clash-prelude-1.0.0: CAES Language for Synchronous Hardware - Prelude library

Clash.Tutorial

Description

Synopsis

# Introduction

Clash is a functional hardware description language that borrows both its syntax and semantics from the functional programming language Haskell. It provides a familiar structural design approach to both combination and synchronous sequential circuits. The Clash compiler transforms these high-level descriptions to low-level synthesizable VHDL, Verilog, or SystemVerilog.

Features of Clash:

• Strongly typed, but with a very high degree of type inference, enabling both safe and fast prototyping using concise descriptions.
• Interactive REPL: load your designs in an interpreter and easily test all your component without needing to setup a test bench.
• Compile your designs for fast simulation.
• Higher-order functions, in combination with type inference, result in designs that are fully parametric by default.
• Synchronous sequential circuit design based on streams of values, called Signals, lead to natural descriptions of feedback loops.
• Multiple clock domains, with type safe clock domain crossing.
• Template language for introducing new VHDL/(System)Verilog primitives.

Although we say that Clash borrows the semantics of Haskell, that statement should be taken with a grain of salt. What we mean to say is that the Clash compiler views a circuit description as structural description. This means, in an academic handwavy way, that every function denotes a component and every function application denotes an instantiation of said component. Now, this has consequences on how we view recursively defined functions: structurally, a recursively defined function would denote an infinitely deep / structured component, something that cannot be turned into an actual circuit (See also Limitations of Clash).

On the other hand, Haskell's by-default non-strict evaluation works very well for the simulation of the feedback loops, which are ubiquitous in digital circuits. That is, when we take our structural view to circuit descriptions, value-recursion corresponds directly to a feedback loop:

counter = s
where
s = register 0 (s + 1)


The above definition, which uses value-recursion, can be synthesized to a circuit by the Clash compiler.

Over time, you will get a better feeling for the consequences of taking a structural view on circuit descriptions. What is always important to remember is that every applied functions results in an instantiated component, and also that the compiler will never infer / invent more logic than what is specified in the circuit description.

With that out of the way, let us continue with installing Clash and building our first circuit.

# Install Clash

For installation instructions, see clash-lang.org/install/.

# Working with this tutorial

This tutorial can be followed best whilst having the Clash interpreter running at the same time. If you followed the installation instructions, you already know how to start the Clash compiler in interpretive mode:

clash.clashi  # When installed from source, use clashi


For those familiar with Haskell/GHC, this is indeed just GHCi, with three added commands (:vhdl, :verilog, and :systemverilog). You can load files into the interpreter using the :l <FILENAME> command. Now, depending on your choice in editor, the following edit-load-run cycle probably work best for you:

• Commandline (e.g. emacs, vim):

• You can run system commands using :!, for example :! touch <FILENAME>
• Set the editor mode to your favourite editor using: :set editor <EDITOR>
• You can load files using :l as noted above.
• You can go into editor mode using: :e
• Leave the editor mode by quitting the editor (e.g. :wq in vim)

• Just create new files in your editor.
• Load the files using :l as noted above.
• Once a file has been edited and saved, type :r to reload the files in the interpreter

You are of course free to deviate from these suggestions as you see fit :-) It is just recommended that you have the Clash interpreter open during this tutorial.

The very first circuit that we will build is the "classic" multiply-and-accumulate (MAC) circuit. This circuit is as simple as it sounds, it multiplies its inputs and accumulates them. Before we describe any logic, we must first create the file we will be working on and input some preliminaries:

• Create the file:

MAC.hs

• Write on the first line the module header:

module MAC where


Module names must always start with a Capital letter. Also make sure that the file name corresponds to the module name.

• Add the import statement for the Clash prelude library:

import Clash.Prelude


This imports all the necessary functions and datatypes for circuit description.

We can now finally start describing the logic of our circuit, starting with just the multiplication and addition:

ma acc (x, y) = acc + x * y


The circuit we just wrote is a combinational circuit: no registers are inserted (you describe explicitly where Clash will insert registers, as we'll later see). We usually refer to circuits as functions, similar to programming languages such as C, Python, or Haskell. In this case, the function we just defined is called ma. Its first argument is acc, its second is (x, y) - a composite type called a tuple. This component is "unpacked", and its first element is called x, its second y. Everything to the right of the equals symbol is ma's result. If you followed the instructions of running the interpreter side-by-side, you can already test this function:

>>> ma 4 (8, 9)
76
>>> ma 2 (3, 4)
14


We can also examine the inferred type of ma in the interpreter:

>>> :t ma
ma :: Num a => a -> (a, a) -> a


You should read this as follows:

• ma ::, ma is of type..
• Num a, there is some type called a that is a Num. Examples of instances of Num are Int, Signed 16, Index 32, and Float.
• a, ma's first argument is of type a
• (a, a), ma's second argument is of type (a, a)
• a, ma's result is of type a

Note that ma therefore works on multiple types! The only condition we imposed is that a should be a Number type. In Clash this means it should support the operations +, -, *, and some others. Indeed, this is why Clash adds the constraint in the first place: the definition of ma uses + and *. Whenever a function works over multiple types, we call it polymorphic ("poly" meaning "many", "morphic" meaning "forms"). While powerful, its not clear how Clash should synthesize this as numbers come in a great variety in (bit)sizes. We will later see how to use this function in a monomorphic manner.

Talking about types also brings us to one of the most important parts of this tutorial: types and synchronous sequential logic. Especially how we can always determine, through the types of a specification, if it describes combinational logic or (synchronous) sequential logic. We do this by examining the definition of one of the sequential primitives, the register function:

register
( HiddenClockResetEnable dom
, NFDataX a )
=> a
-> Signal dom a
-> Signal dom a
register i s = ...


Where we see that the second argument and the result are not just of the polymorphic a type, but of the type: Signal dom a. All (synchronous) sequential circuits work on values of type Signal dom a. Combinational circuits always work on values of, well, not of type Signal dom a. A Signal is an (infinite) list of samples, where the samples correspond to the values of the Signal at discrete, consecutive, ticks of the clock. All (sequential) components in the circuit are synchronized to this global clock. For the rest of this tutorial, and probably at any moment where you will be working with Clash, you should probably not actively think about Signals as infinite lists of samples, but just as values that are manipulated by sequential circuits. To make this even easier, it actually not possible to manipulate the underlying representation directly: you can only modify Signal values through a set of primitives such as the register function above.

Now, let us get back to the functionality of the register function: it is a simple latch that only changes state at the tick of the global clock, and it has an initial value a which is its output at time 0. We can further examine the register function by taking a look at the first 4 samples of the register functions applied to a constant signal with the value 8:

>>> sampleN @System 4 (register 0 (pure (8 :: Signed 8)))
[0,0,8,8]


Where we see that the initial value of the signal is the specified 0 value, followed by 8's. You might be surprised to see two zeros instead of just a single zero. What happens is that in Clash you get to see the output of the circuit before the clock becomes actives. In other words, in Clash you get to describe the powerup values of registers too. Whether this is a defined or unknown value depends on your hardware target, and can be configured by using a different synthesis Domain. The default synthesis domain, @System, assumes that registers do have a powerup value - as is true for most FPGA platforms in most contexts.

### Sequential circuit

The register function is our primary sequential building block to capture state. It is used internally by one of the Clash.Prelude function that we will use to describe our MAC circuit. Note that the following paragraphs will only show one of many ways to specify a sequential circuit, at the section we will show a couple more.

A principled way to describe a sequential circuit is to use one of the classic machine models, within the Clash prelude library offer standard function to support the Mealy machine. To improve sharing, we will combine the transition function and output function into one. This gives rise to the following Mealy specification of the MAC circuit:

macT acc (x, y) = (acc', o)
where
acc' = ma acc (x, y)
o    = acc


Note that the where clause and explicit tuple are just for demonstrative purposes, without loss of sharing we could've also written:

macT acc inp = (ma acc inp, acc)


Going back to the original specification we note the following:

• acc is the current state of the circuit.
• '(x, y)' is its input.
• acc' is the updated, or next, state.
• o is the output.

When we examine the type of macT we see that is still completely combinational:

>>> :t macT
macT :: Num a => a -> (a, a) -> (a, a)


The Clash.Prelude library contains a function that creates a sequential circuit from a combinational circuit that has the same Mealy machine type / shape of macT:

mealy
:: (HiddenClockResetEnable dom, NFDataX s)
=> (s -> i -> (s,o))
-> s
-> (Signal dom i -> Signal dom o)
mealy f initS = ...


