FPGA Synthesis very informative document




Improving the Quality of Results

 

The quality of the synthesized design can be improved using the following techniques:

 

Module partitioning

_ Adding structure

_ Horizontal partitioning

_ Adding hierarchy (vertical partitioning)

_ Performing operations in parallel

_ Use multiplexers for logic implementation

 

Module Partitioning

 

Where possible, register module outputs and keep the critical path in one block.



Keep as much of the critical path in one module or block as possible. This enables DesignCompilerTM to optimize the critical path while it is compiling a single module or block without having to iterate between several different modules. Placing the registers on module outputs also simplifies the compilation process because timing budgets for registered module outputs are not needed. Registering module inputs does not yield much improvement since the input arrival times can be computed and output using the characterize and write_script commands. The size of a module should be based on a logical partitioning as opposed to an arbitrary gate count. Instantiating a set of pre-compiled basic building blocks can reduce the complexity of the design and the associated compile effort even for larger modules. In this case, a large percentage of the gate count ends up in the instantiated or inferred modules. The last point is to keep most of the logic in the leaf modules. This simplifies the compilation

process because the top-level modules will need little or no compilation and constraints can more easily be propagated down the hierarchy. The following design examples were compiled using Synopsys Design Compiler version 2.2b, the LSI LCA200k library, and the B3X3 wire load model with WCCOM operating

conditions. The constraints were:

 

set_load 5 * load_of (IV/A) all_outputs()

set_drive drive_of (IV/Z) all_inputs()

 

Adding Structure

 



One goal of logic synthesis is to produce an optimal netlist that is independent of the original structure. Until this goal is achieved, controlling the structure of a logic description is one of the best ways to ensure an optimal implementation. Controlling the structure by using separate assignment statements and through the use of parentheses really has very little effect on the generated logic. The only case where parentheses have a significant effect is when resources are used. Resources and function invocations are assigned and preserved when the HDL code is read and have a significant impact on the generated logic.

 

Note: In v3.0 there is tree-height minimization of expressions. The following

behavioral code specifies a 32-bit arithmetic shift right operation:

 

assign shifta = {{31{a[31]}}, a} >> shiftCnt;

 

An iteration value of 31 is the largest value that is required. For smaller shift amounts the extra bits will be truncated when assigned to the variable shift a, which is 32 bits wide. This expression produces a design of 742 gates that is almost 50% slower than the structural logic design. The shift right arithmetic function can also be described without using any extra bits:

 

// 16.63 ns, 1431 gates

assign shifta = (a[31] ? ((a >> shiftCnt) |

(((32b1 << shiftCnt) - 1) << (32-shiftCnt))) : a >> shiftCnt);

 

This arithmetic shift operation shifts the 32 bits right by the shift count, and replaces

the vacated positions with bit 31 of variable a. The expression (a >> shiftCnt) shifts a by the shift count but doesnt replace the vacated positions. The expression ((32b1 <<shiftCnt) - 1) produces a string of 1s equal in length to the value of the shift count, which is equal to the number of vacated bit positions. This string of 1s needs to occupy the vacated bit positions starting with bit 31. The expression (32-shiftCnt) is the number of bit positions that the string of 1s needs to be left shifted. The final result is the logical OR of the shifted string of 1s and the logical right shift value (a>>shiftCnt). While this expression

is equivalent, it is much too complex to be practical. When synthesized and optimized,

this specification produces a design with 1,431 gates that is three times slower and

over twice the area of the structural logic design (see Figure 1):

 

// structured shift right arithmetic design

// 6.87 ns, 613 gates, fastest, optimal version

module shiftRightAr(a, shiftCnt, z);

input [31:0] a;

input [4:0] shiftCnt;

output [31:0] z;

wire [31:0] d0, d1, d2, d3, notA;

assign notA = ~a;

mux2to1L32 m21_0 (notA,{notA[31], notA[31:1]}, shiftCnt[0], d0);

mux2to1L32 m21_1 (d0,{{ 2{a[31]}}, d0[31:2]}, shiftCnt[1], d1);

mux2to1L32 m21_2 (d1,{{ 4{notA[31]}}, d1[31:4]}, shiftCnt[2],

d2);

mux2to1L32 m21_3 (d2,{{ 8{a[31]}}, d2[31:8]}, shiftCnt[3], d3);

mux2to1L32 m21_4 (d3,{{16{notA[31]}}, d3[31:16]},shiftCnt[4],

z);

endmodule

module mux2to1L32 (a, b, s, z);

input [31:0] a, b;

input s;

output [31:0] z;

assign z = ~(s ? b : a);

endmodule

_

 

 

 

The structural logic design produces a design of 613 gates that is three times faster. While each of the 32-bit multiplexers is instantiated, the module mux2to1L32 is defined without using gate-level instantiation. The shifter may also be specified without the mux instantiations:

 

// 8.00 ns, 518 gates, with no structuring

// 8.55 ns, 598 gates, with structuring

// smallest design but 20% slower than optimal

module shiftRightAr(a, shiftCnt, z);

input [31:0] a;

input [4:0] shiftCnt;

output [31:0] z;

wire [31:0] d0, d1, d2, d3, notA;

assign notA = ~a;

assign

d0 = (shiftCnt[0] ? {a[31], a} >> 1 : a),

d1 = ~(shiftCnt[1] ? {{2{a[31]}}, d0} >> 2 : d0),

d2 = ~(shiftCnt[2] ? {{4{notA[31]}}, d1} >> 4 : d1),

d3 = ~(shiftCnt[3] ? {{8{a[31]}}, d2} >> 8 : d2),

z = ~(shiftCnt[4] ? {{16{notA[31]}}, d3} >> 16 : d3);

endmodule

 

Now the logic synthesis tool is free to optimize various pieces of each multiplexer. This specification, when compiled without structuring, produces a design that is only 518 gates, but is also 20% slower. With the default structuring enabled the resultant design is actually bigger and slower, a case where no structuring is a big win. Furthermore, due to the optimizations, the symmetry is lost, making default structuring unattractive for use in a data path design.

 

 

Horizontal Partitioning

 

 

A combinational circuit can be expressed as a sum of products that can be implemented by a circuit with two levels of logic. However this may result in gates with a maximum fan-in equal to the number of inputs. By building up the logic in levels, a circuit with a regular structure can be designed. In addition, the circuit can broken into horizontal slices to minimize the maximum fan-in of a logic gate. A carry lookahead adder is a classic example. A 32-bit adder is broken into eight 4-bit blocks. Each adder block generates a group propagate and group generate signal. A carry-lookahead block takes as input the groupgenerate and propagate signals and generates a carry-in to each block and a carry-out for the entire adder.

