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Levels of Abstraction

Verilog descriptions can span multiple levels of abstraction i.e. levels of detail, and can be used for different purposes at various stages in the design process.

At the highest level, Verilog contains stochastical functions (queues and random probability distributions) to support performance modelling.

Verilog supports abstract behavioural modeling, so can be used to model the functionality of a system at a high level of abstraction. This is useful at the system analysis and partitioning stage.

Verilog supports Register Transfer Level descriptions, which are used for the detailed design of digital circuits. Synthesis tools transform RTL descriptions to gate level.

Verilog supports gate and switch level descriptions, used for the verification of digital designs, including gate and switch level logic simulation, static and dynamic timing analysis, testability analysis and fault grading.

Verilog can also be used to describe simulation environments: test vectors, expected results, results comparison and analysis.

With some tools, Verilog can be used to control simulation e.g. setting breakpoints, taking checkpoints, restarting from time 0, tracing waveforms. However, most of these functions are not included in the 1364 standard, but are proprietary to particular simulators. Most simulators have their own command languages; with many tools this is based on Tcl, which is an industry-standard tool language. See the Knowhow section on Tcl for more details.



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