# Newbie questions: trying to understand Verilog conversion behavior

Hi everyone,

I just posted this to the mailman list, then realized I should have come here instead. Should this Discourse link be added to the myhdl.org Support->Community page?

I’m new to MyHDL, using it with a Digilent “Arty” board and Vivado to learn FPGAs and HDL in general. So far, I’ve found the documentation to be excellent and I haven’t had any problems with simple LED flashing, PWM, etc. Along the way I’ve accumulated some questions however:

1. I would like to parameterize certain hardware modules like I see in the examples, e.g. I have the following “Timepulse” module:

def Timepulse(reset, clk, q, interval=int(100e6)):
""" Generate a pulse for one clock cycle every clock cycles

`````` q       timepulse output, with period equal to one clock
"""
count = Signal(intbv(0, min=0, max=interval))
``````

Here “interval” is intended to be taken as a constant, for the purposes of simulation and conversion. However, the Python code

``````if count == interval - 1:
count.next = 0
else:
count.next = count + 1

if count == interval - 1:
q.next = 1
elif count == 0:
q.next = 0
``````

is converted to the following Verilog:

``````if ((\$signed({1'b0, count}) == (100000000 - 1))) begin
count <= 0;
end
else begin
count <= (count + 1);
end
case (count)
(-'h1): begin
q <= 1;
end
'h0: begin
q <= 0;
end
endcase
``````

I don’t understand where all the signed-arithmetic handling comes from. Intuitively, I thought the Verilog should be the same whether my expression uses “interval-1” or “interval”, because both are large positive constants within the range of the count intbv. But in fact when I take away the -1, the signed-number handling goes away too. What am I doing wrong?

1. When converting to Verilog, do the input/output port names always follow the names in the definition of the top-level Python function? E.g. in the StopWatch tutorial, we have

`def StopWatch(tens_led, ones_led, tenths_led, startstop, reset, clock):`

so upon conversion, the Verilog code uses the names “tens_led”, “ones_led”, etc. as the inputs and outputs. But when targeting a dev board, I would like to assign those ports to existing port names defined in my constraints file.

It seems like there should be a way to give these names when I instantiate StopWatch, instead of having to make the names match between my Python code (at a high and logical level) and my constraints file (at a low and hardware level). Am I missing some alternative?

Thanks,

Mark

@haunma yes a link should be added - hmmm, I swear someone did at some point.

@haunma as I mentioned in the mailing-list (I will re-post it here incase others run across a similar issue), this looks like a bug and we need to create a test case and then fix it. In the near-term you can work around it with:

``````    count = Signal(intbv(0, min=0, max=interval))
maxcnt = interval-1
@always_seq(clock.posedge, reset=reset)
def beh():
if count == maxcnt:
count.next = 0
else:
count.next = count + 1

if count == maxcnt:
q.next = 1
elif count == 0:
q.next = 0

return beh
``````

which generates:

``````always @(posedge clock, negedge reset) begin: TIMEPULSE_BEH
if (reset == 0) begin
count <= 0000000;
q <= 0;
end
else begin
if ((count == 99999999)) begin
count <= 0;
end
else begin
count <= (count + 1);
end
case (count)
'h5f5e0ff: begin
q <= 1;
end
'h0: begin
q <= 0;
end
endcase
end
end
``````

The documentation should be double checked to make sure this is not a known limitation.

Regards,
Chris