execute_hw_svf - 2023.2 English

Vivado Design Suite Tcl Command Reference Guide (UG835)

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2023.2 English

Execute SVF file on current_hw_target


execute_hw_svf [‑quiet] [‑verbose] <file_name>


Name Description
[-quiet] Ignore command errors
[-verbose] Suspend message limits during command execution
<file_name> SVF filename




The Vivado™ hardware manager supports programming of hardware devices through the use of Serial Vector Format (SVF) files. SVF files are ASCII files that contain both programming instructions and configuration data. These files are used by ATE machines and embedded controllers to perform boundary-scan operations. The SVF file is an ASCII files that captures the JTAG commands needed to program the bitstream directly into a device, or indirectly into a flash memory device. The SVF file can be written using the write_hw_svf command, or used to program a device through the execute_hw_svf command. Refer to the Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Programming and Debugging (UG908) for more information.

The execute_hw_svf command converts the SVF commands into Vivado Tcl commands and executes them on the specified target. This process could take some time depending on how big the SVF file is. The command requires an open, current hw_target object, with a JTAG chain that matches the device chain specified in the SVF file.

Tip: The execute_hw_svf command is not a general purpose SVF reader, and should only be used to read and execute SVF files written by the Vivado tools.

This command returns a transcript of its process, or returns an error if it fails.


-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 the execute_hw_svf command. Use this option when you are debugging problems related to executing the SVF file, as this option will display all of the pseudo-SVF commands that the Vivado tool is running while executing the file.

<file_name> - Specifies the SVF file name to execute.

Note: If the path is not specified as part of the file name, the tool will search for the specified file in the current working directory and then in the directory from which the tool was launched.


The following example executes the specified SVF command file in verbose mode to display all of the commands being run:

open_hw_target {houdini26:3121/xilinx_tcf/Digilent/210203327996A}
execute_hw_svf -verbose C:/Data/k7_design.svf