A 32-bit priority encoder is another example where bit-slicing can yield significant results. The first priority encoder, priorityEncode32b, compiles to produce a design of 205 gates. The critical path consists of seven levels of logic. The second module, priorityEncode32, is restructured using four 8-bit blocks (see Figure 2). The restructured priority encoder compiles to 182 gates and four levels of logic. The worst-case delay is reduced by 26%, while the gate count is reduced by 23. This restructuring reduces the scope and complexity of the problem from 32 bits to 8 bits, which allows the HDL compiler to produce a more optimal design.

 

 

// 7.14 ns, 205 gates (original design)

module priorityEncode32b (bitVector, adr, valid);

input [31:0] bitVector;

output [4:0] adr;

output valid;

function [4:0] encode;

input [31:0] in;

integer i;

begin: _encode

encode = 5d0;

for ( i=31; i>=0; i=i-1 )

if ( !in[i] ) begin

encode = i;

disable _encode;

end

end

endfunction

assign adr = encode(bitVector);

assign valid = ~(&bitVector);

endmodule

// 5.31 ns, 182 gates (smaller/faster design)

module priorityEncode32 (bitVector, adr, valid);

input [31:0] bitVector;

output [4:0] adr;

output valid;

// synopsys dc_script_begin,

// dont_touch -cell {pe0 pe1 pe2 pe3}

// synopsys dc_script_end

wire [3:0] anyValid;

wire [2:0] adr0, adr1, adr2, adr3, adr4, afAdr;

wire [2:0] msgAdr, lsgAdr;

wire msaf = |anyValid[3:2];

// partition into 8-bit groups for optimal speed/gate-count

priorityEncode8 pe0 (bitVector[7:0], adr0, anyValid[0]);

priorityEncode8 pe1 (bitVector[15:8], adr1, anyValid[1]);

priorityEncode8 pe2 (bitVector[23:16], adr2, anyValid[2]);

priorityEncode8 pe3 (bitVector[31:24], adr3, anyValid[3]);

// select most significant group using valid bits

assign msgAdr = anyValid[3] ? adr3 : adr2;

assign lsgAdr = anyValid[1] ? adr1 : adr0;

assign afAdr = msaf ? msgAdr : lsgAdr;

assign adr = {msaf, msaf ? anyValid[3] : anyValid[1], afAdr};

assign valid = |anyValid;

endmodule

 

module priorityEncode8 (in, out, anyValid);

input [7:0] in;

output [2:0] out;

output anyValid;

function [2:0] encode;

input [7:0] in;

integer i;

begin : _encode

encode = 3d0;

for ( i=7; i>=0; i=i-1 )

if ( !in[i] ) begin

encode = i;

disable _encode;

end

end

endfunction

assign out = encode(in);

assign anyValid = !(&in);

endmodule

 

Adding Hierarchy

 

Collapsing the hierarchy results in more efficient synthesis in some cases. In other cases, adding hierarchy can improve the design. This was shown in the case of the shift right arithmetic function described earlier. In the case of the priority encoder, additional hierarchy achieved significant improvements in both speed and area. Another case where additional hierarchy achieves significant results is in the balanced tree decoder described in the following example. Adding the hierarchy in these cases helps to define the final implementation and preserves the structure that yields an optimal design. A 32-bit decoder with negative asserting output can be coded as:

 

// decoder using variable array index

module decoder32V1(adr, decode);

input [4:0] adr;

output [31:0] decode;

reg [31:0] decode; // note: pseudo_reg

always @(adr) begin

decode = 32hffffffff;

decode[adr] = 1b0;

end

endmodule

 

This design turns out to be the least-efficient implementation of several alternative designs. It compiles to 125 gates. A more concise representation of a decoder is given as

 

// decoder using shift operator

module decoder32V2(adr, decode);

input [4:0] adr;

output [31:0] decode;

assign decode = ~(1b1 << adr);

endmodule

 

This produces a slightly faster design of 94 gates. More dramatic results can be obtained by using a balanced tree decoder. By adding a second level of hierarchy, a balanced tree decoder can be specified (see Figure 3).

 

 

// balanced tree decoder: smaller and faster

//

module decoder32BT (adr, dec);

input [4:0] adr;

output [31:0] dec;

wire [3:0] da = 1b1 << adr[1:0]; // 2 to 4 decoder

wire [7:0] db = 1b1 << adr[4:2]; // 3 to 8 decoder

decode32L2 d32l2 (da, db, dec);

endmodule

module decode32L2(da, db, dec);

input [3:0] da;

input [7:0] db;

output [31:0] dec;

wire [31:0] dbVec =

{{4{db[7]}}, {4{db[6]}}, {4{db[5]}}, {4{db[4]}},

{4{db[3]}}, {4{db[2]}}, {4{db[1]}}, {4{db[0]}}};

wire [31:0] daVec = {8{da}};

assign dec = ~(dbVec & daVec);

endmodule

 

This design compiles to 68 gates, which is about 50% smaller than the decoder32V1 module, and it is the fastest of the three modules.

 

Performing Operations in Parallel

This is the classic technique of using more resources to achieve a decrease in speed. In this

example, an array of four 6-bit counters are compared. The output is the index of the smallest counter. Various search strategies are used to find the smallest element: linear search, binary search, and parallel search. The first implementation uses a task and a for loop to compare all the values. This results in a serial compare. First cntr[0] is compared to cntr[1], the smallest cntr is selected and then compared to cntr[2]. The smallest result from the second comparator is selected and compared to cntr[3]. This process involves three comparators and two multiplexers in series for a total delay of 22.41 ns and 18 levels of logic. The total area is 527 gates.

 

// Linear Search - 22.41 ns, 527 gates

module arrayCmpV1(clk, reset, inc, index, min);

input clk, reset, inc;

input [1:0] index;

output [1:0] min;

reg [5:0] cntr[0:4];

reg [1:0] min; // pseudo register

integer i;

// compare each array element to mincount

task sel;

output [1:0] sel;

reg [5:0] mincount;

begin : _sc

mincount = cntr[0];

sel = 2d0;

for ( i = 1; i <= 3; i=i+1 )

if ( cntr[i] < mincount ) begin

mincount = cntr[i];

sel = i;

end

end

endtask

always @(cntr[0] or cntr[1] or cntr[2] or cntr[3])

sel(min);

always @(posedge clk)

if (reset)

for( i=0; i<=3; i=i+1 )

cntr[i] <= 6d0;

else if (inc)

cntr[index] <= cntr[index] + 1b1;

endmodule

 

 

 

 

A second version of this design needs two comparators in series and takes 14.9 ns with eleven levels of logic and a total area of 512 gates. This design is both smaller and faster than the first version.

