From Python to silicon
 

Open tasks

Introduction

If you would like to help with the MyHDL project, there are several ways. The best idea is probably to do your own MyHDL designs, and describe them on the Users & Projects page.

If you would like to help with MyHDL development itself, that is welcome also. This page describes a number of open tasks.

Policy

Jan Decaluwe 2009/05/12 06:15

I'm looking for help that permits to accomplish much more in less time. I'm not sollicating a role as thesis advisor or educator. Therefore, please choose a task in accordance with your skills. Easier tasks are no less valuable than harder ones.

It is normal that the tasks contain unresolved issues, some of which will require hard thinking and hard work. Use the mailing list/newsgroup to communicate about your difficulties and ideas to get feedback and help from the community.

When developing code, make sure you understand the Source code repository and the policy for Guide for developers. Take into account that the most difficult part of a task may be writing the unit test, not necessarily the feature implementation. It is unlikely that I will accept changesets without unit tests, as this typically makes my life as a developer more difficult.

The tasks are related to new features. Therefore, development for them is on the default branch. Currently, this implies that Python 2.6 is required. Also, the conversion code in MyHDL 0.6 cannot be used as a basis, as the compiler package is obsolete and has been replaces by ast.

Open Tasks: Modelling

Easier way to use intbv or Signal as an array index

Status: Completed, 0.7
Complexity: Easy
Requirements : -

Currently, you can't directly use a Signal or an intbv to index an array. Such objects have to be converted explicitly using int() first. Probably, this can be solved with the __index__() special method. This should be tried out both for indexing and slicing.

Open Tasks: Simulation

Open Tasks: Conversion

Initial values support

Status: Open
Complexity: Easy to medium
Requirements : Access to (Altera?) synthesis

Currently, there are often problems at the start of simulation with converted code. For many data types, Verilog and VHDL start at X, but MyHDL doesn't have that concept.

To have a better match, it would be preferable to use initial value syntax in Verilog and VHDL based on the initial value of the Signal or intbv in MyHDL. The only reason why this is not yet done is that some synthesis tools didn't support this syntax some years ago, in particular Altera synthesis. It should be checked whether this is still the case.

Note that the requirement is *not* that synthesis tools do something meaningful with the initial value. Proper reset at the gate level should be done with an explicit reset. The only goal is to have a better match at the RTL level.

An option could be to make this functionality programmable, using an attribute of toVerilog() and toVHDL().

Lists of signals and intbv's require special attention.

Support for tristates

Status: Completed, 0.7
Complexity: medium to hard
Requirements : Access to a synthesis tool

Tristate and bidirectional signals describes a proposal for doing tristates in MyHDL. The distribution already contains a reference implementation for modelling and simulation.

What should be investigated is whether and how this proposal can be made convertible to Verilog and VHDL, and what the possible restrictions are.

More general support of indexed constants

Status: Open
Complexity: medium to hard
Requirements : Access to a synthesis tool

Currently, indexing into a tuple of constants is supported by conversion in a limited way. The code has to written so that the indexing operations can be expanded in-place into a case statement. This is mapped to ROMs by some synthesis tools, such as Xilinx synthesis.

It would be nicer to be able to use indexing into a tuple of constants in a general way. This could be done by mapping the tuple access to a function in Verilog and VHDL, with the index as the parameter. The function call could then be used and converted without restrictions.

The question is what synthesis tools do with this. For example, suppose you call the function multiple times with different indices in the same expression. Some restrictions would be acceptable, as long as the basic ROM mapping feature still works.

It may be best to include tuples of constants in the hierarchical extraction process to give them an unique name, like is done for signals and lists of signals.

Support for conditional expressions

Status: Completed
Complexity: medium
Requirements : -

Python 2.5 introduced conditional expressions. The task is to add conversion support for them.

It should be possible to map the simplest cases to a single assign statement in Verilog, as is currently done for simple signal assignments.

Open Tasks: Installation

RPM package for Fedora

Status: Completed
Complexity: ?
Requirements : Linux, RPM skills

Fedora Electronic Lab suggests to create an RPM package for Fedora. For more information, and help to get started, see the MyHDL newsgroup. (Search for 'fedora' in the subject.)

This task has been completed, it is available in Fedora and Fedora Electronic Lab.

$sudo yum install python-myhdl

dev/tasks.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/03 02:38 by cfelton
 
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