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XLS Tools Quick Start

This document is a quick start guide through the use of the individual XLS tools, from DSL input to RTL generation.

Note: This guide assumes you have set up your system so it can build the XLS tools via Bazel. There is currently no binary tools distribution so building from source is required.

Create a file /tmp/simple_add.x with the following contents:

fn add(x: u32, y: u32) -> u32 {
  x + y + u32:0  // Something to optimize.
}

test add {
  assert_eq(add(u32:2, u32:3), u32:5)
}

This contains a function, and a unit test of that function.

Interpreting the DSL file

Now, run it through the DSL interpreter -- the DSL interpreter is useful for interactive development and debugging.

$ bazel run -c opt //xls/dslx/interpreter:interpreter_main -- /tmp/simple_add.x
[ RUN      ] add
[       OK ] add

The DSL interpreter is the execution engine running the test shown.

In lieu of using bazel run for the subsequent commands, this document will assume bazel build -c opt //xls/... has been completed so the binaries in ./bazel-bin can be used directly:

$ ./bazel-bin/xls/dslx/interpreter/interpreter_main /tmp/simple_add.x
[ RUN      ] add
[       OK ] add

DSL to IR conversion

To convert the DSL file to IR, run the following command:

$ ./bazel-bin/xls/dslx/ir_converter_main /tmp/simple_add.x > /tmp/simple_add.ir

IR optimization

To optimize the IR, use the opt_main tool:

$ ./bazel-bin/xls/tools/opt_main /tmp/simple_add.ir > /tmp/simple_add.opt.ir

Check the output of diff -U8 /tmp/simple_add*.ir to see that the optimizer eliminated the useless add-with-zero.

Verilog RTL generation

To generate RTL from the optimized IR, use the codegen tool:

$ ./bazel-bin/xls/tools/codegen_main --pipeline_stages=1 --delay_model=unit /tmp/simple_add.opt.ir > /tmp/simple_add.v

IR visualizer

To get a graphical view of the IR files, use the IR visualization tool:

$ ./bazel-bin/xls/visualization/ir_viz/app --delay_model=unit --ir_path=/tmp/simple_add.ir

This starts a server on the local host port 5000 by default, so you can access it from your machine as http://localhost:5000 in a web browser.