 

 

// Binary Search - 14.9 ns, 512 gates (smallest area)

module arrayCmpV2(clk, reset, inc, index, min);

input clk, reset, inc;

input [1:0] index;

output [1:0] min;

reg [5:0] cntr[0:4];

integer i;

// binary tree comparison

wire c3lt2 = cntr[3] < cntr[2];

wire c1lt0 = cntr[1] < cntr[0];

wire [5:0] cntr32 = c3lt2 ? cntr[3] : cntr[2];

wire [5:0] cntr10 = c1lt0 ? cntr[1] : cntr[0];

wire c32lt10 = cntr32 < cntr10;

// select the smallest value

assign min = {c32lt10, c32lt10 ? c3lt2: c1lt0};

always @(posedge clk)

if (reset)

for( i=0; i<=3; i=i+1 )

cntr[i] <= 6d0;

else if (inc)

cntr[index] <= cntr[index] + 1;

endmodule

 

 

A third implementation performs all the comparisons in parallel. The same path now takes 11.4 ns with eight levels of logic and has a total area of 612 gates. This version is about 20% faster than the second version, with a 20% increase in area.

 

 

 

// Parallel Search - 11.4 ns, 612 gates (fastest design)

module arrayCmpV3(clk, reset, inc, index, min);

input clk, reset, inc;

input [1:0] index;

output [1:0] min;

reg [5:0] cntr[0:4];

integer i;

// compare all counters to each other

wire l32 = cntr[3] < cntr[2];

wire l31 = cntr[3] < cntr[1];

wire l30 = cntr[3] < cntr[0];

wire l21 = cntr[2] < cntr[1];

wire l20 = cntr[2] < cntr[0];

wire l10 = cntr[1] < cntr[0];

// select the smallest value

assign min = {l31&l30 | l21&l20, l32&l30 | l10&~l21};

always @(posedge clk)

if (reset)

for( i=0; i<=3; i=i+1 )

cntr[i] <= 6d0;

else if (inc)

cntr[index] <= cntr[index] + 1;

endmodule

 

Use Multiplexers for Logic Implementation

 

When using CMOS technology, there is a significant speed advantage in using pass-gate multiplexers.

 

The following code takes advantage of some symmetry in the specification and uses the branch condition as the index for an 8-to-1 multiplexer. This turns out to be the most optimal design in terms of both area and speed.

 

// Mux version - 5.17 ns, 30 gates

module condcodeV2 (cc, bc, valid);

input [3:0] cc;

input [3:0] bc;

output valid;

wire n, z, v, c;

wire [7:0] ccdec;

assign {n, z, v, c} = cc;

assign ccdec = {v, n, c, c | z, n ^ v, z | (n ^ v), z, 1b0};

assign valid = bc[3] ^ ccdec[bc[2:0]];

endmodule

 

 

Vendor-Independent HDL

 

Technology-transparent design makes it easy to target a design to a specific vendor. This provides flexibility in choosing a primary vendor and in selecting an alternative source, if one is desired. Since it is unlikely that two vendors will have exactly the same macro library or process, the design will have to be resynthesized, instead of just translated using the new library. The main way to achieve a vendor-independent design is to avoid instantiating vendor macrocells in the design. Another technique is to create a small set of user defined macrocells and define these in terms of the vendor library. One set of these user-defined macros need to be created for each vendor. Using module definitions for simple components often achieves the same result without instantiating vendor cells:

 

module mux4to1x2 (in0, in1, in2, in3, sel, out);

input [1:0] in0, in1, in2, in3;

input [1:0] sel;

output [1:0] out;

mux4to1 m4_0 (in0[0], in1[0], in2[0], in3[0], sel, out[0]);

mux4to1 m4_1 (in0[1], in1[1], in2[1], in3[1], sel, out[1]);

endmodule

// Module mux4to1 takes the place of vendor cell

module mux4to1 (in0, in1, in2, in3, sel, out);

input in0, in1, in2, in3;

input [1:0] sel;

output out;

wire [3:0] vec = {in3, in2, in1, in0};

assign out = vec[sel];

endmodule

 

In Design Compiler v3.0 you may now use vendor-independent cells from the GTECH (for generic technology) library. There is a 4-to-1 mux in the library, called the GTECH_MUX4, that can replace the mux4to1 in the previous example. The command set_map_only can be used to instruct the compiler to select and preserve an equivalent cell from the technology library. This is the only way to insure the equivalent cell will be selected from the target library. Currently there is no Verilog simulation library for the GTECH components but a library can easily be created by changing the names in an existing library.

 

// GTECH version of mux4to1x2

// use of GTECH components makes this vendor independent

// set_map_only command locks in equivalent cells from target

lib

module mux4to1x2 (in0, in1, in2, in3, sel, out);

input [1:0] in0, in1, in2, in3;

input [1:0] sel;

output [1:0] out;

GTECH_MUX4 m4_0 (in0[0], in1[0], in2[0], in3[0],

sel[0], sel[1], out[0]);

GTECH_MUX4 m4_1 (in3[1], in2[1], in1[1], in0[1],

sel[0], sel[1], out[1]);

endmodule

 

 

Using Verilog Constructs

 

Dont-Care Conditions

 

A design must be flattened or compiled using Boolean optimization in order to use

dont_cares.Dont-care conditions for Synopsys can be specified by assigning an output to bx. Dont_cares are usually found inside a case statement where some input combinations should never occur, or where outputs are dont_cares. While the meaning of the dont-care specification is consistent between the simulation and synthesis tools, it is treated differently. When an output is assigned a value of bx in Verilog, the output becomes unknown. Synopsys treats the assignment of bx as a dont-care specification. It will use this dont-care specification to minimize the synthesized logic. The gate-level design will produce an output whose value, while not undefined, is dependent on the particular logic generated. If the default clause in a

case statement specifies dont-care conditions that should never occur, the Verilog model will produce an unknown output when the default statement is executed. If this output is used, unknowns will propagate to other parts of the design and the error will be detected. If the default clause of a case statement specifies a known value and there are no overlapping case items (when parallel case is used), then the RTL version will match the synthesized gate-level version. The proper use of dont_cares should not produce any significant simulation discrepency. In Synopsys v3.0 or earlier, in order to utilize the dont-care conditions in the optimization phase, the design must either be flattened, compiled using Boolean optimization, or the state table must be extracted before compilation.

