get_pins - 2023.1 English

Vivado Design Suite Tcl Command Reference Guide (UG835)

Document ID
Release Date
2023.1 English

Get a list of pins in the current design


get_pins [‑hsc <arg>] [‑hierarchical] [‑regexp] [‑nocase] [‑leaf]
    [‑filter <arg>] [‑of_objects <args>] [‑match_style <arg>]
    [‑include_replicated_objects] [‑quiet] [‑verbose] [<patterns>]


List of pin objects.


Name Description
[-hsc] Hierarchy separator Default: /
[-hierarchical] Search level-by-level in current instance
[-regexp] Patterns are full regular expressions
[-nocase] Perform case-insensitive matching (valid only when -regexp specified)
[-leaf] Get leaf/global pins of nets with -of_objects
[-filter] Filter list with expression
[-of_objects] Get pins of these cells, nets, timing paths, clocks, drc violations
[-match_style] Style of pattern matching, valid values are ucf, sdc Default: sdc
[-include_replicated_objects] Include replicated objects when searching for patterns. This option is valid only when patterns is specified.
[-quiet] Ignore command errors
[-verbose] Suspend message limits during command execution
[<patterns>] Match pin names against patterns Default: *


SDC, XDC, Object


Gets a list of pin objects in the current design that match a specified search pattern. The default command gets a list of all pins in the current_instance of the open design, as specified by the current_instance command. You can use the -hierarchical option to extract pins from the hierarchy of the current design.

Important: Because there are so many pins in the design, the get_pins command can cause performance issues, and add significant time to processing design constraints. In many cases, a design constraint that is written with the get_pins command can be rewritten using the get_cells command, as shown in the examples, to significantly improve constraint processing and performance of the Vivado® tool.

The get_pins command also includes an option to get all replicated pins that are added to a design during physical optimization, or phys_opt_design. The use of the -include_replicated_objects option returns the pins on replicated cells when the pins of an original cell are returned. You can use this option to ensure that constraints or properties that are applied to the pins of a cell are also applied to the pins of its replicated cells.

Note: To improve memory and performance, the get_* commands return a container list of a single type of objects (e.g. cells, nets, pins, or ports). You can add new objects to the list (using lappend for instance), but you can only add the same type of object that is currently in the list. Adding a different type of object, or string, to the list is not permitted and will result in a Tcl error.


-hsc <arg> - (Optional) The default hierarchy separator is '/'. Use this argument to specify a different hierarchy separator.

-hierarchical - (Optional) Get pins from all levels of the design hierarchy starting from the level of the current_instance, or from the top of the current design. Without this argument, the command will only get pins from the current_instance of the design hierarchy. When using -hierarchical, the search pattern should not contain a hierarchy separator because the search pattern is applied at each level of the hierarchy, not to the full hierarchical cell name. For instance, searching for U1/* searches each level of the hierarchy for pins with U1/ in the name. This may not return the intended results. See get_cells for examples of -hierarchical searches.

Note: When used with -regexpr, the specified search string is matched against the full hierarchical name, and the U1/* search pattern will work as intended.
-regexp - (Optional) Specifies that the search <patterns> are written as regular expressions. Both search <patterns> and -filter expressions must be written as regular expressions when this argument is used. Xilinx® regular expression Tcl commands are always anchored to the start of the search string. You can add ".*" to the beginning or end of a search string to widen the search to include a substring. See for help with regular expression syntax.
Note: The Tcl built-in command regexp is not anchored, and works as a standard Tcl command. For more information refer to

-nocase - (Optional) Perform case-insensitive matching when a pattern has been specified. This argument applies to the use of -regexp only.

-leaf - (Optional) Include leaf pins, from primitive or black box cells, for the objects specified with the -of_object argument.

-filter <args> - (Optional) Filter the results list with the specified expression. The -filter argument filters the list of objects returned by get_pins based on property values on the pins. You can find the properties on an object with the report_property or list_property commands. In the case of the pins object, "PARENT" and "TYPE" are some of the properties that can be used to filter results.

The filter search pattern should be quoted to avoid having to escape special characters. String matching is case-sensitive and is always anchored to the start and to the end of the search string. The wildcard “*” character can be used at the beginning or at the end of a search string to widen the search to include a substring of the property value.
Note: The filter returns an object if a specified property exists on the object, and the specified pattern matches the property value on the object. In the case of the "*" wildcard character, this will match a property with a defined value of "".
For string comparison, the specific operators that can be used in filter expressions are "equal" (==), "not-equal" (!=), "match" (=~), and "not-match" (!~). Numeric comparison operators <, >, <=, and >= can also be used. Multiple filter expressions can be joined by AND and OR (&& and ||). The following gets input pins that do NOT contain the “RESET” substring within their name:
get_pins * -filter {DIRECTION == IN && NAME !~ "*RESET*"}
-of_objects <arg> - (Optional) Get the pins connected to the specified cell, clock, timing path, or net; or pins associated with specified DRC violation objects.
Note: The -of_objects option requires objects to be specified using the get_* commands, such as get_cells or get_pins, rather than specifying objects by name. In addition, -of_objects cannot be used with a search <pattern>.

-match_style [sdc | ucf] - (Optional) Indicates that the search pattern matches UCF constraints or SDC constraints. The default is SDC.

-include_replicated_objects - (Optional) Include pins that have been added through replication of cell instances during optimization. This option is valid only when specified with <patterns>, and returns the pins matching the specified pattern, from replicated cell instances. As a default, the get_pins command does not return the pins of replicated cells.

-quiet - (Optional) Execute the command quietly, returning no messages from the command. The command also returns TCL_OK regardless of any errors encountered during execution.
Note: Any errors encountered on the command-line, while launching the command, will be returned. Only errors occurring inside the command will be trapped.
-verbose - (Optional) Temporarily override any message limits and return all messages from this command.
Note: Message limits can be defined with the set_msg_config command.

<patterns> - (Optional) Match pins against the specified patterns. The default pattern is the wildcard '*' which gets a list of all pins in the project. More than one pattern can be specified to find multiple pins based on different search criteria.

Note: You must enclose multiple search patterns in braces, {}, or quotes, "", to present the list as a single element.


The following example gets a list of pins attached to the specified cells:

get_pins -of_objects [get_cells usb*]
Note: If there are no pins matching the pattern, the tool will return a warning.

This example shows how using get_cells can improve the performance of the get_pins command:

[get_pins -hier * -filter {NAME=~xx*/yy*}]
can be rewritten as:
[get_pins -filter {REF_PIN_NAME=~yy*} -of [get_cells -hier xx*]]

The following shows how rewriting the set_max_delay constraint can significantly improve performance:

set_max_delay 15 -from [get_pins -hier \
   -filter name=~*/aclk_dpram_reg*/*/CLK] \
   -to [get_cells -hier -filter name=~*/bclk_dout_reg*] -datapath_only
can be rewritten as:
set_max_delay 15 -from [get_pins -of \
   [get_cells -hier -filter name=~*aclk_dpram_reg*/*] \
   -filter {REF_PIN_NAME == CLK}] \
   -to [get_pins -of [get_cells -hier -filter {name =~ */bclk_dout_reg*}] \
   -filter {REF_PIN_NAME == D}] -datapath_only
Tip: Although the second command syntax is more complex, the performance gains can be significant.

This example runs the report_drc command on the current design, and then returns any pins associated with DRC violations:

report_drc -name drc_1
get_pins -of_objects [get_drc_violations]