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Kratos is a fast hardware design language embedded in Python

Project description

Build Status PyPI - Format PyPI - Version Documentation Status

Kratos is a hardware design language written in C++/Python. It differentiates itself from other DSL with the following design philosophy:

  • Fully debuggable: debug hardware just like debugging Python code!
  • Highly efficient: Python frontend powered by Modern C++ binding. Designed with multi-processing in mind.
  • Human-readable verilog: we know how difficult it is to read machine generated verilog. kratos has multiple passes to produce nice-looking verilog.
  • Generator of generators: every python object is a generator that can be modified at any time, even after instantiation. This allows complex passes on the generators without ripping old structure apart.
  • Keep the good parts of verilog: The always block in behavioral verilog is close to other programming languages. Kratos allows you to write python code similar to behavioral verilog
  • Single source of truth: kratos encourages users to infuse generator information inside generator itself. This makes debugging and verification much easier.
  • Static elaboration: kratos allows user to write parametrized code, even in the always block, all in Python.
  • Type checking: kratos check the variable types for each assignment to make sure there is no implicit conversion.

Install

pip install kratos

Pre-built wheels supports all Python 3.5+ on Linux and Python 3.7 on OSX. To build it from scratch, you need a C++17 compatible compiler, such as g++-8.

Documentation and Examples

You can check the documentation at Read the Docs

Here are some examples to showcase the ability of kratos.

Asnyc Reset Register

Python code that parametrizes based on the width. Notice that we specify the sensitivity of the always block when defining seq_code_block.

class AsyncReg(Generator):
    def __init__(self, width):
        super().__init__("register")

        # define inputs and outputs
        self._in = self.input("in", width)
        self._out = self.output("out", width)
        self._clk = self.clock("clk")
        self._rst = self.reset("rst")
        self._val = self.var("val", width)

        # add combination and sequential blocks
        self.add_code(self.seq_code_block)

        self.add_code(self.comb_code_block)

    @always((posedge, "clk"), (posedge, "rst"))
    def seq_code_block(self):
        if self._rst:
            self._val = 0
        else:
            self._val = self._in

    def comb_code_block(self):
        self._out = self._val

Here is the generated verilog

module register (
  input  clk,
  input [15:0] in,
  output reg [15:0] out,
  input  rst
);

logic  [15:0] val;

always @(posedge clk, posedge rst) begin
  if rst begin
    val <= 16'h0;
  end
  else begin
    val <= in;
  end
end
always_comb begin
  out = val;
end
endmodule   // register

Fanout module

This is an example to showcase the kratos’ static elaboration ability in always block. In practice we would not write it this way.

class PassThrough(Generator):
    def __init__(self, num_loop):
        super().__init__("PassThrough", True)
        self.in_ = self.input("in", 1)
        self.out_ = self.output("out", num_loop)
        self.num_loop = num_loop

        self.add_code(self.code)

    def code(self):
        if self.in_ == self.const(1, 1):
            for i in range(self.num_loop):
                self.out_[i] = 1
        else:
            for i in range(self.num_loop):
                self.out_[i] = 0

Here is generated verilog

module PassThrough (
  input  in,
  output reg [3:0] out
);

always_comb begin
  if (in == 1'h1) begin
    out[0:0] = 1'h1;
    out[1:1] = 1'h1;
    out[2:2] = 1'h1;
    out[3:3] = 1'h1;
  end
  else begin
    out[0:0] = 1'h0;
    out[1:1] = 1'h0;
    out[2:2] = 1'h0;
    out[3:3] = 1'h0;
  end
end
endmodule   // PassThrough

How to debug

Because Python is quite slow, By default the debug option is off. You can turn on debugging for individual modules. Here is an example on how to turn on debug (see tests/test_generator.py for more details).

class PassThroughMod(Generator):
    def __init__(self):
        super().__init__("mod1", True)
        self.in_ = self.input("in", 1)
        self.out_ = self.output("out", 1)
        self.wire(self.out_, self.in_)

# ... some other code
class Top(Generator):
    def __init__(self):
        super().__init__("top", True)

        self.input("in", 1)
        self.output("out", 1)

        pass_through = PassThroughMod()
        self.add_child("pass", pass_through)
        self.wire(self["pass"].ports["in"], self.ports["in"])

        self.wire(self.ports.out, self["pass"].ports.out)

mod = Top()
mod_src, debug_info = verilog(mod, debug=True)

You can see the generated verilog:

module top (
  input logic  in,
  output logic  out
);

assign out = in;
endmodule   // top

The pass sub-module disappeared due to the compiler optimization. However, if we print out the debug information, we can see the full trace of debug info on assign out = in;

{
  1: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 532)],
  2: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 534)],
  3: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 535)],
  6: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 539),
      ('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/src/expr.cc', 455),
      ('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 541),
      ('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/src/expr.cc', 485),
      ('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/src/pass.cc', 653)]
}

These pass.cc is the pass that removed the pass through module.

If we modified the source code a little bit that change the wire assignment into a combination block, such as

class Top(Generator):
    def __init__(self):
        super().__init__("top", True)

        self.input("in", 1)
        self.output("out", 1)

        pass_through = PassThroughMod()
        self.add_child("pass", pass_through)
        self.wire(self["pass"].ports["in"], self.ports["in"])

        self.add_code(self.code_block)

    def code_block(self):
        self.ports.out = self["pass"].ports.out

We can see the generated verilog will be a little bit verbose:

module top (
  input logic  in,
  output logic  out
);

logic   top$in_0;
assign top$in_0 = in;
always_comb begin
  out = top$in_0;
end
endmodule   // top

And the debug info shows all the information as well:

{
  1: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 554)],
  2: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 556)],
  3: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 557)],
  7: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 561), ('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/src/expr.cc', 455)],
  8: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 563)],
  9: [('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/tests/test_generator.py', 566), ('/home/keyi/workspace/kratos/src/expr.cc', 485)]}

Use an IDE Debugger

demo

Check out the kratos ecosystem below to see how to use an IDE to debug kratos design with ncsim/VCS!

Ecosystem

Kratos has its own ecosystem to program behavioral verilog in Python. Most of them are plugins that will help users to debug, prototype, and testing.

kratos is a programming model for building hardware. The main abstraction in kratos in a Generator. Generator can be modified at any time through passes.

kratos-debug is a GUI for user to view generated verilog. It offers a source viewer to see the line mapping that kratos provides.

kratos-dpi is a DPI plugin that allows users to run arbitrary Python code to emulate a SystemVerilog function. This is extremely helpful for rapid prototyping and testing.

kratos-runtime is a necessary component if you want to debug kratos with standard simulators. It supports value inspection and breakpoints.

kratos-vscode is a Visual Studio Code extension that allows user to debug with Kratos. The simulator has to be loaded with kratos-runtime.

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