 

Put dont care assignments in a lower-level block so flattening can work.

 

For this reason the designer may want to partition the design such that dont-care assignments  are in a lower-level block, so flattening can work. This is necessary for the FSM extract command.

 

Procedural Assignment

 

Use the non-blocking construct for procedural assignments to state regs.

 

With the blocking assignment operator, statements are executed sequentially. In the PC chain example below, all the PC registers would get the value of fetchAdr.

 

always @(posedge clk) if (~hold) begin // pc chain

fetchPC = fetchAdr;

decPC = fetchPC;

execPC = decPC;

writePC = execPC;

end

 

This problem can be avoided by using fork and join in addition to an intra assignment delay. When using Synopsys, the fork and join must be bypassed using compiler directives.

 

always @(posedge clk) if (~hold) // pc chain

/* synopsys translate_off */ fork /* synopsys translate_on */

fetchPC = #d2q fetchAdr;

decPC = #d2q fetchPC;

execPC = #d2q decPC;

writePC = #d2q execPC;

/* synopsys translate_off */ join /* synopsys translate_on */

 

The non-blocking procedural assignment <= allows multiple procedural assignments to be specified within the same always block. Furthermore, it will simulate without the need for an intra-assignment delay.

 

reg [31:0] fetchPC, decPC, execPC, writePC;

always @(posedge clk) if (~hold) begin // pc chain

fetchPC <= fetchAdr;

decPC <= fetchPC;

execPC <= decPC

writePC <= execPC;

end

 

The pc-chain can also be expressed as a single shift-register-like statement:

 

always @(posedge clk) if (~hold) // pc chain

{fetchPC,decPC,execPC,writePC}<={fetchAdr,fetchPC,decPC,execPC};

 

Dont mix blocking and non-blocking assignments in the same block.

 

Mixing blocking and non-blocking assignments in the same block is not allowed and will result in a Synopsys Verilog HDL CompilerTM read error.

 

Using Functions with Component Implication

 

Function invocations can be used instead of module instantiations. This is really a question of style, not a recommendation. The function invocation can also be mapped to a specific implementation using the map_to_module compiler directive. The compiler directives map_to_module and return_port_name map a function or a task to a module. For the purposes of simulation, the contents of the function or task are used, but for synthesis the module is used in place of the function or task. This allows component instantiation to be used in a design for optimization purposes without altering the behavioral model. When multiple outputs are required, use a task instead of a function. When using component implication, the RTL-level model and the gate-level model may be different. Therefore the design can not be fully verified until simulation is run on the gate-level design. For this reason, component implication should be used with caution or not at all. The following code illustrates

the use of component implication:

 

function mux8; // 8to1 mux

// synopsys map_to_module mux8to1

// synopsys return_port_name out

input [7:0] vec;

input [2:0] sel;

mux8 = vec[sel];

endfunction

function mux32; // 32to1 mux

// synopsys map_to_module mux32to1

// synopsys return_port_name out

input [31:0] vec;

input [4:0] sel;

mux32 = vec[sel];

endfunction

wire valid = ~(a[5] ? mux8(v8, a[4:2]) : mux32(v32, a[4:0]));

 

 

Register Inference

 

Using the Synopsys Verilog HDL compiler, flip-flops can be inferred by declaring a variable of type reg and by using this variable inside an always block that uses the posedge or negedge clk construct. The following example will generate an 8-bit register that recirculates the data when the loadEnable signal is not active:

 

reg [7:0] Q;

always @(posedge clk)

if (loadEnable)

Q <= D;

 

All variables that are assigned in the body of an always block must be declared to be of type reg even though a flip-flop will not be inferred. These regs are really just wires, and for the sake of clarity should be commented as such. Please note that this is a Verilog language feature and not a Synopsys limitation. Register inference allows designs to be technology-independent. Much of the design functionality

can be specified using the more easily understood procedural assignment. There is

no need to specify default assignments to prevent latch inference. If a design is free of component instantiations, then a gate-level simulation library is not required. Therefore, the design can be targeted to any vendor library without the need to recode macro libraries. The instance names of regs are name_reg, which allows easy identification for layout. Scanstring stitching can key off the inferred register instance names. The design of state machines is made easier because state assignments can be made using parameters and the enum compiler directive. The state machine compiler can easily make trade-offs between fully decoded one-hot state assignments and fully encoded states. Refer to the Synopsys HDL Compiler for Verilog Reference Manual for more details about using the state machine compiler.

 

The Reset Problem

 

For sync resets, set the v3.0 variable compile_preserve_sync_resets =

true.

 

The use of a synchronous reset results in the creation of discrete logic to perform the reset function, which under some circumstances will not initialize the flip-flop during logic simulation. This problem can be solved in one of two ways. The first and preferred solution is to set the v3.0 compile variable: compile_preserve_sync_resets = true. This places the reset logic next to the flip-flop and in some cases a flip-flop with a synchronous reset is generated. The other alternative is to use an asynchronous reset.

 

reg [7:0] Q;

// synchronous reset

always @(posedge clk)

if (reset)

Q <= 0;

else if (loadEnable)

Q <= D;

// asynchronous reset

always @(posedge clk or posedge reset)

if (reset)

Q <= 0;

else if (loadEnable)

Q <= D;

 

Latch Inference

 

Within an always block, fully specify assignments or use default conditions.

A variable of type reg which is assigned a value inside an always block without the posedge or negedge clock construct generates a latch if the variable is not assigned a value under all conditions. If there is a set of input conditions for which the variable is not assigned, the variable will retain its current value. The example below is for a round-robin priority selector. grant designates the device that currently has the bus. request designates those devices that are requesting use of the bus. grant_next is the next device to be granted the bus. Priority is always given to the device one greater than the current one. Using a default for the case statement will not prevent the creation of a latch. If no requests are active, then grant_next is not assigned so a latch will be created. The solution is to specify the default conditions at the beginning of the always block before the case statement.