The complete sequential MAC circuit can now be specified as:

mac = mealy macT 0


Where the first argument of mealy is our macT function, and the second argument is the initial state, in this case 0. We can see it is functioning correctly in our interpreter:

>>> import qualified Data.List as L
>>> L.take 4 $simulate @System mac [(1,1),(2,2),(3,3),(4,4)] [0,1,5,14]  Where we simulate our sequential circuit over a list of input samples and take the first 4 output samples. We have now completed our first sequential circuit and have made an initial confirmation that it is working as expected. ### Generating VHDL We are now almost at the point that we can create actual hardware, in the form of a VHDL netlist, from our sequential circuit specification. The first thing we have to do is create a function called topEntity and ensure that it has a monomorphic type. In our case that means that we have to give it an explicit type annotation. It might not always be needed, you can always check the type with the :t command and see if the function is monomorphic: topEntity :: Clock System -> Reset System -> Signal System (Signed 9, Signed 9) -> Signal System (Signed 9) topEntity = exposeClockResetEnable mac  Which makes our circuit work on 9-bit signed integers. Including the above definition, our complete MAC.hs should now have the following content: module MAC where import Clash.Prelude ma acc (x,y) = acc + x * y macT acc (x,y) = (acc',o) where acc' = ma acc (x,y) o = acc mac = mealy macT 0 topEntity :: Clock System -> Reset System -> Enable System -> Signal System (Signed 9, Signed 9) -> Signal System (Signed 9) topEntity = exposeClockResetEnable mac  The topEntity function is the starting point for the Clash compiler to transform your circuit description into a VHDL netlist. It must meet the following restrictions in order for the Clash compiler to work: • It must be completely monomorphic • It must be completely first-order • Although not strictly necessary, it is recommended to expose Hidden clock and reset arguments, as it makes user-controlled name assignment in the generated HDL easier to do. Our topEntity meets those restrictions, and so we can convert it successfully to VHDL by executing the :vhdl command in the interpreter. This will create a directory called vhdl, which contains a directory called MAC, which ultimately contains all the generated VHDL files. You can now load these files into your favourite VHDL synthesis tool, marking mac_topentity.vhdl as the file containing the top level entity. ### Circuit testbench There are multiple reasons as to why you might want to create a so-called test bench for the generated HDL: • You want to compare post-synthesis / post-place&route behavior to that of the behavior of the original generated HDL. • Need representative stimuli for your dynamic power calculations. • Verify that the HDL output of the Clash compiler has the same behavior as the Haskell / Clash specification. For these purposes, you can have the Clash compiler generate a test bench. In order for the Clash compiler to do this you need to do one of the following: • Create a function called testBench in the root module. • Annotate your topEntity function (or function with a Synthesize annotation) with a TestBench annotation. For example, you can test the earlier defined topEntity by: import Clash.Explicit.Testbench topEntity :: Clock System -> Reset System -> Enable System -> Signal System (Signed 9, Signed 9) -> Signal System (Signed 9) topEntity = exposeClockReset mac testBench :: Signal System Bool testBench = done where testInput = stimuliGenerator clk rst$(listToVecTH [(1,1) :: (Signed 9,Signed 9),(2,2),(3,3),(4,4)])
expectOutput = outputVerifier' clk rst $(listToVecTH [0 :: Signed 9,1,5,14,14,14,14]) done = expectOutput (topEntity clk rst en testInput) en = enableGen clk = tbSystemClockGen (not <$> done)
rst          = systemResetGen


This will create a stimulus generator that creates the same inputs as we used earlier for the simulation of the circuit, and creates an output verifier that compares against the results we got from our earlier simulation. We can even simulate the behavior of the testBench:

>>> sampleN 8 testBench
[False,False,False,False,False
cycle(<Clock: System>): 5, outputVerifier
expected value: 14, not equal to actual value: 30
,False
cycle(<Clock: System>): 6, outputVerifier
expected value: 14, not equal to actual value: 46
,False
cycle(<Clock: System>): 7, outputVerifier
expected value: 14, not equal to actual value: 62
,False]


We can see that for the first 4 samples, everything is working as expected, after which warnings are being reported. The reason is that stimuliGenerator will keep on producing the last sample, (4,4), while the outputVerifier' will keep on expecting the last sample, 14. In the VHDL testbench these errors won't show, as the global clock will be stopped after 4 ticks.

You should now again run :vhdl in the interpreter; this time the compiler will take a bit longer to generate all the circuits. Inside the ./vhdl/MAC directory you will now also find a mac_testbench subdirectory containing all the vhdl files for the test bench.

After compilation is finished you load all the files in your favourite VHDL simulation tool. Once all files are loaded into the VHDL simulator, run the simulation on the mac_testbench_testbench entity. On questasim / modelsim: doing a run -all will finish once the output verifier will assert its output to true. The generated testbench, modulo the clock signal generator(s), is completely synthesizable. This means that if you want to test your circuit on an FPGA, you will only have to replace the clock signal generator(s) by actual clock sources, such as an onboard PLL.

### Generating Verilog and SystemVerilog

Aside from being able to generate VHDL, the Clash compiler can also generate Verilog and SystemVerilog. You can repeat the previous two parts of the tutorial, but instead of executing the :vhdl command, you execute the :verilog or :sytemverilog command in the interpreter. This will create a directory called verilog, respectively systemverilog, which contains a directory called MAC, which ultimately contains all the generated Verilog and SystemVerilog files. Verilog files end in the file extension v, while SystemVerilog files end in the file extension sv.

This concludes the main part of this section on "Your first circuit", read on for alternative specifications for the same mac circuit, or just skip to the next section where we will describe another DSP classic: an FIR filter structure.

### Alternative specifications

• Num instance for Signal:

Signal a is also also considered a Numeric type as long as the value type a is also Numeric. This means that we can also use the standard numeric operators, such as (*) and (+), directly on signals. An alternative specification of the mac circuit will also use the register function directly:

macN (x,y) = acc
where
acc = register 0 (acc + x * y)

• Applicative instance for Signal:

We can also mix the combinational ma function, with the sequential register function, by lifting the ma function to the sequential Signal domain using the operators (<$> and <*>) of the Applicative type class: macA (x,y) = acc where acc = register 0 acc' acc' = ma <$> acc <*> bundle (x,y)

• State Monad

We can also implement the original macT function as a State monadic computation. First we must add an extra import statement, right after the import of Clash.Prelude:

import Control.Monad.State


We can then implement macT as follows:

macTS (x,y) = do
acc <- get
put (acc + x * y)
return acc


We can use the mealy function again, although we will have to change position of the arguments and result:

asStateM
:: ( HiddenClockResetEnable dom
, NFDataX s )
=> (i -> State s o)
-> s
-> (Signal dom i -> Signal dom o)
asStateM f i = mealy g i
where
g s x = let (o,s') = runState (f x) s
in  (s',o)


We can then create the complete mac circuit as:

macS = asStateM macTS 0


# Higher-order functions

An FIR filter is defined as: the dot-product of a set of filter coefficients and a window over the input, where the size of the window matches the number of coefficients.

dotp as bs = sum (zipWith (*) as bs)

fir coeffs x_t = y_t
where
y_t = dotp coeffs xs
xs  = window x_t

topEntity
:: Clock System
-> Reset System
-> Enable System
-> Signal System (Signed 16)
-> Signal System (Signed 16)
topEntity = exposeClockResetEnableEnable (fir (0 :> 1 :> 2 :> 3 :> Nil))


Here we can see that, although the Clash compiler handles recursive function definitions poorly, many of the regular patterns that we often encounter in circuit design are already captured by the higher-order functions that are present for the Vector type.

# Composition of sequential circuits

Given a function f of type:

f :: Int -> (Bool, Int) -> (Int, (Int, Bool))


When we want to make compositions of f in g using mealy, we have to write:

g a b c = (b1,b2,i2)
where
(i1,b1) = unbundle (mealy f 0 (bundle (a,b)))
(i2,b2) = unbundle (mealy f 3 (bundle (c,i1)))


Why do we need these bundle, and unbundle functions you might ask? When we look at the type of mealy:

mealy
:: HiddenClockResetEnable dom
=> (s -> i -> (s,o))
-> s
-> (Signal dom i -> Signal dom o)


we see that the resulting function has an input of type Signal i, and an output of Signal o. However, the type of (a,b) in the definition of g is: (Signal Bool, Signal Int). And the type of (i1,b1) is of type (Signal Int, Signal Bool).

Syntactically, Signal dom (Bool,Int) and (Signal dom Bool, Signal dom Int) are unequal. So we need to make a conversion between the two, that is what bundle and unbundle are for. In the above case bundle gets the type:

bundle :: (Signal dom Bool, Signal dom Int) -> Signal dom (Bool,Int)


and unbundle:

unbundle :: Signal dom (Int,Bool) -> (Signal dom Int, Signal dom Bool)


The true types of these two functions are, however:

bundle   :: Bundle a => Unbundled dom a -> Signal dom a
unbundle :: Bundle a => Signal dom a -> Unbundled dom a


Unbundled is an associated type family belonging to the Bundle type class, which, together with bundle and unbundle defines the isomorphism between a product type of Signals and a Signal of a product type. That is, while (Signal a, Signal b) and Signal (a,b) are not equal, they are isomorphic and can be converted from, or to, the other using bundle and unbundle.

Instances of this Bundle type-class are defined as isomorphisms for:

• All tuples up to and including 62-tuples (GHC limit)
• The Vector type

But they are defined as identities for:

• All elementary / primitive types such as: Bit, Bool, Signed n, etc.

That is:

instance Bundle (a,b) where
type Unbundled dom (a,b) = (Signal dom a, Signal dom b)
bundle   (a,b) = (,) <$> a <*> b unbundle tup = (fst <$> tup, snd <*> tup)


but,

instance Bundle Bool where
type Unbundled clk Bool = Signal clk Bool
bundle   s = s
unbundle s = s


What you need take away from the above is that a product type (e.g. a tuple) of Signals is not syntactically equal to a Signal of a product type, but that the functions of the Bundle type class allow easy conversion between the two.

