $c("func(a)"), instead pass the variable as an expression :$c("func(",a,")"). This will allow the call to work inside Verilog functions where the variable is flattened out and enable other optimizations.

Verilator does not use any text inside the quotes for ordering/scheduling. If you need the $c to be called at a specific time, e.g., when a variable changes, then the $c must be under an appropriate sensitivity statement, e.g., always @(posedge clk) $c("func()") to call it on every edge, or, e.g., always @* c("func(",a,")") to call it when a changes (the latter working because a is outside the quotes).

If you will be reading or writing any Verilog variables inside the C++ functions, the Verilog signals must be declared with /*verilator public*/ metacomments.

You may also append a number to $c, which specifies the bit width of the output, e.g., signal_32_bits = $c32("...");. This allows for compatibility with other simulators, which require a differently named PLI function name for each different output width.

$display, $write, $fdisplay, $fwrite, $sformat, $swrite

Format arguments may use C fprintf sizes after the % escape. Per the Verilog standard, %x prints a number with the natural width, and %0x prints a number with minimum width. Verilator extends this so %5x prints 5 digits per the C standard. This extension was standardized into 1800-2009.

$timeprecision

Returns the timeprecision of the model as an integer. This extension is experimental and may be removed without deprecation.

$timeunit

Returns the timeunit of the current module as an integer. This extension is experimental and may be removed without deprecation.

`coverage_block_off

Specifies the entire begin/end block should be ignored for coverage analysis. Must be inside a code block, e.g., within a begin/end pair. Same as coverage_block_off in Configuration Files.

`systemc_header

Take the remaining text up to the next `verilog or `systemc_... mode switch and place it verbatim into the output .h file’s header. Must be placed as a module item, e.g., directly inside a module/endmodule pair. Despite the name of this macro, this also works in pure C++ code.

`systemc_ctor

Take the remaining text up to the next `verilog or `systemc_... mode switch and place it verbatim into the C++ class constructor. Must be placed as a module item, e.g., directly inside a module/endmodule pair. Despite the name of this macro, this also works in pure C++ code.

`systemc_dtor

Take the remaining text up to the next `verilog or `systemc_... mode switch and place it verbatim into the C++ class destructor. Must be placed as a module item, e.g., directly inside a module/endmodule pair. Despite the name of this macro, this also works in pure C++ code.

`systemc_interface

Take the remaining text up to the next `verilog or `systemc_... mode switch and place it verbatim into the C++ class interface. Must be placed as a module item, e.g., directly inside a module/endmodule pair. Despite the name of this macro, this also works in pure C++ code.

`systemc_imp_header

Take the remaining text up to the next `verilog or `systemc_... mode switch and place it verbatim into the header of all files for this C++ class implementation. Must be placed as a module item, e.g., directly inside a module/endmodule pair. Despite the name of this macro, this also works in pure C++ code.

`systemc_implementation

Take the remaining text up to the next `verilog or `systemc_... mode switch and place it verbatim into a single file of the C++ class implementation. Must be placed as a module item, e.g., directly inside a module/endmodule pair. Despite the name of this macro, this also works in pure C++ code.

If you will be reading or writing any Verilog variables in the C++ functions, the Verilog signals must be declared with a /*verilator public*/ metacomment. See also the public task feature; writing an accessor may result in cleaner code.

`SYSTEMVERILOG

The SYSTEMVERILOG, SV_COV_START, and related standard defines are set by default when --language is “1800-*”.

`VERILATOR
`verilator
`verilator3

The VERILATOR, verilator and verilator3 defines are set by default so you may “`ifdef” around tool specific constructs.

`verilator_config

Take the remaining text up to the next `verilog mode switch and treat it as Verilator configuration commands. See Configuration Files.

`VERILATOR_TIMING

The VERILATOR_TIMING define is set when --timing is used to allow an “`ifdef” of code dependent on this feature. Note that this define is not affected by the timing_off configuration file option nor timing metacomments.

`verilog

Switch back to processing Verilog code after a `systemc_... mode switch. The Verilog code returns to the last language mode specified with “`begin_keywords”, or SystemVerilog if none was specified.

/*verilator clock_enable*/

Deprecated and has no effect (ignored).

In versions before 5.000:

Used after a signal declaration to indicate the signal is used to gate a clock, and the user is responsible for ensuring there are no races related to it. (Typically by adding a latch, and running static timing analysis.) For example:

reg enable_r /*verilator clock_enable*/;
wire gated_clk = clk & enable_r;
always_ff @(posedge clk)
   enable_r <= enable_early;

The clock_enable attribute will cause the clock gate to be ignored in the scheduling algorithm, sometimes required for correct clock behavior, and always improving performance.

Same as clock_enable configuration file option.

/*verilator clocker*/
/*verilator no_clocker*/

Specifies whether the signal is used as clock or not. See --clk.

Same as clocker and no_clocker in configuration files.

