Universal Hardware Data Model. A complete modeling of the IEEE SystemVerilog Object Model with VPI Interface, Elaborator, Serialization, Visitor and Listener. Used as a compiled interchange format in between SystemVerilog tools. Compiles on Linux gcc, Windows msys2-gcc & msvc, OsX

Project README

Universal Hardware Data Model (UHDM)

UHDM Overview

UHDM Roadmap



  • Auto generate a concrete C++ implementation of the SystemVerilog (VHDL in future) Object Model following the IEEE standard object model
  • Auto generate a standard VPI interface as a facade to the C++ model
  • Auto generate a serialization/deserialization of the data model
  • Auto generate a Visitor (Walker) function that exercise the entire VPI interface (used in uhdm-dump executable)
  • Auto generate a C++ Listener Design Pattern that traverse the entire VPI data model (used in uhdm-listener executable)
  • Auto generate an Elaborator that uniquifies nets, variables...
  • The generated Object Model can, for a given design, be:
    • Populated by parsers like Surelog or Verible
    • Consumed by tools like Yosys or Verilator


 * git clone https://github.com/alainmarcel/UHDM.git
 * cd UHDM
 * git submodule update --init --recursive
 * make


  • All SystemVerilog models are expressed in a Yaml type syntax (One file per Verilog Object Model)
  • From this Yaml description, all the code (C++ headers, VPI Interface, Serialization) is automatically generated.
  • Model inheritance and object/class grouping is supported (To follow the IEEE standard)
  • Supports the concept of "design" on top of the IEEE standard to support partitioning and multi-language (SystemVerilog - VHDL)
  • Any deviation/addition from the standard is cleary indicated by a uhdm prefix, IEEE standard API is either prefixed by vpi (Verilog) or vhpi (VHDL).

Model Concepts

  • The model is captured in .yaml files, one per object models detailed pages 976-1050 of the SystemVerilog 2017 IEEE standard.
  • To match the standard, several concepts are observed in the model:
    • obj_def: A leaf object specification (Object can be allocated and persisted)
    • class_def: A virtual class specification (Class is used either with inheritance - extends:, or as composition of a - class_ref)
    • property: Typically an int, bool, string property with a name and a vpi access type (ie: vpiModule) accessed by the vpi_get function
    • obj_ref: A reference to one (accessed by vpi_handle) or many (accessed by vpi_iterate) leaf objects
    • class_ref: A reference to one or many virtual class, actual objects returned will be of a leaf type
    • extends: Class inheritance specified by the extends keyword
    • group_def: Grouping of objects in a named or unnamed group (We actually give a representative name to unnamed groups)
    • group_ref: A reference to one or many members of a group of objects
  • Keywords used to capture the model in Yaml
    • all of the above keywords (obj_def...group_ref),
    • For each reference (obj_def, class_def, group_def) and property, the following sub fields:
    • name: the name of the field (spaces accepted), verbatim from the standard
    • vpi: the name of the VPI access type to access this object member (Has to match a defined value in vpi_user.h or sv_vpi_user.h)
    • type: the formal type of the field:
      • obj_ref
      • class_ref
      • group_ref
      • int
      • unsigned int
      • bool
      • string
      • value (VPI s_vpi_value)
      • delay (VPI s_vpi_delay)
    • card: cardinality of the field
      • 1
      • any (0 or more)
  • The Standard VPI Data Model is Fully Elaborated, in contrast:
  • When created by Surelog, the UHDM/VPI Data Model is a Folded Model that we found most suitable for applications like Yosys and Verilator:
    • The Instance tree contains the Design Hierarchy and Elaborated Nets/Ports with High conn and Low conn connections done.
    • The module definitions contain the logic elements (non-elaborated, and only outside generate statements)
    • Generate statements and underlying logic are only visible in the elaborated model (topModules)
    • To get the complete picture of the design one has to use both views (Example in listener_elab_test.cpp)
    • Applications where the UHDM data model is used as a precursor to another internal datastructure like a Synthesis or Simulator tool will prefer using the Folded Model.
    • Nets, Ports, Variables in the flat module list (allModules) don't necessary have the correct data type as not enough elaboration steps were performed on them
    • On the other hand, Nets, Ports, Variables have the correct type in the elaborated view (topModules)
    • Lhs vs Rhs expression padding is not performed at this point (We welcome PR contributions)
  • UHDM offers an optional Elaboration step that uniquifies nets, ports, variables and function by performing a deep cloning and ref_obj binding.
    • See full_elab_test.cpp and uhdm-dump.cpp
    • Applications where the UHDM data model is free standing and is the sole data structure for the design representation will prefer the Fully Elaborated Data Model, examples: Linters or Code Analyzers.
    • At this point, UHDM does not offer:
      • the full bit blasted model available in the commercial EDA applications (We welcome contributions).
      • an expression evaluator that operates on the UHDM expression tree (We welcome contribuitons).
    • Issue 319 discusses more on the topic of elaboration

Model creation

  • The model creation task consists in converting the Object Model diagrams into their Yaml representation and invoking the creation of the concrete C++ classes, iterators, serialization code by invoking "make"
  • How to create the model (presentation)

Actual Design creation

  • The design creation task consists in invoking:
    • the proper concrete object factory methods to get serializable objects
    • populate the properties to the obtained objects
    • assemble the model by creating legal object relations (compile time and runtime checking) following the IEEE standard
    • invoking the serialization call
  • Read module-port_test.cpp

Design Navigation

Linking libuhdm.a to your application

  • After instaling (make install), create your own executable (Read Makefile) , ie:
  • $(CXX) -std=c++17 tests/test1.cpp -I/usr/local/include/uhdm -I/usr/local/include/uhdm/include /usr/local/lib/uhdm/libuhdm.a /usr/local/lib/uhdm/libcapnp.a /usr/local/lib/uhdm/libkj.a -ldl -lutil -lm -lrt -lpthread -o test_inst

Generating uhdm databases

  • Surelog generates natively UHDM databases (surelog.uhdm)
  • Other parsers are welcome to generate UHDM databases

Useful links

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "UHDM" Project. README Source: chipsalliance/UHDM
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