As a final note on this section we also want to mention the mealyB function, which does the bundling and unbundling for us:

mealyB
:: (Bundle i, Bundle o)
=> (s -> i -> (s,o))
-> s
-> Unbundled dom i
-> Unbundled dom o


Using mealyB we can define g as:

g a b c = (b1,b2,i2)
where
(i1,b1) = mealyB f 0 (a,b)
(i2,b2) = mealyB f 3 (c,i1)


The general rule of thumb is: always use mealy, unless you do pattern matching or construction of product types, then use mealyB.

# Synthesize annotations: controlling the VHDL/(System)Verilog generation.

Synthesize annotations allow us to control hierarchy and naming aspects of the Clash compiler, specifically, they allow us to:

• Assign names to entities (VHDL) / modules ((System)Verilog), and their ports.
• Put generated HDL files of a logical (sub)entity in their own directory.
• Use cached versions of generated HDL, i.e., prevent recompilation of (sub)entities that have not changed since the last run. Caching is based on a .manifest which is generated alongside the HDL; deleting this file means deleting the cache; changing this file will result in undefined behavior.

Functions with a Synthesize annotation must adhere to the following restrictions:

• Although functions with a Synthesize annotation can of course depend on functions with another Synthesize annotation, they must not be mutually recursive.
• Functions with a Synthesize annotation must be completely monomorphic and first-order, and cannot have any non-representable arguments or result.

Also take the following into account when using Synthesize annotations.

• The Clash compiler is based on the GHC Haskell compiler, and the GHC machinery does not understand Synthesize annotations and it might subsequently decide to inline those functions. You should therefor also add a {-# NOINLINE f #-} pragma to the functions which you give a Synthesize functions.
• Functions with a Synthesize annotation will not be specialized on constants.

Finally, the root module, the module which you pass as an argument to the Clash compiler must either have:

• A function with a Synthesize annotation.
• A function called topEntity.

You apply Synthesize annotations to functions using an ANN pragma:

{-# ANN topEntity (Synthesize {t_name = ..., ...  }) #-}
topEntity x = ...


For example, given the following specification:

module Blinker where

import Clash.Signal
import Clash.Prelude
import Clash.Intel.ClockGen

createDomain vSystem{vName="DomInput", vPeriod=20000}
createDomain vSystem{vName="Dom50", vPeriod=50000}

topEntity
:: Clock "DomInput"
-> Signal "DomInput" Bool
-> Signal "Dom50" Bit
-> Signal "Dom50" (BitVector 8)
topEntity clk rst =
exposeClockResetEnable (mealy blinkerT (1,False,0) . Clash.Prelude.isRising 1) pllOut rstSync enableGen
where
(pllOut,pllStable) = altpll Dom50 (SSymbol "altpll50") clk (unsafeFromLowPolarity rst)
rstSync            = resetSynchronizer pllOut (unsafeFromLowPolarity pllStable) enableGen

where
-- clock frequency = 50e6  (50 MHz)
-- led update rate = 333e-3 (every 333ms)
cnt_max = 16650000 :: (Index 16650001) -- 50e6 * 333e-3

cntr' | cntr == cnt_max = 0
| otherwise       = cntr + 1

mode' | key1R     = not mode
| otherwise = mode

leds' | cntr == 0 = if mode then complement leds
else rotateL leds 1
| otherwise = leds


The Clash compiler will normally generate the following blinker_topEntity.vhdl file:

-- Automatically generated VHDL-93
library IEEE;
use IEEE.STD_LOGIC_1164.ALL;
use IEEE.NUMERIC_STD.ALL;
use IEEE.MATH_REAL.ALL;
use std.textio.all;
use work.all;

port(-- clock
rst  : in boolean;
x    : in std_logic;
leds : out std_logic_vector(7 downto 0));
end;

...
end;


However, if we add the following Synthesize annotation in the file:

{-# ANN topEntity
(Synthesize
, t_inputs = [PortName "CLOCK_50", PortName "KEY0", PortName "KEY1"]
, t_output = PortName "LED"
}) #-}


The Clash compiler will generate the following blinker.vhdl file instead:

-- Automatically generated VHDL-93
library IEEE;
use IEEE.STD_LOGIC_1164.ALL;
use IEEE.NUMERIC_STD.ALL;
use IEEE.MATH_REAL.ALL;
use std.textio.all;
use work.all;

port(-- clock
KEY0     : in boolean;
KEY1     : in std_logic;
LED      : out std_logic_vector(7 downto 0));
end;

...
end;


Where we now have:

• A top-level component that is called blinker.
• Inputs and outputs that have a user-chosen name: CLOCK_50, KEY0, KEY1, LED, etc.

See the documentation of Synthesize for the meaning of all its fields.

# Multiple clock domains

Clash supports designs multiple clock (and reset) domains, though perhaps in a slightly limited form. What is possible is:

• Create clock primitives, such as PPLs, which have an accompanying HDL primitive (described later on in this tutorial).
• Explicitly assign clocks to memory primitives.

What is not possible is:

• Directly generate a clock signal in module A, and assign this clock signal to a memory primitive in module B. For example, the following is not possible:
 pow2Clocks
:: ( KnownConfiguration domIn ('DomainConfiguration domIn pIn eIn rIn iIn polIn)
, KnownConfiguration dom2  ('DomainConfiguration dom2 (2*pIn) e2 r2 i2 p2)
, KnownConfiguration dom4  ('DomainConfiguration dom4 (4*pIn) e4 r4 i4 p4)
, KnownConfiguration dom8  ('DomainConfiguration dom8 (8*pIn) e8 r8 i8 p8)
, KnownConfiguration dom16 ('DomainConfiguration dom16 (16*pIn) e16 r16 i16 p16)
=> Clock domIn
-> Reset domIn
-> ( Clock dom16
, Clock dom8
, Clock dom4
, Clock dom2 )
pow2Clocks clk rst = (cnt!3, cnt!2, cnt!1, cnt!0)
where
cnt = register clk rst 0 (cnt + 1)


As it is not possible to convert the individual bits to a Clock.

However! What is possible is to do the following:

 pow2Clocks'
:: ( KnownConfiguration domIn ('DomainConfiguration domIn pIn eIn rIn iIn polIn)
, KnownConfiguration dom2  ('DomainConfiguration dom2 (2*pIn) e2 r2 i2 p2)
, KnownConfiguration dom4  ('DomainConfiguration dom4 (4*pIn) e4 r4 i4 p4)
, KnownConfiguration dom8  ('DomainConfiguration dom8 (8*pIn) e8 r8 i8 p8)
, KnownConfiguration dom16 ('DomainConfiguration dom16 (16*pIn) e16 r16 i16 p16)
=> Clock domIn
-> Reset domIn
-> ( Clock dom16
, Clock dom8
, Clock dom4
, Clock dom2 )
pow2Clocks' clk rst = (clockGen, clockGen, clockGen, clockGen)
{-# NOINLINE pow2Clocks' #-}


And then create a HDL primitive, as described in later on in this tutorial, to implement the desired behavior in HDL.

What this means is that when Clash converts your design to VHDL/(System)Verilog, you end up with a top-level module/entity with multiple clock and reset ports for the different clock domains. If you're targeting an FPGA, you can use e.g. a PPL or MMCM to provide the clock signals.

## Building a FIFO synchronizer

This part of the tutorial assumes you know what metastability is, and how it can never truly be avoided in any asynchronous circuit. Also it assumes that you are familiar with the design of synchronizer circuits, and why a dual flip-flop synchronizer only works for bit-synchronization and not word-synchronization. The explicitly clocked versions of all synchronous functions and primitives can be found in Clash.Explicit.Prelude, which also re-exports the functions in Clash.Signal.Explicit. We will use those functions to create a FIFO where the read and write port are synchronized to different clocks. Below you can find the code to build the FIFO synchronizer based on the design described in: http://www.sunburst-design.com/papers/CummingsSNUG2002SJ_FIFO1.pdf

We start with enable a few options that will make writing the type-signatures for our components a bit easier. Instead of importing the standard Clash.Prelude module, we will import the Clash.Explicit.Prelude module where all our clocks and resets must be explicitly routed (other imports will be used later):

module MultiClockFifo where

import Clash.Explicit.Prelude
import Clash.Prelude          (mux)
import Data.Maybe             (isJust)
import Data.Constraint        (Dict (..), (:-)( Sub ))
import Data.Constraint.Nat    (leTrans)


Then we'll start with the heart of the FIFO synchronizer, an asynchronous RAM in the form of asyncRam. It's called an asynchronous RAM because the read port is not synchronized to any clock (though the write port is). Note that in Clash we don't really have asynchronous logic, there is only combinational and synchronous logic. As a consequence, we see in the type signature of asyncRam:

asyncRam
:: ( Enum addr
, HasCallStack
, KnownDomain wdom wconf
, KnownDomain rdom rconf
)
=> Clock wdom                     -- ^ Clock to which to synchronize the write port of the RAM
-> Clock rdom                     -- ^ Clock to which the read address signal, r, is synchronized to
-> Enable wdom                    -- ^ Global enable
-> SNat n                         -- ^ Size n of the RAM
-> Signal rdom addr               -- ^ Read address r
-> Signal wdom (Maybe (addr, a))  -- ^ (write address w, value to write)
-> Signal rdom a                  -- ^ Value of the RAM at address r


that the signal containing the read address r is synchronized to a different clock. That is, there is no such thing as an AsyncSignal in Clash.

We continue by instantiating the asyncRam:

fifoMem wclk rclk en addrSize@SNat full raddr writeM =
asyncRam
wclk rclk en
(pow2SNat addrSize)
(mux full (pure Nothing) writeM)


We see that we give it 2^addrSize elements, where addrSize is the bit-size of the address. Also, we only write new values to the RAM when a new write is requested, indicated by wdataM having a Just value, and the buffer is not full, indicated by wfull.

