CPEN 311

Hierarchy

Updated 2019-04-04

Module Structures

Hierarchy is necessary because we are working with different layers of hardware. Thus abstraction is needed in order to remain sane.

The upper level modules connects the lower moduels together. We need to:

Here’s an example of making a top-level module using smaller modules:

module top(X, Y, Z);
    input X, Y;
    output Z;

    wire S0, S1;

    INV_GATE U0(X, S0);
    AND_GATE U1(S0, X, S1);
    INV_GATE U2(S1, Z);
endmodule

Larger Projects

In larger projects, it is essential to keep a clean hierarchy of modules for benefits to organization, testing, and debugging.

Typically:

Specify Module Input and Output

The input and output to the module looks like parameters/arguments for a programming language.

Positional

We can specify the IO by matching the order that it is defined in the module.

If AND_GATE is defined as

module AND_GATE(A, B, A_AND_B);

Then

AND_GATE U1(S0, Y, S1)

is using positional IO where S0 is connected to A, Y is connected to B and the output A_AND_B is connected to S1.

By Parameter Name

We can use .X(Y) to connect the modules.

AND_GATE U1(.A(S0), A_AND_B(S1), .B(Y));

Notice that the order doesn’t matter. Typically specifying IO by parameter name is prefered because it’s more explicit and less error-prone.