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An embedded DSL for constructing hardware circuits

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Magma

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CHANGELOG

CHEAT SHEET

Magma is a hardware design language embedded in python.

The central abstraction in Magma is a circuit. A circuit is a set of functional units that are wired together. Magma circuits are analagous to verilog modules. Thus, all Magma programs are guaranteed to be synthesizable. Although wiring modules together may seem low-level, it encourages hardware designers to build reusable components, similar to how programmers build libraries.

Python is used to to create Magma circuits. This approach to hardware design using scripting languages is referred to as generators in the hardware community. Example hardware generators include arithmetic units, linear feedback shift registers, wallace trees, and sorting networks. Software engineers refer to this technique as metaprogramming. The scripting language is a metaprogram in the sense that it is a program that creates a hardware program.

In contrast to verilog, Python has powerful metaprogramming capabilities, such as decorators and metaclasses. This makes it possible to create higher-level domain-specific languages (DSLs). Examples include languages for finite state machines, memory controllers, image and signal processing, and even processors.

The best way to learn Magma is through examples. The magma_register_file_tutorial provides an example of defining and verifying a register file generator. The magmathon repository contains a set of Jupyter Notebooks that introduce the system. There's also magma_examples and magma_tutorial which contain a set of basic circuits and tests, providing an example templates for a magma projects. Please also refer to the documentation.

The design of Magma was heavily influenced by Chisel, so Magma should be easy to learn if you know Chisel. Some examples from the Chisel tutorial have been ported to Magma and can be found in here. Magma also has a FIRRTL backend, and we hope to demonstrate interoperability with Chisel via FIRRTL soon.

Magma is designed to work with Mantle which contains an a collection of useful circuits; and with Loam which is used to represent parts and boards, and to build applications for standalone FPGA boards.

Setting up Python

magma requires using Python 3.7+. This section walks through a few common methods for getting set up with Python. The first (recommended) method is to use miniconda which supports MacOS and Linux (and Windows, but magma's support for windows has not been tested). We also provide methods using the standard package managers for MacOS and Ubuntu Linux.

Universal

miniconda - A free minimal installer for conda. Miniconda is a small, bootstrap version of Anaconda that includes only conda, Python, the packages they depend on and a small number of other useful packages, including pip, zlib and a few others. Use the conda install command to install 720+ additional conda packages from the Continuum repository.

Download the installer for your operating system from https://conda.io/miniconda.html.

The following instructions uses the latest MacOSX release, replace the link in the wget command for you operating system.

$ wget https://repo.continuum.io/miniconda/Miniconda3-latest-MacOSX-x86_64.sh
$ bash Miniconda3-latest-MacOSX-x86_64.sh
# Installing dependencies like matplotlib is typically more reliable with conda than pip
$ conda install matplotlib

MacOS/Homebrew

$ brew install python3

Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install python3 python3-pip

Arch

$ sudo pacman -S verilator gmp mpfr libmpc

Installing Dependencies

Magma depends on some third-party libraries that should be installed using your operating system's package manager.

MacOS/Homebrew

$ brew install verilator gmp mpfr libmpc

Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install make gcc g++ verilator libgmp-dev libmpfr-dev libmpc-dev

User Setup

Magma is available as a pip package, install the lastest release with:

pip install magma-lang

Development Setup

Clone the magma repository

$ git clone https://github.com/phanrahan/magma
$ cd magma

Install magma as a symbolic package

$ pip install -e .

Install testing infrastructure and run tests to validate the setup

$ pip install pytest  # note that magma requires pytest version 3.3 or later
$ pip install fault
$ pytest tests

You should see something like

============================= test session starts ==============================
platform darwin -- Python 3.6.1, pytest-3.0.7, py-1.4.33, pluggy-0.4.0
rootdir: ..../repos/magmacore, inifile:
collected 70 items

tests/test_circuit/test_anon.py .
tests/test_circuit/test_declare.py .
tests/test_circuit/test_define.py .
tests/test_higher/test_braid.py .
tests/test_higher/test_curry.py .
tests/test_higher/test_currylut.py .
tests/test_higher/test_curryrom.py .
tests/test_higher/test_flat.py .
tests/test_higher/test_fork.py .
tests/test_higher/test_higher_compose.py .
tests/test_higher/test_join.py .
tests/test_interface/test_interface.py ....
tests/test_io/test_inout1.py .
tests/test_io/test_inout2.py .
tests/test_io/test_out1.py .
tests/test_io/test_out2.py .
tests/test_ir/test_declaretest.py .
tests/test_ir/test_ir.py .
tests/test_meta/test_class.py .
tests/test_meta/test_creg.py .
tests/test_simulator/test_counter.py .
tests/test_simulator/test_ff.py .
tests/test_simulator/test_logic.py .
tests/test_type/test_anon_type.py .
tests/test_type/test_array.py .
tests/test_type/test_array2d.py .
tests/test_type/test_arrayconstruct.py .
tests/test_type/test_arrayflip.py .
tests/test_type/test_arrayval.py .
tests/test_type/test_awire1.py .
tests/test_type/test_bit.py .
tests/test_type/test_bitflip.py .
tests/test_type/test_bitval.py .
tests/test_type/test_tuple.py .
tests/test_type/test_tupleconstruct.py .
tests/test_type/test_tupleflip.py .
tests/test_type/test_tupleval.py .
tests/test_type/test_twire1.py .
tests/test_type/test_type_errors.py ...
tests/test_type/test_vcc.py .
tests/test_type/test_whole.py .
tests/test_type/test_wire1.py .
tests/test_type/test_wire2.py .
tests/test_type/test_wire3.py .
tests/test_type/test_wire4.py .
tests/test_type/test_wire5.py .
tests/test_verilog/test_verilog.py .
tests/test_wire/test_arg1.py .
tests/test_wire/test_arg2.py .
tests/test_wire/test_array1.py .
tests/test_wire/test_array2.py .
tests/test_wire/test_array3.py .
tests/test_wire/test_call1.py .
tests/test_wire/test_call2.py .
tests/test_wire/test_compose.py .
tests/test_wire/test_const0.py .
tests/test_wire/test_const1.py .
tests/test_wire/test_errors.py ..
tests/test_wire/test_flip.py .
tests/test_wire/test_named1.py .
tests/test_wire/test_named2a.py .
tests/test_wire/test_named2b.py .
tests/test_wire/test_named2c.py .
tests/test_wire/test_pos.py .

========================== 70 passed in 1.45 seconds ===========================

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