Data Types

VUnit comes with a number of convenient data types included:

  • queue_t (Queue API)

    Queue (FIFO) to which any VHDL primitive data type can be pushed and popped (by serializing data to bytes internally). This queue can be used to, for example, push expected data from a driver process to a checker process in a test bench.

  • integer_array_t (Integer array API)

    Dynamic array of integers in up to 3 dimensions. Supports dynamic append and reshape operations, and reading/writing data to/from .csv or .raw byte files.

External VHDL API

Interfacing VHDL and foreign languages with VUnit

In version 4.3.0 the prototype of an external VHDL API was introduced. This experimental feature exposes a subset of resources from some of VUnit’s internal data types. Creation functions for these data types accept two new optional parameters:

  • mode: selects between internal (default), external access (extacc) or external function (extfnc).

  • eid: when the selected mode is external, this parameter is to be used between VHDL and the foreign language as a unique identifier for the vector.

In mode extacc, VHDL retrieves a pointer to an already allocated buffer, and then data is directly read/written from VHDL. Hence, it is required for the pointer, that must be allocated externally, to be accesible to both the VHDL and the foreign language. The expected use case for this mode is to wrap the VHDL simulation in C/C++ or Python, so that the simulation is a child of the main process.

Conversely, mode extfnc is to be used when data is not available in the same memory space where the VHDL simulation is executed. Each time a value needs to be read/written, a function callback is executed (read_*/write_*), providing eid as an argument.

List of types that are currently in the external VHDL API:

Important

By default, bodies of the external API functions/procedures include forced failure assertions. Hence, using mode/=internal without providing a bridge to a foreign language will make tests fail. Bridges must be provided through vu.add_builtins(external=<Options>), where <Options> defaults to {"string": False, "integer_vector": False}. Each field should contain a list of VHDL files to replace the dummy default. See VUnit/cosim for reference implementations of bridges and examples.