 

module rrpriocase(request,grant,grant_next);

input [3:0] request, grant;

output [3:0] grant_next;

always @(request or grant) begin

grant_next = grant; // put default here to avoid latch inference

case(1) // synopsys parallel_case full_case

grant[0]:

if (request[1]) grant_next = 4b0010;

else if (request[2]) grant_next = 4b0100;

else if (request[3]) grant_next = 4b1000;

else if (request[0]) grant_next = 4b0001;

grant[1]:

if (request[2]) grant_next = 4b0100;

else if (request[3]) grant_next = 4b1000;

else if (request[0]) grant_next = 4b0001;

else if (request[1]) grant_next = 4b0010;

grant[2]:

if (request[3]) grant_next = 4b1000;

else if (request[0]) grant_next = 4b0001;

else if (request[1]) grant_next = 4b0010;

else if (request[2]) grant_next = 4b0100;

grant[3]:

if (request[0]) grant_next = 4b0001;

else if (request[1]) grant_next = 4b0010;

else if (request[2]) grant_next = 4b0100;

else if (request[3]) grant_next = 4b1000;

endcase

end

endmodule

 

Another solution is to add the following else clause at the end of each case item:

 

else grant_next = grant;

 

Using Arrays of Multiplexers

 

Instantiate multiplexers that output vectors.

 

When using v3.0 or earlier it is a good idea to instantiate multiplexers that output vectors. (For time-critical signals it may also be necessary to instantiate multiplexers that only output a single bit.) This involves creating a library of multiplexer modules that can be instantiated in the design. In the following example, there is a single input vector to simplify parameter passing through multiple levels of hierarchy. Use parameterized modules to build different versions of a design.

 

// may want to pass an array as a parameter

reg [1:0] in [0:3];

// convert array to vector

wire [2*4:1] inVec = {in[0], in[1], in[2], in[3]};

// multiplexer instantiation:

mux4to1x4(inVec, sel, out);

// multiplexer module

module mux4to1x4 (inVec, sel, out);

input [4*4:1] inVec;

input [1:0] sel;

output [3:0] out;

wire [3:0] in0, in1, in2, in3;

assign {in3, in2, in1, in0} = inVec;

// synopsys dc_script_begin

// dont_touch {m4_0 m4_1 m4_2 m4_3}

// synopsys dc_script_end

// note: instance names must be unique

mux4to1 m4_0 ({in3[0], in2[0], in1[0], in0[0]}, sel, out[0]);

mux4to1 m4_1 ({in3[1], in2[1], in1[1], in0[1]}, sel, out[1]);

mux4to1 m4_2 ({in3[2], in2[2], in1[2], in0[2]}, sel, out[2]);

mux4to1 m4_3 ({in3[3], in2[3], in1[3], in0[3]}, sel, out[3]);

endmodule

// Module mux4to1 should map to vendor MUX4 cell

module mux4to1 (vec, sel, out);

input [3:0] vec;

input [1:0] sel;

output out;

assign out = vec[sel];

endmodule

 

Using Arrays

 

The Synopsys Verilog HDL Compiler supports memory arrays. For a group of registers that are accessed using an index, the memory array construct provides a more concise specification. The Verilog HDL models memories as an array of register variables. Each register in the array is addressed by a single array index.

The following example declares a memory array called cntr that is used to implement a bank of eight counters. A counter index variable can directly select the register to be incremented:

 

reg [5:0] cntr[0:7];

always @(posedge clk or posedge reset)

if (reset)

for (i=0; i<8; i=i+1)

cntr[i] <= 6d0;

else if (inc)

cntr[index] <= cntr[index] + 1b1;

 

Without the use of arrays, this description requires eight incrementors instead of one and many more lines of code.

 

reg [5:0] cntr7, cntr6, cntr5, cntr4;

reg [5:0] cntr3, cntr2, cntr1, cntr0;

always @(posedge clk or posedge reset)

if (reset)

{cntr7, cntr6, cntr5, cntr4} <= {6d0, 6d0, 6d0, 6d0};

{cntr3, cntr2, cntr1, cntr0} <= {6d0, 6d0, 6d0,

6d0};

else if (inc)

case(index) // parallel_case full_case

3d0: cntr0 <= cntr0 + 1;

3d1: cntr1 <= cntr1 + 1;

3d2: cntr2 <= cntr2 + 1;

3d3: cntr3 <= cntr3 + 1;

3d4: cntr4 <= cntr4 + 1;

3d5: cntr5 <= cntr5 + 1;

3d6: cntr6 <= cntr6 + 1;

3d7: cntr7 <= cntr7 + 1;

endcase

 

The eight incrementors can be reduced to one by rewriting the increment section of the code and adding even more lines of code:

 

reg [5:0] result; // pseudo reg

always @(index or cntr7 or cntr6 or cntr5 or cntr0

or cntr3 or cntr2 or cntr1 or cntr0)

case(index) // parallel_case

3d0: result = cntr0;

3d1: result = cntr1;

3d2: result = cntr2;

3d3: result = cntr3;

3d4: result = cntr4;

3d5: result = cntr5;

3d6: result = cntr6;

3d7: result = cntr7;

default: result = bx;

endcase

wire [5:0] inc = result + 1b1;

always @(posedge clk or posedge reset)

if (reset)

{cntr7, cntr6, cntr5, cntr4} <= {6d0, 6d0, 6d0,

6d0};

{cntr3, cntr2, cntr1, cntr0} <= {6d0, 6d0, 6d0,

6d0};

else if (inc)

case(index) // parallel_case full_case

3d0: cntr0 <= inc;

3d1: cntr1 <= inc;

3d2: cntr2 <= inc;

3d3: cntr3 <= inc;

3d4: cntr4 <= inc;

3d5: cntr5 <= inc;

3d6: cntr6 <= inc;

3d7: cntr7 <= inc;

endcase

 

While arrays can be used to specify the function more concisely, the resultant logic is not very optimal in terms of area and speed. Instead of using the index operator [], the index can be generated using a decoder. This decoded index can then be used for both fetching the selected counter and assigning a new value to it. This technique of using a decoded value as the select control produces a more optimal design. The use of a for-loop in the example below is just a more succinct way of writing the resultant description.

 

wire [7:0] incDec = inc << index;

always @(posedge clk or posedge reset)

if (reset)

for( i=0; i<=7; i=i+1 )

cntr[i] <= 6d0;

else for( i=0; i<=7; i=i+1 )

if (incDec[i])

cntr[i] <= cntr[i] + 1b1;

 

A decoder with enable can be inferred through the use of a function call:

 

wire [7:0] incDec = decode8en(index, inc);

 

Register File Example

 

The following example declares a memory array called rf which consists of thirty-two 32- bit registers.