The next part of the design calculates the read and write address for the asynchronous RAM, and creates the flags indicating whether the FIFO is full or empty. The address and flag generator is given in mealy machine style:

ptrCompareT
-> (BitVector (addrSize + 1) -> BitVector (addrSize + 1) -> Bool)
-> ( BitVector (addrSize + 1)
, Bool )
-> ( BitVector (addrSize + 1)
, Bool )
-> ( ( BitVector (addrSize + 1)
, Bool )
, ( Bool
)
)
ptrCompareT addrSize@SNat flagGen (bin, ptr, flag) (s_ptr, inc) =
( (bin', ptr', flag')
where
-- GRAYSTYLE2 pointer
bin' = bin + boolToBV (inc && not flag)
ptr' = (bin' shiftR 1) xor bin'
addr = truncateB bin
flag' = flagGen ptr' s_ptr


It is parametrized in both address size, addrSize, and status flag generator, flagGen. It has two inputs, s_ptr, the synchronized pointer from the other clock domain, and inc, which indicates we want to perform a write or read of the FIFO. It creates three outputs: flag, the full or empty flag, addr, the read or write address into the RAM, and ptr, the Gray-encoded version of the read or write address which will be synchronized between the two clock domains.

Next follow the initial states of address generators, and the flag generators for the empty and full flags:

-- FIFO empty: when next pntr == synchronized wptr or on reset
isEmpty       = (==)
rptrEmptyInit = (0, 0, True)

isFull
=> SNat addrSize
-> BitVector (addrSize + 1)
-> BitVector (addrSize + 1)
-> Bool
Sub Dict ->
let a1 = SNat @(addrSize - 1)
a2 = SNat @(addrSize - 2)
in  ptr == (complement (slice addrSize a1 s_ptr) ++# slice a2 d0 s_ptr)

wptrFullInit = (0, 0, False)


We create a dual flip-flop synchronizer to be used to synchronize the Gray-encoded pointers between the two clock domains:

ptrSync clk1 clk2 rst2 =
register clk2 rst2 0 . register clk2 rst2 0 . unsafeSynchronizer clk1 clk2


It uses the unsafeSynchronizer primitive, which is needed to go from one clock domain to the other. All synchronizers are specified in terms of unsafeSynchronizer (see for example the source of asyncRam). The unsafeSynchronizer primitive is turned into a (bundle of) wire(s) by the Clash compiler, so developers must ensure that it is only used as part of a proper synchronizer.

Finally we combine all the component in:

asyncFIFOSynchronizer
:: ( KnownDomain wdom wconf
, KnownDomain rdom rconf
-- ^ Size of the internally used addresses, the  FIFO contains 2^addrSize
-- elements.
-> Clock wdom
-- ^ Clock to which the write port is synchronized
-> Clock rdom
-- ^ Clock to which the read port is synchronized
-> Reset wdom
-> Reset rdom
-> Enable wdom
-> Enable rdom
-> Signal rdom Bool
-> Signal wdom (Maybe a)
-- ^ Element to insert
-> (Signal rdom a, Signal rdom Bool, Signal wdom Bool)
-- ^ (Oldest element in the FIFO, empty flag, full flag)
asyncFIFOSynchronizer addrSize@SNat wclk rclk wrst rrst wen ren rinc wdataM =
(rdata, rempty, wfull)
where
s_rptr = dualFlipFlopSynchronizer rclk wclk wrst wen 0 rptr
s_wptr = dualFlipFlopSynchronizer wclk rclk rrst ren 0 wptr

rdata =
fifoMem
wclk rclk wen
(liftA2 (,) <$> (pure <$> waddr) <*> wdataM)

mealyB
rclk rrst ren
(0, 0, True)
(s_wptr, rinc)

mealyB
wclk wrst wen
(0, 0, False)
(s_rptr, isJust <$> wdataM)  where we first specify the synchronization of the read and the write pointers, instantiate the asynchronous RAM, and instantiate the read address / pointer / flag generator and write address / pointer / flag generator. Ultimately, the whole file containing our FIFO design will look like this: module MultiClockFifo where import Clash.Explicit.Prelude import Clash.Prelude (mux) import Data.Maybe (isJust) import Data.Constraint (Dict (..), (:-)( Sub )) import Data.Constraint.Nat (leTrans) fifoMem wclk rclk en addrSize@SNat full raddr writeM = asyncRam wclk rclk en (pow2SNat addrSize) raddr (mux full (pure Nothing) writeM) ptrCompareT :: SNat addrSize -> (BitVector (addrSize + 1) -> BitVector (addrSize + 1) -> Bool) -> ( BitVector (addrSize + 1) , BitVector (addrSize + 1) , Bool ) -> ( BitVector (addrSize + 1) , Bool ) -> ( ( BitVector (addrSize + 1) , BitVector (addrSize + 1) , Bool ) , ( Bool , BitVector addrSize , BitVector (addrSize + 1) ) ) ptrCompareT addrSize@SNat flagGen (bin, ptr, flag) (s_ptr, inc) = ( (bin', ptr', flag') , (flag, addr, ptr) ) where -- GRAYSTYLE2 pointer bin' = bin + boolToBV (inc && not flag) ptr' = (bin' shiftR 1) xor bin' addr = truncateB bin flag' = flagGen ptr' s_ptr -- FIFO empty: when next pntr == synchronized wptr or on reset isEmpty = (==) rptrEmptyInit = (0, 0, True) -- FIFO full: when next pntr == synchronized {~wptr[addrSize:addrSize-1],wptr[addrSize-2:0]} isFull :: forall addrSize . (2 <= addrSize) => SNat addrSize -> BitVector (addrSize + 1) -> BitVector (addrSize + 1) -> Bool isFull addrSize@SNat ptr s_ptr = case leTrans @1 @2 @addrSize of Sub Dict -> let a1 = SNat @(addrSize - 1) a2 = SNat @(addrSize - 2) in ptr == (complement (slice addrSize a1 s_ptr) ++# slice a2 d0 s_ptr) wptrFullInit = (0, 0, False) -- Dual flip-flop synchronizer ptrSync clk1 clk2 rst2 = register clk2 rst2 0 . register clk2 rst2 0 . unsafeSynchronizer clk1 clk2 -- Async FIFO synchronizer asyncFIFOSynchronizer :: ( KnownDomain wdom wconf , KnownDomain rdom rconf , 2 <= addrSize ) => SNat addrSize -- ^ Size of the internally used addresses, the FIFO contains 2^addrSize -- elements. -> Clock wdom -- ^ Clock to which the write port is synchronized -> Clock rdom -- ^ Clock to which the read port is synchronized -> Reset wdom -> Reset rdom -> Enable wdom -> Enable rdom -> Signal rdom Bool -- ^ Read request -> Signal wdom (Maybe a) -- ^ Element to insert -> (Signal rdom a, Signal rdom Bool, Signal wdom Bool) -- ^ (Oldest element in the FIFO, empty flag, full flag) asyncFIFOSynchronizer addrSize@SNat wclk rclk wrst rrst wen ren rinc wdataM = (rdata, rempty, wfull) where s_rptr = dualFlipFlopSynchronizer rclk wclk wrst wen 0 rptr s_wptr = dualFlipFlopSynchronizer wclk rclk rrst ren 0 wptr rdata = fifoMem wclk rclk wen addrSize wfull raddr (liftA2 (,) <$> (pure <$> waddr) <*> wdataM) (rempty, raddr, rptr) = mealyB rclk rrst ren (ptrCompareT addrSize (==)) (0, 0, True) (s_wptr, rinc) (wfull, waddr, wptr) = mealyB wclk wrst wen (ptrCompareT addrSize (isFull addrSize)) (0, 0, False) (s_rptr, isJust <$> wdataM)


## Instantiating a FIFO synchronizer

Having finished our FIFO synchronizer it's time to instantiate with concrete clock domains. Let us assume we have part of our system connected to an ADC which runs at 20 MHz, and we have created an FFT component running at only 9 MHz. We want to connect part of our design connected to the ADC, and running at 20 MHz, to part of our design connected to the FFT running at 9 MHz.

We can calculate the clock periods using hzToPeriod:

>>> hzToPeriod 20e6
50000
>>> hzToPeriod 9e6
111112


We can then create the clock and reset domains:

createDomain vSystem{vName="ADC", vPeriod=hzToPeriod 20e6}
createDomain vSystem{vName="FFT", vPeriod=hzToPeriod 9e6}


and subsequently a 256-space FIFO synchronizer that safely bridges the ADC clock domain and to the FFT clock domain:

adcToFFT
:: Clock "ADC"
-> Clock "FFT"
-> Reset "ADC"
-> Reset "FFT"
-> Signal "FFT" Bool
-> Signal "ADC" (Maybe (SFixed 8 8))
-> ( Signal "FFT" (SFixed 8 8)
, Signal "FFT" Bool
, Signal "ADC" Bool )


There are times when you already have an existing piece of IP, or there are times where you need the VHDL to have a specific shape so that the VHDL synthesis tool can infer a specific component. In these specific cases you can resort to defining your own VHDL primitives. Actually, most of the primitives in Clash are specified in the same way as you will read about in this section. There are perhaps 10 (at most) functions which are truly hard-coded into the Clash compiler. You can take a look at the files in https://github.com/clash-lang/clash-compiler/tree/master/clash-lib/prims/vhdl (or https://github.com/clash-lang/clash-compiler/tree/master/clash-lib/prims/verilog for the Verilog primitives or https://github.com/clash-lang/clash-compiler/tree/master/clash-lib/prims/systemverilog for the SystemVerilog primitives) if you want to know which functions are defined as "regular" primitives. The compiler looks for primitives in four locations:

• The official install location: e.g.