/*verilator coverage_block_off*/

Specifies the entire begin/end block should be ignored for coverage analysis purposes.

Same as coverage_block_off configuration file option.

/*verilator coverage_off*/

Specifies that that following lines of code should have coverage disabled. Often used to ignore an entire module for coverage analysis purposes.

/*verilator coverage_on*/

Specifies that that following lines of code should have coverage re-enabled (if appropriate --coverage flags are passed) after being disabled earlier with /*verilator coverage_off*/.

/*verilator forceable*/

Specifies that the signal (net or variable) should be made forceable from C++ code by generating public <signame>__VforceEn and <signame>__VforceVal signals. The force control signals are created as public_flat signals.

To force a marked signal from C++, set the corresponding __VforceVal variable to the desired value, and the __VforceEn signal to the bit-mask indicating which bits of the signal to force. To force all bits of the target signal, set __VforceEn to all ones. To release the signal (or part thereof), set appropriate bits of the __VforceEn signal to zero.

Same as forceable in configuration files.

/*verilator hier_block*/

Specifies that the module is a unit of hierarchical Verilation. This metacomment must be between module module_name(...); and endmodule. The module will not be inlined nor uniquified for each instance in hierarchical Verilation. Note that the metacomment is ignored unless the --hierarchical option is specified.

See Hierarchical Verilation.

/*verilator inline_module*/

Specifies the module the comment appears in may be inlined into any modules that use this module. This is useful to speed up simulation runtime. Note if using --public that signals under inlined submodules will be named {submodule}__DOT__{subsignal} as C++ does not allow “.” in signal names.

Same as inline configuration file option.

/*verilator isolate_assignments*/

Used after a signal declaration to indicate the assignments to this signal in any blocks should be isolated into new blocks. When large combinatorial block results in a UNOPTFLAT warning, attaching this to the signal that was causing a false loop may work around the warning.

IE, with the following:

reg splitme /* verilator isolate_assignments*/;
// Note the placement of the semicolon above
always_comb begin
  if (....) begin
     splitme = ....;
     other assignments
  end
end

Verilator will internally split the block that assigns to “splitme” into two blocks:

It would then internally break it into (sort of):

// All assignments excluding those to splitme
always_comb begin
  if (....) begin
     other assignments
  end
end
// All assignments to splitme
always_comb begin
  if (....) begin
     splitme = ....;
  end
end

Same as isolate_assignments configuration file option.

/*verilator lint_off <msg>*/

Disable the specified warning message for any warnings following the comment.

/*verilator lint_on <msg>*/

Re-enable the specified warning message for any warnings following the comment.

/*verilator lint_restore*/

After a /*verilator lint_save*/, pop the stack containing lint message state. Often this is useful at the bottom of include files.

/*verilator lint_save*/

Push the current state of what lint messages are turned on or off to a stack. Later meta-comments may then lint_on or lint_off specific messages, then return to the earlier message state by using /*verilator lint_restore*/. For example:

// verilator lint_save
// verilator lint_off WIDTH
...  // code needing WIDTH turned off
// verilator lint_restore

If WIDTH was on before the lint_off, it would now be restored to on, and if it was off before the lint_off it would remain off.

/*verilator no_inline_module*/

Specifies the module the comment appears in should not be inlined into any modules that use this module.

Same as no_inline configuration file option.

/*verilator no_inline_task*/

Used in a function or task variable definition section to specify the function or task should not be inlined into where it is used. This may reduce the size of the final executable when a task is used a very large number of times. For this flag to work, the task and tasks below it must be pure; they cannot reference any variables outside the task itself.

Same as no_inline configuration file option.

/*verilator public*/ (on parameter)

Used after a parameter declaration to indicate the emitted C code should have the parameter values visible. Due to C++ language restrictions, this may only be used on 64-bit or narrower integral enumerations.

parameter [2:0] PARAM /*verilator public*/ = 2'b0;
/*verilator public*/ (on typedef enum)

Used after an enum typedef declaration to indicate the emitted C code should have the enum values visible. Due to C++ language restrictions, this may only be used on 64-bit or narrower integral enumerations.

typedef enum logic [2:0] { ZERO = 3'b0 } pub_t /*verilator public*/;
/*verilator public*/ (on variable)

Used after an input, output, register, or wire declaration to indicate the signal should be declared so that C code may read or write the value of the signal. This will also declare this module public; otherwise, use /*verilator public_flat*/.

Instead of using public variables, consider making a DPI or public function that accesses the variable. This is nicer as it provides an obvious entry point compatible across simulators.

Same as public configuration file option.

/*verilator public*/ (on task/function)

Used inside the declaration section of a function or task declaration to indicate the function or task should be made into a C++ function, public to outside callers. Public tasks will be declared as a void C++ function, public functions will get the appropriate non-void (bool, uint32_t, etc.) return type. Any input arguments will become C++ arguments to the function. Any output arguments will become C++ reference arguments. Any local registers/integers will become function automatic variables on the stack.