 

reg [31:0] rf[0:31];

 

While a multi-ported register file would most likely be implemented as a megacell, it can also be generated by the design compiler using a memory array. The following example contains the specification for a 32-location register file that would be contained in a typical 32-bit microprocessor.

 

module regfile(clk, weA, weB, dinA, dinB, destA, destB,

srcA, srcB, doutA, doutB);

input clk, weA, weB;

input [31:0] dinA, dinB;

input [4:0] destA, destB;

input [4:0] srcA, srcB;

output [31:0] doutA, doutB;

reg [31:0] rf [0:31];

assign doutA = srcA==0 ? 0 : rf[srcA];

assign doutB = srcB==0 ? 0 : rf[srcB];

always @ (posedge clk) begin

if ( weA )

rf[destA] <= dinA;

if ( weB )

rf[destB] <= dinB;

end

endmodule

 

The logic generated for this example is not very optimal in terms of speed or area. A more optimal implementation of a register file can be generated by using a decoded version of the source and destination addresses. A selector operator is used to multiplex between dinB and dinA. Priority is automatically given to destB without the use of additional logic. For this version, the generated logic for each element is identical to the specification in the for-loop, with the ? operator mapping to a 2-to-1 multiplexer. This version is more efficient because there are fewer indexing operations and because the decode logic is explicitly specified.

 

module regfile(clk, weA, weB, dinA, dinB, destA, destB,

srcA, srcB, doutA, doutB);

input clk, weA, weB;

input [31:0] dinA, dinB;

input [4:0] destA, destB;

input [4:0] srcA, srcB;

output [31:0] doutA, doutB;

reg [31:0] rf [0:31];

integer i;

assign doutA = srcA==0 ? 0 : rf[srcA];

assign doutB = srcB==0 ? 0 : rf[srcB];

wire [31:0] weDecA = (weA << destA); // additional detail

wire [31:0] weDecB = (weB << destB); // additional detail

wire [31:0] weDec = weDecA | weDecB; // additional detail

always @ (posedge clk) begin

for ( i=0; i<=31; i=i+1 ) // for-loop replaces random access

rf[i] <= weDec[i] ? (weDecB[i] ? dinB : dinA) : rf[i];

end

endmodule

 

Array of Counters

 

The following example describes an array of counters. On each clock, one counter can be conditionally incremented and one counter conditionally decremented. If an attempt is made to increment and decrement the same counter in the same clock, the old value should be preserved. The signal inhibit is used to achieve this function.

 

reg [5:0] cntr[0:7]; // 2-D array declaration

wire inhibit = incEnable & decEnable & (incAdr == decAdr);

wire inc = incEnable & ~inhibit;

wire dec = decEnable & ~inhibit;

always @(posedge clk) begin

cntr[incAdr] <= inc ? cntr[incAdr]+1 : cntr[incAdr];

cntr[decAdr] <= dec ? cntr[decAdr]-1 : cntr[decAdr];

end

 

When inc&~dec&(incAdr==decAdr), the example above will not simulate correctly. The second statement will take priority over the first statement since it is the last one in the block and it will overwrite the incremented value assigned in the first statement. Furthermore the selected cntr value to increment is computed twice instead of once. Here is the corrected example:

 

always @(posedge clk) begin

if (inc)

cntr[incAdr] <= cntr[incAdr]+ 1b1;

if (dec)

cntr[decAdr] <= cntr[decAdr]- 1b1;

end

The quality of the synthesized circuit can still be dramatically improved by using a decoded version of the address.

 

reg [5:0] cntr[0:7];

wire [7:0] inc = incEnable << incAdr;

wire [7:0] dec = decEnable << decAdr;

always @(posedge clk) begin

for (i = 0; i <= 7; i = i + 1)

cntr[i] <= inc[i] ^ dec[i] ?

(inc[i] ? cntr[i] + 1 : cntr[i] - 1) : cntr[i];

end

 

This code still has a problem in that eight incrementors and eight decrementors will be

created. The following example fixes this last problem.

 

wire [5:0] cntrPlus1 = cntr[incAdr] + 1b1;

wire [5:0] cntrMinus1 = cntr[decAdr] - 1b1;

always @(posedge clk) begin

for (i = 0; i <= 7; i = i + 1)

cntr[i] <= inc[i] ^ dec[i] ?

(inc[i] ? cntrPlus1 : cntrMinus1) : cntr[i];

end

 

Multiple Assignments to the Same Variable

 

Avoid multiple assignments to the same variable except for arrays and vectors.

Assignments to the same variable in separate statements should be avoided except when used with 2-D arrays or vectors, where different elements can be updated at the same time without contention. When the same element is being written, the later assignment is dominant. In the case of multiple assignments to the same variable in different synchronous blocks, Synopsys infers two separate flip-flops which are ANDed together to produce a single output.

 

module test(clk, load1, a1, load2, a2, q);

input clk, load1, load2, a1, a2;

output q;

reg q;

always @ (posedge clk) begin

if (load1)

q <= a1;

end

always @ (posedge clk) begin

if (load2)

q <= a2;

end

endmodule

 

Putting both assignments in the same block avoids this problem. In this case, load2 is dominant since it occurs later in the block. The logic to load variable a1 is load1 and ~load2. If both inputs are mutually exclusive, then use the case always instead.

 

always @ (posedge clk) begin

if (load1)

q <= a1;

if (load2)

q <= a2;

end

In the case of vectors and 2-D arrays, different locations in the array or vector can be updated without contention. For example:

 

reg[31:0] flag;

always @(posedge clk) begin

(set_flag)

flag[set_index] <= 1b1;

if (reset_flag)

flag[reset_index] <= 1b0;

end

 

If set_index and reset_index specify the same location, the selected bit will be reset since that function corresponds to the last assignment in the block.

The following statement invokes the functions dec32L and dec32, which map to a userdefined decode module or DesignWare in order to create an optimized version of the previous example.