• $CABAL_DIR/share/<GHC_VERSION>/clash-lib-<VERSION>/prims/common • $CABAL_DIR/share/<GHC_VERSION>/clash-lib-<VERSION>/prims/commonverilog
• $CABAL_DIR/share/<GHC_VERSION>/clash-lib-<VERSION>/prims/systemverilog • $CABAL_DIR/share/<GHC_VERSION>/clash-lib-<VERSION>/prims/verilog
• $CABAL_DIR/share/<GHC_VERSION>/clash-lib-<VERSION>/prims/vhdl • Directories indicated by a Primitive annotation • The current directory (the location given by pwd) • The include directories specified on the command-line: -i<DIR> Where redefined primitives in the current directory or include directories will overwrite those in the official install location. For now, files containing primitive definitions must have an .json file-extension. Clash differentiates between two types of primitives, expression primitives and declaration primitives, corresponding to whether the primitive is a VHDL expression or a VHDL declaration. We will first explore expression primitives, using Signed multiplication (*) as an example. The Clash.Sized.Internal.Signed module specifies multiplication as follows: (*#) :: KnownNat n => Signed n -> Signed n -> Signed n (S a) *# (S b) = fromInteger_INLINE (a * b) {-# NOINLINE (*#) #-}  For which the VHDL expression primitive is: { "BlackBox" : { "name" : "Clash.Sized.Internal.Signed.*#" , "kind" : "Expression" , "template" : "resize(~ARG[1] * ~ARG[2], ~LIT[0])" } }  The name of the primitive is the fully qualified name of the function you are creating the primitive for. Because we are creating an expression primitive the kind must be set to Expression. As the name suggest, it is a VHDL template, meaning that the compiler must fill in the holes heralded by the tilde (~). Here: • ~ARG[1] denotes the second argument given to the (*#) function, which corresponds to the LHS of the (*) operator. • ~ARG[2] denotes the third argument given to the (*#) function, which corresponds to the RHS of the (*) operator. • ~LIT[0] denotes the first argument given to the (*#) function, with the extra condition that it must be a LITeral. If for some reason this first argument does not turn out to be a literal then the compiler will raise an error. This first arguments corresponds to the "KnownNat n" class constraint. An extensive list with all of the template holes will be given the end of this section. What we immediately notice is that class constraints are counted as normal arguments in the primitive definition. This is because these class constraints are actually represented by ordinary record types, with fields corresponding to the methods of the type class. In the above case, KnownNat is actually just like a newtype wrapper for Integer. The second kind of primitive that we will explore is the declaration primitive. We will use blockRam# as an example, for which the Haskell/Clash code is: {-# LANGUAGE BangPatterns #-} module BlockRam where import Clash.Explicit.Prelude import qualified Data.Vector as V import GHC.Stack (HasCallStack, withFrozenCallStack) import Clash.Signal.Internal (Clock, Signal (..), (.&&.)) import Clash.Sized.Vector (Vec, toList) import Clash.XException (defaultSeqX) blockRam# :: ( HasCallStack , NFDataX a ) => Clock dom -- ^ Clock to synchronize to -> Enable dom -- ^ Global enable -> Vec n a -- ^ Initial content of the BRAM, also -- determines the size, n, of the BRAM. -- -- NB: MUST be a constant. -> Signal dom Int -- ^ Read address r -> Signal dom Bool -- ^ Write enable -> Signal dom Int -- ^ Write address w -> Signal dom a -- ^ Value to write (at address w) -> Signal dom a -- ^ Value of the blockRAM at address r from -- the previous clock cycle blockRam# (Clock _) gen content rd wen = go (V.fromList (toList content)) (withFrozenCallStack (deepErrorX "blockRam: intial value undefined")) (fromEnable gen) rd (fromEnable gen .&&. wen) where go !ram o ret@(~(re :- res)) rt@(~(r :- rs)) et@(~(e :- en)) wt@(~(w :- wr)) dt@(~(d :- din)) = let ram' = d defaultSeqX upd ram e (fromEnum w) d o' = if re then ram V.! r else o in o seqX o :- (ret seq rt seq et seq wt seq dt seq go ram' o' res rs en wr din) upd ram we waddr d = case maybeIsX we of Nothing -> case maybeIsX waddr of Nothing -> V.map (const (seq waddr d)) ram Just wa -> ram V.// [(wa,d)] Just True -> case maybeIsX waddr of Nothing -> V.map (const (seq waddr d)) ram Just wa -> ram V.// [(wa,d)] _ -> ram {-# NOINLINE blockRam# #-}  And for which the declaration primitive is: { "BlackBox" : { "name" : "Clash.Explicit.BlockRam.blockRam#" , "kind" : "Declaration" , "type" : "blockRam# :: ( HasCallStack -- ARG[0] , NFDataX a ) -- ARG[1] => Clock dom -- clk, ARG[2] -> Enable dom -- en, ARG[3] -> Vec n a -- init, ARG[4] -> Signal dom Int -- rd, ARG[5] -> Signal dom Bool -- wren, ARG[6] -> Signal dom Int -- wr, ARG[7] -> Signal dom a -- din, ARG[8] -> Signal dom a" , "template" : "-- blockRam begin ~GENSYM[~RESULT_blockRam][0] : block signal ~GENSYM[~RESULT_RAM][1] : ~TYP[4] := ~CONST[4]; signal ~GENSYM[rd][3] : integer range 0 to ~LENGTH[~TYP[4]] - 1; signal ~GENSYM[wr][4] : integer range 0 to ~LENGTH[~TYP[4]] - 1; begin ~SYM[3] <= to_integer(~ARG[5]) -- pragma translate_off mod ~LENGTH[~TYP[4]] -- pragma translate_on ; ~SYM[4] <= to_integer(~ARG[7]) -- pragma translate_off mod ~LENGTH[~TYP[4]] -- pragma translate_on ; ~IF ~VIVADO ~THEN ~SYM[5] : process(~ARG[2]) begin if rising_edge(~ARG[2]) then if ~ARG[6] ~IF ~ISACTIVEENABLE[3] ~THEN and ~ARG[3] ~ELSE ~FI then ~SYM[1](~SYM[4]) <= ~TOBV[~ARG[8]][~TYP[8]]; end if; ~RESULT <= fromSLV(~SYM[1](~SYM[3])) -- pragma translate_off after 1 ps -- pragma translate_on ; end if; end process; ~ELSE ~SYM[5] : process(~ARG[2]) begin if rising_edge(~ARG[2]) then if ~ARG[6] ~IF ~ISACTIVEENABLE[3] ~THEN and ~ARG[3] ~ELSE ~FI then ~SYM[1](~SYM[4]) <= ~ARG[8]; end if; ~RESULT <= ~SYM[1](~SYM[3]) -- pragma translate_off after 1 ps -- pragma translate_on ; end if; end process; ~FI end block; --end blockRam" } }  Again, the name of the primitive is the fully qualified name of the function you are creating the primitive for. Because we are creating a declaration primitive the kind must be set to Declaration. Instead of discussing what the individual template holes mean in the above context, we will instead just give a general listing of the available template holes: • ~RESULT: Signal to which the result of a primitive must be assigned to. NB: Only used in a declaration primitive. • ~ARG[N]: (N+1)'th argument to the function. • ~LIT[N]: (N+1)'th argument to the function. An extra condition that must hold is that this (N+1)'th argument is an (integer) literal. • ~CONST[N]: (N+1)'th argument to the function. Clash will try to reduce • this to a literal, even if it would otherwise consider it too expensive. As • opposed to ~LIT, ~CONST will render a valid HDL expression. • ~TYP[N]: VHDL type of the (N+1)'th argument. • ~TYPO: VHDL type of the result. • ~TYPM[N]: VHDL typename of the (N+1)'th argument; used in type qualification. • ~TYPM: VHDL typename of the result; used in type qualification. • ~ERROR[N]: Error value for the VHDL type of the (N+1)'th argument. • ~ERRORO: Error value for the VHDL type of the result. • ~GENSYM[<NAME>][N]: Create a unique name, trying to stay as close to the given <NAME> as possible. This unique symbol can be referred to in other places using ~SYM[N]. • ~SYM[N]: a reference to the unique symbol created by ~GENSYM[<NAME>][N]. • ~SIGD[<HOLE>][N]: Create a signal declaration, using <HOLE> as the name of the signal, and the type of the (N+1)'th argument. • ~SIGDO[<HOLE>]: Create a signal declaration, using <HOLE> as the name of the signal, and the type of the result. • ~TYPELEM[<HOLE>]: The element type of the vector type represented by <HOLE>. The content of <HOLE> must either be: TYP[N], TYPO, or TYPELEM[<HOLE>]. • ~COMPNAME: The name of the component in which the primitive is instantiated. • ~LENGTH[<HOLE>]: The vector length of the type represented by <HOLE>. • ~DEPTH[<HOLE>]: The tree depth of the type represented by <HOLE>. The content of <HOLE> must either be: TYP[N], TYPO, or TYPELEM[<HOLE>]. • ~SIZE[<HOLE>]: The number of bits needed to encode the type represented by <HOLE>. The content of <HOLE> must either be: TYP[N], TYPO, or TYPELEM[<HOLE>]. • ~IF <CONDITION> ~THEN <THEN> ~ELSE <ELSE> ~FI: renders the <ELSE> part when <CONDITION> evaluates to 0, and renders the <THEN> in all other cases. Valid <CONDITION>s are ~LENGTH[<HOLE>], ~SIZE[<HOLE>], ~DEPTH[<HOLE>], ~VIVADO, ~IW64, ~ISLIT[N], ~ISVAR[N], ~ISACTIVEENABLE[N], ~ISSYNC[N], and ~AND[<HOLE1>,<HOLE2>,..]@. • ~VIVADO: 1 when Clash compiler is invoked with the -fclash-xilinx or -fclash-vivado flag. To be used with in an ~IF .. ~THEN .. ~ElSE .. ~FI statement. • ~TOBV[<HOLE>][<TYPE>]: create conversion code that so that the expression in <HOLE> is converted to a bit vector (std_logic_vector). The <TYPE> hole indicates the type of the expression and must be either ~TYP[N], ~TYPO, or ~TYPELEM[<HOLE>]. • ~FROMBV[<HOLE>][<TYPE>]: create conversion code that so that the expression in <HOLE>, which has a bit vector (std_logic_vector) type, is converted to type indicated by <TYPE>. The <TYPE> hole indicates the must be either ~TYP[N], ~TYPO, or ~TYPELEM[<HOLE>]. • ~INCLUDENAME[N]: the generated name of the N'th included component. • ~FILEPATH[<HOLE>]: The argument mentioned in <HOLE> is a file which must be copied to the location of the generated HDL. • ~GENERATE: Verilog: create a generate statement, except when already in as generate context. • ~ENDGENERATE: Verilog: create an endgenerate statement, except when already in a generate context. • ~ISLIT[N]: Is the (N+1)'th argument to the function a literal. • ~ISVAR[N]: Is the (N+1)'th argument to the function explicitly not a literal • ~TAG[N]: Name of given domain. Errors when called on an argument which is not a KnownDomain, Reset, or Clock. • ~PERIOD[N]: Clock period of given domain. Errors when called on an argument which is not a KnownDomain or KnownConf. • ~ISACTIVEENABLE[N]: Is the (N+1)'th argument a an Enable line NOT set to a constant True. Can be used instead of deprecated (and removed) template tag ~ISGATED. Errors