Wide variables over 64 bits cannot be function returns, to avoid exposing complexities. However, wide variables can be input/outputs; they will be passed as references to an array of 32-bit numbers.

Generally, only the values of stored state (flops) should be written, as the model will NOT notice changes made to variables in these functions. (Same as when a signal is declared public.)

You may want to use DPI exports instead, as it’s compatible with other simulators.

Same as public configuration file option.

/*verilator public_flat*/ (on variable)

Used after an input, output, register, or wire declaration to indicate the signal should be declared so that C code may read or write the value of the signal. This will not declare this module public, which means the name of the signal or path to it may change based upon the module inlining which takes place.

Same as public_flat configuration file option.

/*verilator public_flat_rd*/ (on variable)

Used after an input, output, register, or wire declaration to indicate the signal should be declared public_flat (see above), but read-only.

Same as public_flat_rd configuration file option.

/*verilator public_flat_rw @(<edge_list>)*/ (on variable)

Used after an input, output, register, or wire declaration to indicate the signal should be declared public_flat_rd (see above), and writable, where writes should be considered to have the timing specified by the given sensitivity edge list. Use of this is implied when using the --public-flat-rw option.

Same as public_flat_rw configuration file option.

/*verilator public_module*/

Used after a module statement to indicate the module should not be inlined (unless specifically requested) so that C code may access the module. Verilator automatically sets this attribute when the module contains public signals or `systemc_ directives. Use of this is implied when using the --public option.

Same as public configuration file option.

/*verilator sc_clock*/

Deprecated and ignored. Previously used after an input declaration to indicate the signal should be declared in SystemC as a sc_clock instead of a bool. This was needed in SystemC 1.1 and 1.2 only; versions 2.0 and later do not require clock pins to be sc_clocks, and this is no longer needed and is ignored.

/*verilator sc_bv*/

Used after a port declaration. It sets the port to be of sc_bv<{width}> type, instead of bool, uint32_t, or uint64_t. This may be useful if the port width is parameterized and the instantiating C++ code always wants to have a sc_bv accept any width. In general, you should avoid using this attribute when unnecessary, as the performance decreases significantly with increasing usage of sc_bv.

Same as sc_bv configuration file option.

/*verilator sformat*/

Attached to the final argument of type “input string” of a function or task to indicate that the function or task should pass all remaining arguments through $sformatf. This allows creation of DPI functions with $display-like behavior. See the test_regress/t/t_dpi_display.v file for an example.

Same as sformat configuration file option.

/*verilator split_var*/

Attached to a variable or a net declaration to break the variable into multiple pieces typically to resolve UNOPTFLAT performance issues. Typically the variables to attach this to are recommended by Verilator itself; see UNOPTFLAT.

For example, Verilator will internally convert a variable with the metacomment such as:

logic [7:0] x [0:1]  /*verilator split_var*/;

To:

logic [7:0] x__BRA__0__KET__ /*verilator split_var*/;
logic [7:0] x__BRA__1__KET__ /*verilator split_var*/;

Note that the generated packed variables retain the split_var metacomment because they may be split into smaller pieces according to the access patterns.

This only supports unpacked arrays, packed arrays, and packed structs of integer types (reg, logic, bit, byte, int…); otherwise, if a split was requested but cannot occur, a SPLITVAR warning is issued. Splitting large arrays may slow down the Verilation speed, so use this only on variables that require it.

Same as split_var configuration file option.

/*verilator tag <text...>*/

Attached after a variable or structure member to indicate opaque (to Verilator) text that should be passed through to the XML output as a tag, for use by downstream applications.

/*verilator timing_off*/

Ignore all timing constructs after this metacomment. All timing controls behave as if they were not there (the same way as with --no-timing), and fork/join* blocks are converted into begin/end blocks.

Same as timing_off configuration file option.

/*verilator timing_on*/

Re-enable all timing constructs after this metacomment (only applicable after timing_off).

Same as timing_on configuration file option.

/*verilator trace_init_task*/

Attached to a DPI import to indicate that function should be called when initializing tracing. This attribute is indented only to be used internally in code that Verilator generates when --lib-create or --hierarchical is used along with --trace.

/*verilator tracing_off*/

Disable waveform tracing for all future signals declared in this module, or instances below this module. Often this is placed just after a primitive’s module statement, so that the entire module and instances below it are not traced.

/*verilator tracing_on*/

Re-enable waveform tracing for all future signals or instances that are declared.

$stacktrace

Called as a task, print a stack trace. Called as a function, return a string with a stack trace. This relies on the C++ system trace, which may give less meaningful results if the model is not compiled with debug symbols. Also, the data represents the C++ stack; the SystemVerilog functions/tasks involved may be renamed and/or inlined before becoming the C++ functions that may be visible in the stack trace. This extension is experimental and may be removed without deprecation.