 

// Version using function invocation & map_to_module (not shown)

flag <= flag & dec32L(reset_index) | dec32(set_index);

// Version using DesignWare & module instantiation

wire [31:0] reset_dec, set_dec;

DW01_decode #(5) dec32_0 (reset_index, reset_dec);

DW01_decode #(5) dec32_1 (set_index, set_dec);

flag <= flag & ~reset_dec | set_dec;

 

Using case Statements

 

The following case statement implements a selector function:

always @(sela or selb or selc or seld or a or b or c or d)

case ({sela, selb, selc, seld})

4b1000: dout = a;

4b0100: dout = b;

4b0010: dout = c;

4b0001: dout = d;

endcase

 

If multiple select lines are active, then none of the case items will be selected and the variable dout will be unchanged from its previous value. This results in the creation of a latch for dout in order conform with the Verilog language specification. Latch inference can be avoided either with the use of the Synopsys full_case compiler directive or with the use of the default clause. The full_case directive tells the tool that all valid states are represented. During simulation, if the case expression evaluates to a value that is not covered by the case-items, the Verilog simulation and the gate-level simulation will not compare. The default statement can also prevent latch inference but its meaning is different from the full_case directive. The default statement is used for ambiguity handling. It specifies

the output for any input values not defined. In v3.0, Design Compiler will automatically use full and/or parallel case when appropriate, provided all the case item expressions are constants. Assigning the output to bx in the default statement allows unknown propagation for Verilog simulation and specifies dont-care conditions for synthesis. This usually generates fewer gates. For these reasons, the default statement is preferred over the full_case directive.

 

default: dout = 3bx; // for ambiguity handling

Given that the select signals are mutually exclusive, a more optimal

selector design can be implemented using the casez statement.

always @(sela or selb or selc or seld or a or b or c or d)

casez ({sela, selb, selc, seld}) // synopsys parallel_case

4b1???: dout = a;

4b?1??: dout = b;

4b??1?: dout = c;

4b???1: dout = d;

default: dout = bx;

endcase

 

The Verilog case statement is evaluated by comparing the expression following the case keyword to the case-item expressions in the exact order they are given. The statement corresponding to the first case item that matches the case expression is executed. If all the comparisons fail, the default statement is executed. This may not be what the designer intended.

 

The parallel_case directive instructs the Design Compiler to evaluate all case items in parallel and for all case items that match the case expression, to execute the corresponding statements. Without this directive, the logic generated implements a type of priority encode logic for each case item. If more than one case item evaluates true, the generated gate-level design will not match the behavior of the original Verilog source. Without the parallel_case directive, the selector function using the casez would actually be equivalent to the following selector description:

 

always @(sela or selb or selc or seld or a or b or c or d)

casez ({sela, selb, selc, seld}) // equivalent design

4b1???: dout = a;

4b01??: dout = b;

4b001?: dout = c;

4b0001: dout = d;

default: dout = bx;

endcase

 

Use the case always to implement selector type functions.

The selector function can be more concisely specified as:

 

// note: inputs must be mutually exclusive

always @(sela or selb or selc or seld or a or b or c or d)

case(1b1) // synopsys parallel_case

sela: dout = a;

selb: dout = b;

selc: dout = c;

seld: dout = d;

default: dout = bx;

endcase

This construct is best used whenever the inputs are mutually exclusive. The following example shows the execute unit of a V7 SPARC integer unit.

 

wire // instruction decode

AND = op==9h81, ANDN = op==9h85,

OR = op== 9h82, ORN = op==9h86,

XOR = op==9h83, XNOR = op==9h87,

ANDCC = op==9h91, ANDNCC = op==9h95,

ORCC = op==9h92, ORNCC = op==9h96,

XORCC = op==9h93, XNORCC = op==9h97; // etc...

always @(operand1 or operand2 or Y or PSR or WIM or TBR or

AND or ANDN or ANDCC or ANDNCC OR or ORN or ORCC or ORNCC or

XOR or XNOR or XORCC or XNORCC or WRY or WRPSR or WRWIM or WRTBR or

MULSCC or SLL or SRL or SRA or RDY or RDPSR or RDWIM or RDTBR)

case(1) // synopsys parallel_case

AND, ANDN, ANDCC, ANDNCC:

result = operand1 & operand2;

OR, ORN, ORCC, ORNCC:

result = operand1 | operand2;

XOR, XNOR, XORCC, XNORCC, WRY, WRPSR, WRWIM, WRTBR:

result = operand1 ^ operand2;

MULSCC: result = Y[0] ? sum : operand1;

SLL: result = operand1 << operand2[4:0];

SRL: result = operand1 >> operand2[4:0];

SRA: result = {{31{operand1[31]}}, operand1} >> operand2[

4:0];

RDY: result = Y;

RDPSR: result = PSR;

RDWIM: result = WIM;

RDTBR: result = {TBR, 4d0};

default: result = sum; // for all other instructions

endcase

 

Compiler Directives

 

Imbed dont_touch directives in the Verilog source code.

 

Compiler commands can be placed in the Verilog source code using the directives

dc_script_begin and dc_script_end. The Synopsys Design Compiler will automatically compile submodules unless the dont_touch attribute is placed on the cell instances. For modules that are instantiated more than once in a design and not uniquified the dont_touch attribute is required. When required, dont_touch directives should be placed in the Verilog source code.

 

// synopsys dc_script_begin

// dont_touch {cx cl ap sc ll rb rt pb}

// synopsys dc_script_end

 

Parameterized Designs

Verilog provides the capability to build parameterized designs by changing parameter values in any module instance. The method supported by HDL Compiler is to use the module instance parameter value assignment instead of the defparam statement. In the following design, Design Compiler builds a 32-bit version of the 2-to-1 mux and uses this instance in the shiftLeft design. In v3.0 analyze and elaborate replace the use of templates.

 

module shiftLeft(a, shiftCnt, shifta);

input [31:0] a;

input [4:0] shiftCnt;

output [31:0] shifta;

wire [31:0] d0, d1, d2, d3;

// assign shifta = a << shiftCnt;

mux2to1 #(32) m21_0 (a, {a[30:0], 1b0}, shiftCnt[0], d0);

mux2to1 #(32) m21_1 (d0, {d0[29:0], 2b0}, shiftCnt[1], d1);

mux2to1 #(32) m21_2 (d1, {d1[27:0], 4b0}, shiftCnt[2], d2);

mux2to1 #(32) m21_3 (d2, {d2[23:0], 8b0}, shiftCnt[3], d3);

mux2to1 #(32) m21_4 (d3, {d3[15:0], 16b0}, shiftCnt[4], shifta);

endmodule

module mux2to1 (a, b, s, z);

parameter width = 2;

input [width-1:0] a, b;

input s;

output [width-1:0] z;

// synopsys template

assign z = s ? b : a;

endmodule

 

Tasks

 

For the purposes of synthesis, task statements are similar to functions in Verilog except they can have more than one output or no outputs, and they can have inout ports. Only reg variables can receive the output from a task, unlike functions.The tasks logic becomes part of the module from which it is invoked, so it is not necessary to input all the variables explicitly.