when called on an argument which is not a signal of bools. • ~ISSYNC[N]: Does synthesis domain at the (N+1)'th argument have synchronous resets. Errors when called on an argument which is not a KnownDomain or KnownConf. • ~ISINITDEFINED[N]: Does synthesis domain at the (N+1)'th argument have defined initial values. Errors when called on an argument which is not a KnownDomain or KnownConf. • ~ACTIVEEDGE[edge][N]: Does synthesis domain at the (N+1)'th argument respond to edge. edge must be one of Falling or Rising. Errors when called on an argument which is not a KnownDomain or KnownConf. • ~AND[<HOLE1>,<HOLE2>,..]: Logically and the conditions in the <HOLE>'s • ~VARS[N]: VHDL: Return the variables at the (N+1)'th argument argument. • ~NAME[N]: Render the (N+1)'th string literal argument as an identifier instead of a string literal. Fails when the (N+1)'th argument is not a string literal. • ~DEVNULL[<HOLE>]: Render all dependencies of <HOLE>, but disregard direct output • ~REPEAT[<HOLE>][N]: Repeat literal value of <HOLE> a total of N times. • ~TEMPLATE[<HOLE1>][<HOLE2>]: Render a file <HOLE1> with contents <HOLE2>. Some final remarks to end this section: VHDL primitives are there to instruct the Clash compiler to use the given VHDL template, instead of trying to do normal synthesis. As a consequence you can use constructs inside the Haskell definitions that are normally not synthesizable by the Clash compiler. However, VHDL primitives do not give us co-simulation: where you would be able to simulate VHDL and Haskell in a single environment. If you still want to simulate your design in Haskell, you will have to describe, in a cycle- and bit-accurate way, the behavior of that (potentially complex) IP you are trying to include in your design. Perhaps in the future, someone will figure out how to connect the two simulation worlds, using e.g. VHDL's foreign function interface VHPI. ### Verilog primitives For those who are interested, the equivalent Verilog primitives are: { "BlackBox" : { "name" : "Clash.Sized.Internal.Signed.*#" , "kind" : "Expression" , "template" : "~ARG[1] * ~ARG[2]" } }  and { "BlackBox" : { "name" : "Clash.Explicit.BlockRam.blockRam#" , "kind" : "Declaration" , "type" : "blockRam# :: ( HasCallStack -- ARG[0] , NFDataX a ) -- ARG[1] => Clock dom -- clk, ARG[2] => Enable dom -- en, ARG[3] -> Vec n a -- init, ARG[4] -> Signal dom Int -- rd, ARG[5] -> Signal dom Bool -- wren, ARG[6] -> Signal dom Int -- wr, ARG[7] -> Signal dom a -- din, ARG[8] -> Signal dom a" , "outputReg" : true , "template" : "// blockRam begin reg ~TYPO ~GENSYM[~RESULT_RAM][0] [0:~LENGTH[~TYP[4]]-1]; reg ~TYP[4] ~GENSYM[ram_init][2]; integer ~GENSYM[i][3]; initial begin ~SYM[2] = ~CONST[4]; for (~SYM[3]=0; ~SYM[3] < ~LENGTH[~TYP[4]]; ~SYM[3] = ~SYM[3] + 1) begin ~SYM[0][~LENGTH[~TYP[4]]-1-~SYM[3]] = ~SYM[2][~SYM[3]*~SIZE[~TYPO]+:~SIZE[~TYPO]]; end end ~IF ~ISACTIVEENABLE[3] ~THEN always (posedge ~ARG[2]) begin : ~GENSYM[~RESULT_blockRam][4]~IF ~VIVADO ~THEN if (~ARG[3]) begin if (~ARG[6]) begin ~SYM[0][~ARG[7]] <= ~ARG[8]; end ~RESULT <= ~SYM[0][~ARG[5]]; end~ELSE if (~ARG[6] & ~ARG[3]) begin ~SYM[0][~ARG[7]] <= ~ARG[8]; end if (~ARG[3]) begin ~RESULT <= ~SYM[0][~ARG[5]]; end~FI end~ELSE always (posedge ~ARG[2]) begin : ~SYM[4] if (~ARG[6]) begin ~SYM[0][~ARG[7]] <= ~ARG[8]; end ~RESULT <= ~SYM[0][~ARG[5]]; end~FI // blockRam end" } }  ### SystemVerilog primitives And the equivalent SystemVerilog primitives are: { "BlackBox" : { "name" : "Clash.Sized.Internal.Signed.*#" , "kind" : "Expression" , "template" : "~ARG[1] * ~ARG[2]" } }  and { "BlackBox" : { "name" : "Clash.Explicit.BlockRam.blockRam#" , "kind" : "Declaration" , "type" : "blockRam# :: ( HasCallStack -- ARG[0] , NFDataX a ) -- ARG[1] => Clock dom -- clk, ARG[2] -> Enable dom -- en, ARG[3] -> Vec n a -- init, ARG[4] -> Signal dom Int -- rd, ARG[5] -> Signal dom Bool -- wren, ARG[6] -> Signal dom Int -- wr, ARG[7] -> Signal dom a -- din, ARG[8] -> Signal dom a" , "template" : "// blockRam begin ~SIGD[~GENSYM[RAM][0]][4]; logic [~SIZE[~TYP[8]]-1:0] ~GENSYM[~RESULT_q][1]; initial begin ~SYM[0] = ~CONST[4]; end~IF ~ISACTIVEENABLE[3] ~THEN always (posedge ~ARG[2]) begin : ~GENSYM[~COMPNAME_blockRam][2]~IF ~VIVADO ~THEN if (~ARG[3]) begin if (~ARG[6]) begin ~SYM[0][~ARG[7]] <= ~TOBV[~ARG[8]][~TYP[8]]; end ~SYM[1] <= ~SYM[0][~ARG[5]]; end~ELSE if (~ARG[6] & ~ARG[3]) begin ~SYM[0][~ARG[7]] <= ~TOBV[~ARG[8]][~TYP[8]]; end if (~ARG[3]) begin ~SYM[1] <= ~SYM[0][~ARG[5]]; end~FI end~ELSE always (posedge ~ARG[2]) begin : ~SYM[2] if (~ARG[6]) begin ~SYM[0][~ARG[7]] <= ~TOBV[~ARG[8]][~TYP[8]]; end ~SYM[1] <= ~SYM[0][~ARG[5]]; end~FI assign ~RESULT = ~FROMBV[~SYM[1]][~TYP[8]]; // blockRam end" } }  # Conclusion For now, this is the end of this tutorial. We will be adding updates over time, so check back from time to time. We recommend that you continue with exploring the Clash.Prelude module, and get a better understanding of the capabilities of Clash in the process. # Troubleshooting A list of often encountered errors and their solutions: • Type error: Couldn't match expected type Signal dom (a,b) with actual type (Signal dom a, Signal dom b): Signals of product types and product types (to which tuples belong) of signals are isomorphic due to synchronisity principle, but are not (structurally) equal. Use the bundle function to convert from a product type to the signal type. So if your code which gives the error looks like: ... = f a b (c,d)  add the bundle function like so: ... = f a b (bundle (c,d))  Product types supported by bundle are: • All tuples up to and including 62-tuples (GHC limit) • The Vector type • Type error: Couldn't match expected type (Signal dom a, Signal dom b) with actual type Signal dom (a,b): Product types (to which tuples belong) of signals and signals of product types are isomorphic due to synchronicity principle, but are not (structurally) equal. Use the unbundle function to convert from a signal type to the product type. So if your code which gives the error looks like: (c,d) = f a b  add the unbundle function like so: (c,d) = unbundle (f a b)  Product types supported by unbundle are: • All tuples up to and including 62-tuples (GHC limit) • The Vector type • Clash.Netlist(..): Not in normal form: <REASON>: <EXPR>: A function could not be transformed into the expected normal form. This usually means one of the following: • The topEntity has residual polymorphism. • The topEntity has higher-order arguments, or a higher-order result. • You are using types which cannot be represented in hardware. The solution for all the above listed reasons is quite simple: remove them. That is, make sure that the topEntity is completely monomorphic and first-order. Also remove any variables and constants/literals that have a non-representable type, see Unsupported Haskell features to find out which types are not representable. • Clash.Normalize(94): Expr belonging to bndr: <FUNCTION> remains recursive after normalization: • If you actually wrote a recursive function, rewrite it to a non-recursive one using e.g. one of the higher-order functions in Clash.Sized.Vector :-) • You defined a recursively defined value, but left it polymorphic: topEntity x y = acc where acc = register 3 (acc + x * y)  The above function, works for any number-like type. This means that acc is a recursively defined polymorphic value. Adding a monomorphic type annotation makes the error go away: topEntity :: SystemClockReset => Signal System (Signed 8) -> Signal System (Signed 8) -> Signal System (Signed 8) topEntity x y = acc where acc = register 3 (acc + x * y)  • Clash.Normalize.Transformations(155): InlineNonRep: <FUNCTION> already inlined 100 times in:<FUNCTION>, <TYPE>: You left the topEntity function polymorphic or higher-order: use :t topEntity to check if the type is indeed polymorphic or higher-order. If it is, add a monomorphic type signature, and / or supply higher-order arguments. • <*** Exception: <<loop>> or "blinking cursor" You are using value-recursion, but one of the Vector functions that you are using is too strict in one of the recursive arguments. For example: -- Bubble sort for 1 iteration sortV xs = map fst sorted :< (snd (last sorted)) where lefts = head xs :> map snd (init sorted) rights = tail xs sorted = zipWith compareSwapL lefts rights -- Compare and swap compareSwapL a b = if a < b then (a,b) else (b,a)  Will not terminate because zipWith is too strict in its second argument. In this case, adding lazyV on zipWiths second argument: sortVL xs = map fst sorted :< (snd (last sorted)) where lefts = head xs :> map snd (init sorted) rights = tail xs sorted = zipWith compareSwapL (lazyV lefts) rights  Results in a successful computation: >>> sortVL (4 :> 1 :> 2 :> 3 :> Nil) <1,2,3,4>  # Limitations of Clash Here is a list of Haskell features for which the Clash compiler has only limited support (for now): • Recursively defined functions At first hand, it seems rather bad that a compiler for a functional language cannot synthesize recursively defined functions to circuits. However, when viewing your functions as a structural specification of a circuit, this feature of the Clash compiler makes sense. Also, only certain types of recursion are considered non-synthesizable; recursively defined values are for example synthesizable: they are (often) synthesized to feedback loops. Let us distinguish between three variants of recursion: • Dynamic data-dependent recursion As demonstrated in this definition of a function that calculates the n'th Fibbonacci number: fibR 0 = 0 fibR 1 = 1 fibR n = fibR (n-1) + fibR (n-2)  To get the first 10 numbers, we do the following: >>> import qualified Data.List as L >>> L.map fibR [0..9] [0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34]  The fibR function is not synthesizable by the Clash compiler, because, when we take a structural view, fibR describes an infinitely deep structure. In principal, descriptions like the above could be synthesized to a circuit, but it would have to be a sequential circuit. Where the most general synthesis would then require a