Adding Debug IP to RTL Kernels - 2023.2 English

Vitis Unified Software Platform Documentation: Application Acceleration Development (UG1393)

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2023.2 English
Important: This debug technique requires familiarity with the Vivado Design Suite, and RTL design.

You can also enable debugging in RTL kernels by manually adding ChipScope debug cores like the ILA and VIO in your RTL kernel code before packaging it for use in the Vitis development flow. From within the Vivado Design Suite, edit the RTL kernel code to manually instantiate an ILA debug core, or VIO IP from the AMD IP catalog, similar to using any other IP in Vivado IDE. Refer to the HDL Instantiation flow in the Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Programming and Debugging (UG908) to learn more about adding debug cores to your design.

The best time to add debug cores to your RTL kernel is when you create it. However, debug cores consume device resources and can affect performance, so it is good practice to make one kernel for debug and a second kernel for production use. The rtl_vadd_hw_debug of the RTL Kernels examples on GitHub shows an ILA debug core instantiated into the RTL kernel source file. The ILA monitors the output of the combinatorial adder as specified in the src/hdl/ file.

	// ILA monitoring combinatorial adder
	ila_0 i_ila_0 (
		.clk(ap_clk),              // input wire        clk
		.probe0(areset),           // input wire [0:0]  probe0  
		.probe1(rd_fifo_tvalid_n), // input wire [0:0]  probe1 
		.probe2(rd_fifo_tready),   // input wire [0:0]  probe2 
		.probe3(rd_fifo_tdata),    // input wire [63:0] probe3 
		.probe4(adder_tvalid),     // input wire [0:0]  probe4 
		.probe5(adder_tready_n),   // input wire [0:0]  probe5 
		.probe6(adder_tdata)       // input wire [31:0] probe6

You can also add the ILA debug core using a Tcl script from within an open Vivado project, using the Netlist Insertion flow described in Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Programming and Debugging (UG908), as shown in the following Tcl script example:

create_ip -name ila -vendor -library ip -version 6.2 -module_name ila_0
set_property -dict [list CONFIG.C_PROBE6_WIDTH {32} CONFIG.C_PROBE3_WIDTH {64} \

After the RTL kernel has been instrumented for debug with the appropriate debug cores, you can analyze the hardware in the Vivado hardware manager as described in Debugging with ChipScope.