 

always task_invocation (in1, in2, reg1, reg2);

 

Although perhaps not as readable, a function can also return multiple values by concatenating the results together and then using an assign statement or procedural assignment to separate the values in the calling module.

 

// continuous assignment

assign {wire1, wire2, wire3} = function_invocation(in1, in2);

always @(posedge clk ) // procedural assignment

{reg1, reg2, reg3} <= function_invocation(in1, in2);

 

State Machine Design

 

A state machine can be specified using a number of different formats: Verilog, Synopsys State Table Design Format, or the PLA Design Format. The Synopsys Verilog HDL Compiler can extract the state table from a Verilog description if the state_vector and enum directives are used. The state_vector directive requires the use of inferred flop-flops within the same module as the state machine specification. However, an extracted state table is not necessary in order to compile a state machine. The use of an extracted state table does provide the following benefits:

 

_ It provides good documentation of the state machine behavior

_ State minimization can be performed

_ Dont-care conditions are utilized since FSM extraction includes flattening

_ Tradeoffs between different encoding styles can easily be made

_ Dont-care state codes are automatically derived

 

state machine compiler is especially effective when using a one-hot encoding style. After using the state machine compiler, Design Compiler can also be used for further optimization. (When using an encoded state vector with few dont-care states, there is not much benefit in using the state machine compiler.) When a state table is extracted, Design Compiler enumerates all state transitions. For example, a reset function generates an explicit transition from every possible state to the reset state. This can potentially cause the state table to explode in size. Even though invalid input combinations or mutually exclusive inputs can be specified using the casez construct or the parallel_case directive, they cannot be concisely

represented in the state table format. However, the PLA format provides a way to

specify these cases concisely, potentially resulting in a more optimal design. The PLA format can also specify the various dont-care conditions and have these utilized without flattening the design. (The PLA format is already a flat, two-level sum of products.)

In a Mealy machine, the outputs depend on the current inputs. In a Moore machine the outputs are either registered or depend only on the current state. An incompletely specified state machine means that the transition behavior is not specified for all possible input conditions and there exists a next-state dont-care set. The next-state assignments can be performed inside a sequential block or in a combinational block. The combinational block can either be an always block or a function. If all the outputs are registered, the output assignments can be included in a sequential block; otherwise they must be in a combinational block. State machine outputs that drive asynchronous logic or preset and clear inputs of flipflops must not glitch. These outputs must be registered or else gray-code state encoding must be used for the corresponding state transitions.

 

The example below describes a simple state machine with an inferred state register.

 

// moore machine

module fsm_example(clk, reset, c, valid);

input clk, reset, c;

output valid;

parameter [2:0] // synopsys enum fsm_states

idle = 3d0,

one_str = 3d1,

zero_str = 3d2,

valid_str = 3d4,

invalid_str = 3d3;

reg [2:0] /* synopsys enum fsm_states */ state;

// synopsys state_vector state

// next state assignments in sequential block

always @(posedge clk)

if (reset)

state <= idle;

else case(state)

idle: state <= c ? one_str : invalid_str;

one_str: state <= c ? one_str : zero_str;

zero_str: state <= c ? valid_str : zero_str;

valid_str: state <= c ? valid_str : invalid_str;

invalid_str: state <= invalid_str;

default: state <= 3bx; // dont_care conditions

endcase

// note: valid becomes msb of state register

assign valid = state == valid_str;

assign first_one = (state == idle) & c;

endmodule

 

The next-state assignments can also be done in a combinational block with the next-state-tocurrent- state assignment done in a sequential block. Using this technique, unregistered outputs can be assigned along with the next state. These techniques are illustrated in the following example:

 

// mealy machine

module fsm_example(clk, reset, c, valid);

input clk, reset, c;

output valid;

parameter [3:0] // synopsys enum fsm_states

idle = 3d0,

one_str = 3d1,

zero_str = 3d2,

valid_str = 3d4,

invalid_str = 3d3;

reg valid, first_one; // a wire

reg [2:0] /* synopsys enum fsm_states */ state;

// synopsys state_vector state

// next state assignments in combinational block

always @(c or state or reset)

if (reset) begin

nxt_state = idle;

valid = 0;

first_one = 0;

end

else begin

valid = 0; // put defaults here

first_one = 0; // put defaults here

case(state)

idle:

if (c) begin

nxt_state = one_str;

first_one = 1;

end else

next_state = idle;

one_str:

if (c) nxt_state = one_str;

else nxt_state = zero_str;

zero_str:

if (c) nxt_state = valid_str;

else nxt_state = zero_str;

valid_str: begin

if (c) nxt_state = valid_str;

else nxt_state = invalid_str;

valid = 1;

end

invalid_str: begin

nxt_state = invalid_str;

valid = 0;

end

default: nxt_state = 3bx; // dont_care conditions

endcase

end

// an additional sequential block is needed

always @(posedge clk)

state <= next_state;

endmodule

 

Outputs that depend only on the current state can be decoded using a case statement with case variable state. Outputs that depend on the state transition (which implies a dependency on both the current state and the inputs) can be conditionally asserted in a particular state or they can be decoded from the variable nxt_state.

 

Conclusion

 

By judicious partitioning of the design, using various combinations of horizontal and vertical partitioning as well as the addition of hierarchy, a designer can control the synthesis process. Horizontal partitioning breaks up a design into smaller slices that are more easily synthesized. Vertical partitioning tries to keep an entire critical path in one module and tries to register outputs of modules. The addition of hierarchy preserves a user-specified structure. It is possible to achieve good results and still have a technology-transparent design by using userdefined macrocell libraries, the GTECH library, and DesignWare. These hand-crafted libraries become the building blocks for success. Another guideline is to start simple and refine the structure as needed to meet speed and area objectives. This enables timing analysis and  subsequent design changes to be made early in the design process. Verilog constructs

should be used in a manner that prevents simulation mismatch between RTL and gate-level versions of the design. You should have complete sensitivity lists, use non-blocking assignments, and dont mix blocking and non-blocking assignments. When using always blocks, be sure to either specify all the default assignments at the front of the block or check to insure all variables are assigned a value regardless of the input combinations. For case statements, the use of a default clause may not be sufficient. The use of procedural assignments within sequential blocks can simplify the code because default assignments are not needed. However, only registered outputs can be used in a sequential block; nonregistered outputs must be specified either with a continuous assignment or in a combinational always block.



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