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AMD - Essential Tcl for Vivado

This course is available Live Online worldwide: View the Live Online full course description »

Standard Level - 2 days

This course is recommended training for all AMD users who want to take full advantage of the Vivado Design Suite feature set.

Ideally this training should be taken prior to attending the Vivado FPGA Design Essentials and Vivado Advanced FPGA Design Online.

Essential Tcl for Vivado is a 2-day course teaching the essentials of the Tcl language with particular focus on its application within the AMD Vivado Design Suite. It is packed full of examples and exercises all directly based on design-related problems and covers the need-to-know essentials for design engineers and EDA support specialists.

Tcl is a popular and widely used cross-platform script programming language that achieves significant productivity gains when used by skilled engineers. Its combination of text processing, file manipulation and system control features make it ideal for this purpose. Almost every industry-leading EDA tool uses it to provide a powerful and platform-independent command language.

The course discusses specific examples of the use of Tcl with the Vivado Design Suite, but will also be useful for people wishing to use other EDA tools.

The essential subset of the Tcl scripting language is covered, with design related exercises and examples including: running EDA tools, design visualisation and extracting key information from report and source files.

Workshops comprise approximately 50% of class time. The workshop examples are carefully chosen to illustrate key techniques commonly needed when using EDA tools and provide an ideal starting point for delegates' own developments after the course.

  • Engineers who wish to become skilled in the practical use of Tcl, particularly those intending to use Tcl within the Vivado Design Suite
  • Engineers who have already acquired some practical experience in the use of Tcl, but wish to consolidate and extend their knowledge within a training environment
  • Tcl's core grammar: substitution and parsing rules that underpin the whole language
  • A solid grasp of an essential subset of the standard Tcl commands and an overview of more advanced commands to facilitate further self-directed learning
  • Text processing techniques for analysing HDL source code and tool output files
  • Techniques for using Tcl to control and communicate with other tools, with special emphasis on FPGA/ASIC design tasks

No previous knowledge of Tcl is required. Some experience with at least one software programming language is highly advantageous, but not essential. Delegates are expected to be computer literate and to have an understanding of the digital hardware design process.

Doulos Course materials are renowned for being the most comprehensive and user friendly available. Their style, content and coverage is unique in the HDL training world and has made them sought after resources in their own right.

Course fees include:

  • Fully indexed course notes creating a complete reference manual
  • Workbook full of practical examples and solutions to help you apply your knowledge


Origins of Tcl • Exploring the benefits of Tcl in the digital design flow • Internet resources for problem solving and sharing solutions • Tcl book recommendations • Reference materials for the language

Getting Started

Running Tcl Shell in UNIX or Windows • Experimenting with commands in the shell • Creating and running a script file • Variables and substitution • Command substitution • A sample application

The basics of Tcl

Structure of a Tcl command • Quoting • More on substitution and quoting • Tcl grammar rules • Some common commands • Lists and strings • Launching other commands

Getting to grips with the details

Commands for flow control • Procedures and arguments • Reading and writing files • Catching errors • Formatting data as text • Commands for calculation • Manipulating strings • Manipulating lists • Array variables • Global and uplevel references • Introspection with the info command

Pattern Matching

Glob-style matching • Regular expressions - background • Using regular expressions to analyse text • Details of regular expression syntax • Grouping, capture and back-references • Regexp substitution • A significant example, analysing HDL source code

Interacting with other applications

Opening a command pipeline • File buffering and blocking • File event handling and the Tcl event loop • Examples of interaction with typical EDA tools

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