stack. Such a synthesis approach is also known as behavioral synthesis, something which the Clash compiler simply does not do. One reason that Clash does not do this is because it does not fit the paradigm that only functions working on values of type Signal result in sequential circuits, and all other (non higher-order) functions result in combinational circuits. This paradigm gives the designer the most straightforward mapping from the original Haskell description to generated circuit, and thus the greatest control over the eventual size of the circuit and longest propagation delay. • Value-recursion As demonstrated in this definition of a function that calculates the n'th Fibbonaci number on the n'th clock cycle: fibS = r where r = register 0 r + register 0 (register 1 r)  To get the first 10 numbers, we do the following: >>> sampleN @System 11 fibS [0,0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34]  Unlike the fibR function, the above fibS function is synthesizable by the Clash compiler. Where the recursively defined (non-function) value r is synthesized to a feedback loop containing three registers and one adder. Note that not all recursively defined values result in a feedback loop. An example that uses recursively defined values which does not result in a feedback loop is the following function that performs one iteration of bubble sort: sortV xs = map fst sorted :< (snd (last sorted)) where lefts = head xs :> map snd (init sorted) rights = tail xs sorted = zipWith compareSwapL lefts rights  Where we can clearly see that lefts and sorted are defined in terms of each other. Also the above sortV function is synthesizable. • Static/Structure-dependent recursion Static, or, structure-dependent recursion is a rather vague concept. What we mean by this concept are recursive definitions where a user can sensibly imagine that the recursive definition can be completely unfolded (all recursion is eliminated) at compile-time in a finite amount of time. Such definitions would e.g. be: mapV :: (a -> b) -> Vec n a -> Vec n b mapV _ Nil = Nil mapV f (Cons x xs) = Cons (f x) (mapV f xs) topEntity :: Vec 4 Int -> Vec 4 Int topEntity = mapV (+1)  Where one can imagine that a compiler can unroll the definition of mapV four times, knowing that the topEntity function applies mapV to a Vec of length 4. Sadly, the compile-time evaluation mechanisms in the Clash compiler are very poor, and a user-defined function such as the mapV function defined above, is currently not synthesizable. We do plan to add support for this in the future. In the mean time, this poor support for user-defined recursive functions is amortized by the fact that the Clash compiler has built-in support for the higher-order functions defined in Clash.Sized.Vector. Most regular design patterns often encountered in circuit design are captured by the higher-order functions in Clash.Sized.Vector. • Recursive datatypes The Clash compiler needs to be able to determine a bit-size for any value that will be represented in the eventual circuit. More specifically, we need to know the maximum number of bits needed to represent a value. While this is trivial for values of the elementary types, sum types, and product types, putting a fixed upper bound on recursive types is not (always) feasible. This means that the ubiquitous list type is unsupported! The only recursive types that are currently supported by the Clash compiler is the Vector and RTree types, for which the compiler has hard-coded knowledge. For "easy" Vector literals you should use Template Haskell splices and the listToVecTH meta-function that as we have seen earlier in this tutorial. • GADTs Clash has experimental support for GADTs. Similar to recursive types, Clash can't determine bit-sizes of GADTs. Notable exceptions to this rule are Vec and RTree. You can still use your own GADTs, as long as they can be removed through static analysis. For example, the following case will be optimized away and is therefore fine to use: x = case resetKind @@System of SAsynchronous -> a SSynchronous -> b  • Floating point types There is no support for the Float and Double types, if you need numbers with a fractional part you can use the Fixed point type. As to why there is no support for these floating point types: 1. In order to achieve reasonable operating frequencies, arithmetic circuits for floating point data types must be pipelined. 2. Haskell's primitive arithmetic operators on floating point data types, such as plusFloat# plusFloat# :: Float# -> Float# -> Float#  which underlie Float's Num instance, must be implemented as purely combinational circuits according to their type. Remember, sequential circuits operate on values of type "Signal a". Although it is possible to implement purely combinational (not pipelined) arithmetic circuits for floating point data types, the circuit would be unreasonable slow. And so, without synthesis possibilities for the basic arithmetic operations, there is no point in supporting the floating point data types. • Haskell primitive types Only the following primitive Haskell types are supported: • Integer • Int • Int8 • Int16 • Int32 • Int64 (not available when compiling with -fclash-intwidth=32 on a 64-bit machine) • Word • Word8 • Word16 • Word32 • Word64 (not available when compiling with -fclash-intwidth=32 on a 64-bit machine) • Char There are several aspects of which you should take note: • Int and Word are represented by the same number of bits as is native for the architecture of the computer on which the Clash compiler is executed. This means that if you are working on a 64-bit machine, Int and Word will be 64-bit. This might be problematic when you are working in a team, and one designer has a 32-bit machine, and the other has a 64-bit machine. In general, you should be avoiding Int in such cases, but as a band-aid solution, you can force the Clash compiler to use a specific bit-width for Int and Word using the -fclash-intwidth=N flag, where N must either be 32 or 64. • When you use the -fclash-intwidth=32 flag on a 64-bit machine, the Word64 and Int64 types cannot be translated. This restriction does not apply to the other three combinations of -fclash-intwidth flag and machine type. • The translation of Integer is not meaning-preserving. Integer in Haskell is an arbitrary precision integer, something that cannot be represented in a statically known number of bits. In the Clash compiler, we chose to represent Integer by the same number of bits as we do for Int and Word. As you have read in a previous bullet point, this number of bits is either 32 or 64, depending on the architecture of the machine the Clash compiler is running on, or the setting of the -fclash-intwidth flag. Consequently, you should use Integer with due diligence; be especially careful when using fromIntegral as it does a conversion via Integer. For example: signedToUnsigned :: Signed 128 -> Unsigned 128 signedToUnsigned = fromIntegral can either lose the top 64 or 96 bits depending on whether Integer is represented by 64 or 32 bits. Instead, when doing such conversions, you should use bitCoerce: signedToUnsigned :: Signed 128 -> Unsigned 128 signedToUnsigned = bitCoerce • Side-effects: IO, ST, etc. There is no support for side-effecting computations such as those in the IO or ST monad. There is also no support for Haskell's FFI. # Clash vs Lava In Haskell land the most well-known way of describing digital circuits is the Lava family of languages: The big difference between Clash and Lava is that Clash uses a "standard" compiler (static analysis) approach towards synthesis, where Lava is an embedded domain specific language. One downside of static analysis vs. the embedded language approach is already clearly visible: synthesis of recursive descriptions does not come for "free". This will be implemented in Clash in due time, but that doesn't help the circuit designer right now. As already mentioned earlier, the poor support for recursive functions is amortized by the built-in support for the higher-order in Clash.Sized.Vector. The big upside of Clash and its static analysis approach is that Clash can do synthesis of "normal" functions: there is no forced encasing datatype (often called Signal in Lava) on all the arguments and results of a synthesizable function. This enables the following features not available to Lava: • Automatic synthesis for user-defined ADTs • Synthesis of all choice constructs (pattern matching, guards, etc.) • Applicative instance for the Signal type • Working with "normal" functions permits the use of e.g. the State monad to describe the functionality of a circuit. Although there are Lava alternatives to some of the above features (e.g. first-class patterns to replace pattern matching) they are not as "beautiful" and / or easy to use as the standard Haskell features. # Migration guide from Clash 0.99  0.99 1.0 topEntity (clk::Clock d 'Source) rst = withClockReset f clk rst topEntity clk rst = withClockResetEnable clk rst enableGen f topEntity (clk::Clock d 'Gated) rst = withClockReset f clk rst topEntity clk rst enable = withClockResetEnable clk rst enable f data A = ...  (and A is used as state, for example in register or mealy) data A = ... deriving (Generic,NFDataX) SystemClockReset SystemClockResetEnable HiddenClockReset dom gated sync HiddenClockResetEnable dom HiddenClock dom gated HiddenClock dom HiddenReset dom sync HiddenReset dom Clock dom gated Clock dom Reset dom sync Reset dom • outputVerifier now operates on two domains. If you only need one, simply change it to outputVerifier' • For an overview of all other changes, check out the changelog ### Examples #### FIR filter FIR filter in Clash 1.0: module FIR where import Clash.Prelude import Clash.Explicit.Testbench dotp :: SaturatingNum a => Vec (n + 1) a -> Vec (n + 1) a -> a dotp as bs = fold boundedPlus (zipWith boundedMult as bs) fir :: (Default a, KnownNat n, SaturatingNum a, HiddenClockResetEnable dom) => Vec (n + 1) a -> Signal dom a -> Signal dom a fir coeffs x_t = y_t where y_t = dotp coeffs <$> bundle xs
xs  = window x_t

