Cocotb has the following requirements:
GCC 4.8.1+ or Clang 3.3+ and associated development packages
A Verilog or VHDL simulator, depending on your RTL source code
Changed in version 1.4: Dropped Python 2 support
Installation via PIP¶
New in version 1.2.
Cocotb can be installed by running
pip3 install cocotb
For user local installation follow the pip User Guide.
To install the development version of cocotb:
git clone https://github.com/cocotb/cocotb pip3 install -e ./cocotb
Native Linux Installation¶
The following instructions will allow building of the cocotb libraries for use with a 64-bit native simulator.
If a 32-bit simulator is being used then additional steps are needed, please see our Wiki.
sudo apt-get install git make gcc g++ swig python-dev
sudo yum install gcc gcc-c++ libstdc++-devel swig python-devel
Download the MinGW installer from https://osdn.net/projects/mingw/releases/.
Run the GUI installer and specify a directory you would like the environment installed in. The installer will retrieve a list of possible packages, when this is done press “Continue”. The MinGW Installation Manager is then launched.
The following packages need selecting by checking the tick box and selecting “Mark for installation”
Basic Installation -- mingw-developer-tools -- mingw32-base -- mingw32-gcc-g++ -- msys-base
From the Installation menu then select “Apply Changes”, in the next dialog select “Apply”.
When installed a shell can be opened using the
msys.bat file located under
Python can be downloaded from https://www.python.org/downloads/windows/. Run the installer and download to your chosen location.
It is beneficial to add the path to Python to the Windows system
so it can be used easily from inside Msys.
Once inside the Msys shell commands as given here will work as expected.
Running your first Example¶
Assuming you have installed the prerequisites as above, the following lines are all you need to run a first simulation with cocotb:
git clone https://github.com/cocotb/cocotb cd cocotb/examples/endian_swapper/tests make
Selecting a different simulator is as easy as:
Running the same example as VHDL¶
endian_swapper example includes both a VHDL and a Verilog RTL implementation.
The cocotb testbench can execute against either implementation using VPI for
Verilog and VHPI/FLI for VHDL. To run the test suite against the VHDL
implementation use the following command (a VHPI or FLI capable simulator must
make SIM=ghdl TOPLEVEL_LANG=vhdl
A typical cocotb testbench requires no additional HDL code (though nothing prevents you from adding testbench helper code). The Design Under Test (DUT) is instantiated as the toplevel in the simulator without any wrapper code. Cocotb drives stimulus onto the inputs to the DUT and monitors the outputs directly from Python.
Creating a Makefile¶
To create a cocotb test we typically have to create a Makefile. Cocotb provides rules which make it easy to get started. We simply inform cocotb of the source files we need compiling, the toplevel entity to instantiate and the Python test script to load.
VERILOG_SOURCES = $(PWD)/submodule.sv $(PWD)/my_design.sv # TOPLEVEL is the name of the toplevel module in your Verilog or VHDL file: TOPLEVEL=my_design # MODULE is the name of the Python test file: MODULE=test_my_design include $(shell cocotb-config --makefiles)/Makefile.inc include $(shell cocotb-config --makefiles)/Makefile.sim
We would then create a file called
test_my_design.py containing our tests.
Creating a test¶
The test is written in Python. Cocotb wraps your top level with the handle you
pass it. In this documentation, and most of the examples in the project, that
dut, but you can pass your own preferred name in instead. The
handle is used in all Python files referencing your RTL project. Assuming we
have a toplevel port called
clk we could create a test file containing the
import cocotb from cocotb.triggers import Timer @cocotb.test() def my_first_test(dut): """Try accessing the design.""" dut._log.info("Running test!") for cycle in range(10): dut.clk = 0 yield Timer(1, units='ns') dut.clk = 1 yield Timer(1, units='ns') dut._log.info("Running test!")
This will drive a square wave clock onto the
clk port of the toplevel.
Accessing the design¶
When cocotb initializes it finds the top-level instantiation in the simulator
and creates a handle called
dut. Top-level signals can be accessed using the
“dot” notation used for accessing object attributes in Python. The same mechanism
can be used to access signals inside the design.
# Get a reference to the "clk" signal on the top-level clk = dut.clk # Get a reference to a register "count" # in a sub-block "inst_sub_block" count = dut.inst_sub_block.count
Assigning values to signals¶
Values can be assigned to signals using either the
value property of a handle object
or using direct assignment while traversing the hierarchy.
# Get a reference to the "clk" signal and assign a value clk = dut.clk clk.value = 1 # Direct assignment through the hierarchy dut.input_signal <= 12 # Assign a value to a memory deep in the hierarchy dut.sub_block.memory.array <= 2
sig <= new_value is a short form of
sig.value = new_value.
It not only resembles HDL syntax, but also has the same semantics:
writes are not applied immediately, but delayed until the next write cycle.
sig.setimmediatevalue(new_val) to set a new value immediately
In addition to regular value assignments (deposits), signals can be forced to a predetermined value or frozen at their current value. To achieve this, the various actions described in Assignment Methods can be used.
# Deposit action dut.my_signal <= 12 dut.my_signal <= Deposit(12) # equivalent syntax # Force action dut.my_signal <= Force(12) # my_signal stays 12 until released # Release action dut.my_signal <= Release() # Reverts any force/freeze assignments # Freeze action dut.my_signal <= Freeze() # my_signal stays at current value until released
Reading values from signals¶
value property of a handle object will return a
Any unresolved bits are preserved and can be accessed using the
or a resolved integer value can be accessed using the
>>> # Read a value back from the DUT >>> count = dut.counter.value >>> >>> print(count.binstr) 1X1010 >>> # Resolve the value to an integer (X or Z treated as 0) >>> print(count.integer) 42 >>> # Show number of bits in a value >>> print(count.n_bits) 6
We can also cast the signal handle directly to an integer:
>>> print(int(dut.counter)) 42
Parallel and sequential execution¶
yield will run a function (that must be marked as a “coroutine”, see Coroutines)
sequentially, i.e. wait for it to complete.
If a coroutine should be run “in the background”, i.e. in parallel to other coroutines,
the way to do this is to
The end of such a forked coroutine can be waited on by using
The following example shows these in action:
@cocotb.coroutine def reset_dut(reset_n, duration): reset_n <= 0 yield Timer(duration, units='ns') reset_n <= 1 reset_n._log.debug("Reset complete") @cocotb.test() def parallel_example(dut): reset_n = dut.reset # This will call reset_dut sequentially # Execution will block until reset_dut has completed yield reset_dut(reset_n, 500) dut._log.debug("After reset") # Call reset_dut in parallel with the 250 ns timer reset_thread = cocotb.fork(reset_dut(reset_n, 500)) yield Timer(250, units='ns') dut._log.debug("During reset (reset_n = %s)" % reset_n.value) # Wait for the other thread to complete yield reset_thread.join() dut._log.debug("After reset")