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There are multiple assignment operators:




Standard assignment, equivalent to ‘<=’ in VHDL/Verilog :
the last assignment to a variable wins, the value is not updated until the next simulation delta cycle


Equivalent to := in VHDL and = in Verilog
the value is updated instantly


Automatic connection between 2 signals or two bundles of the same type. Direction is inferred by using signal direction (in/out). (Similar behavioral to :=)

//Because of hardware concurrency, `a` is always read as '1' by b and c
val a,b,c = UInt(4 bits)
a := 0
b := a
a := 1  //a := 1 win
c := a

var x = UInt(4 bits)
val y,z = UInt(4 bits)
x := 0
y := x      //y read x with the value 0
x \= x + 1
z := x      //z read x with the value 1

// Automatic connection between two UART interfaces. <> io.uart

It is important to understand that in SpinalHDL, the nature of a signal (combinatorial/sequential) is defined in its declaration, not by the way it is assigned. All datatype instances will define a cominatorial signal, while a datatype instance wrapped with a Reg(…) will define a sequential (register) signal.

val a = UInt(4 bits) //Define a combinatorial signal
val b = Reg(UInt(4 bits)) //Define a registered signal
val c = Reg(UInt(4 bits)) init(0) //Define a registered signal which is set to 0 when a reset occurs

Width checking

SpinalHDL checks that the bit count of the left side and the right side of an assigmnet matches. There are multiple ways to adapt the width of a given BitVector (Bits, UInt, SInt):

Resizing ways


x := y.resized

Assign x wit a resized copy of y, resize value is automatically inferred to match x

x := y.resize(newWidth)

Assign x with a resized copy of y, size is manually calculated

There is one case where Spinal automatically resizes a value:



SpinalHDL action

myUIntOf_8bit := U(3)

U(3) creates an UInt of 2 bits, which doesn’t match the left side (8 bits)

Because U(3) is a “weak” bit count inferred signal, SpinalHDL resizes it automatically

Combinatorial loops

SpinalHDL checks that there are no combinatorial loops (latches) in your design. If one is detected, it raises an error and SpinalHDL will print the path of the loop.