topEntity
:: Clock  System Source
-> Reset  System Asynchronous
-> Signal System (Signed 16)
-> Signal System (Signed 16)
topEntity = exposeClockReset (fir (2:>3:>(-2):>8:>Nil))

testBench :: Signal System Bool
testBench = done
where
testInput      = stimuliGenerator clk rst (2:>3:>(-2):>8:>Nil)
expectedOutput = outputVerifier clk rst (4:>12:>1:>20:>Nil)
done           = expectedOutput (topEntity clk rst testInput)
clk            = tbSystemClockGen (not <$> done) rst = systemResetGen  FIR filter in current version: module FIR where import Clash.Prelude import Clash.Explicit.Testbench dotp :: SaturatingNum a => Vec (n + 1) a -> Vec (n + 1) a -> a dotp as bs = fold boundedAdd (zipWith boundedMul as bs) fir :: ( HiddenClockResetEnable dom , Default a , KnownNat n , SaturatingNum a , NFDataX a ) => Vec (n + 1) a -> Signal tag a -> Signal tag a fir coeffs x_t = y_t where y_t = dotp coeffs <$> bundle xs
xs  = window x_t

topEntity
:: Clock  System
-> Reset  System
-> Enable System
-> Signal System (Signed 16)
-> Signal System (Signed 16)
topEntity = exposeClockResetEnable (fir (2:>3:>(-2):>8:>Nil))

testBench :: Signal System Bool
testBench = done
where
testInput      = stimuliGenerator clk rst (2:>3:>(-2):>8:>Nil)
expectedOutput = outputVerifier' clk rst (4:>12:>1:>20:>Nil)
done           = expectedOutput (topEntity clk rst enableGen testInput)
clk            = tbSystemClockGen (not <\$> done)
rst            = systemResetGen


module Blinker where

import Clash.Prelude
import Clash.Promoted.Symbol
import Clash.Intel.ClockGen

type Dom50 = Dom "System" 20000

{-# ANN topEntity
(Synthesize
, t_inputs = [ PortName "CLOCK_50"
, PortName "KEY0"
, PortName "KEY1"
]
, t_output = PortName "LED"
}) #-}
topEntity
:: Clock Dom50 Source
-> Reset Dom50 Asynchronous
-> Signal Dom50 Bit
-> Signal Dom50 (BitVector 8)
topEntity clk rst =
exposeClockReset (mealy blinkerT (1,False,0) . isRising 1) pllOut rstSync
where
(pllOut,pllStable) = altpll @Dom50 (SSymbol @ "altpll50") clk rst
rstSync            = resetSynchronizer pllOut (unsafeToAsyncReset pllStable)

where
-- clock frequency = 50e6  (50 MHz)
-- led update rate = 333e-3 (every 333ms)
cnt_max = 16650000 -- 50e6 * 333e-3

cntr' | cntr == cnt_max = 0
| otherwise       = cntr + 1

mode' | key1R     = not mode
| otherwise = mode

leds' | cntr == 0 = if mode then complement leds
else rotateL leds 1
| otherwise = leds


module Blinker where

import Clash.Prelude
import Clash.Intel.ClockGen

data LedMode
= Rotate
-- ^ After some period, rotate active led to the left
| Complement
-- ^ After some period, turn on all disable LEDs, and vice versa
deriving (Generic, Undefined)

-- Define a synthesis domain with a clock with a period of 20000 ps.
createDomain vSystem{vName="Input", vPeriod=20000}

-- Define a synthesis domain with a clock with a period of 50000 ps.
createDomain vSystem{vName="Dom50", vPeriod=50000}

{-# ANN topEntity
(Synthesize
, t_inputs = [ PortName "CLOCK_50"
, PortName "KEY0"
, PortName "KEY1"
]
, t_output = PortName "LED"
}) #-}
topEntity
:: Clock Input
-- ^ Incoming clock
-> Signal Input Bool
-- ^ Reset signal, straight from KEY0
-> Signal Dom50 Bit
-- ^ Mode choice, straight from KEY1. See 'LedMode'.
-> Signal Dom50 (BitVector 8)
-- ^ Output containing 8 bits, corresponding to 8 LEDs
topEntity clk20 rstBtn modeBtn =
exposeClockResetEnable
clk50
rstSync
en
modeBtn
where
-- | Enable line for subcomponents: we'll keep it always running
en = enableGen

-- Start with the first LED turned on, in rotate mode, with the counter on zero

-- Signal coming from the reset button is low when pressed, and high when
-- not pressed. We convert this signal to the polarity of our domain with
-- unsafeFromActiveLow.
rst = unsafeFromLowPolarity rstBtn

-- Instantiate a PLL: this stabilizes the incoming clock signal and indicates
-- when the signal is stable. We're also using it to transform an incoming
-- clock signal running at 20 MHz to a clock signal running at 50 MHz.
(clk50, pllStable) =
altpll
@Dom50
(SSymbol @"altpll50")
clk20
rst

-- Synchronize reset to clock signal coming from PLL. We want the reset to
-- remain active while the PLL is NOT stable, hence the conversion with
-- unsafeFromActiveLow
rstSync =
resetSynchronizer
clk50
(unsafeFromLowPolarity pllStable)
en

flipMode :: LedMode -> LedMode
flipMode Rotate = Complement
flipMode Complement = Rotate

:: (BitVector 8, LedMode, Index 16650001)
-> Bool
-> ((BitVector 8, LedMode, Index 16650001), BitVector 8)
blinkerT (leds, mode, cntr) key1R = ((leds', mode', cntr'), leds)
where
-- clock frequency = 50e6  (50 MHz)
-- led update rate = 333e-3 (every 333ms)
cnt_max = 16650000 :: Index 16650001 -- 50e6 * 333e-3

cntr' | cntr == cnt_max = 0
| otherwise       = cntr + 1

mode' | key1R     = flipMode mode
| otherwise = mode

leds' | cntr == 0 =
case mode of
Rotate -> rotateL leds 1
Complement -> complement leds
| otherwise = leds