get_hw_probes - 2023.2 English

Vivado Design Suite Tcl Command Reference Guide (UG835)

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2023.2 English

Get a list of hardware probes.


get_hw_probes [‑of_objects <args>] [‑regexp] [‑nocase] [‑filter <arg>]
    [‑quiet] [‑verbose] [<patterns>]


Hardware probes


Name Description
[-of_objects] Get 'hw_probe' objects of these types: 'hw_interface hw_ila hw_vio'.
[-regexp] Patterns are full regular expressions
[-nocase] Perform case-insensitive matching. (valid only when -regexp specified)
[-filter] Filter list with expression
[-quiet] Ignore command errors
[-verbose] Suspend message limits during command execution
[<patterns>] Match the 'hw_probe' objects against patterns. Default: *


Hardware, Object


Returns the hw_probe objects in the Hardware Manager that are defined on signals in the design, or that are assigned to the specified ILA or VIO debug cores.

You can add ILA and VIO debug cores in the RTL source files of a design by customizing the core from the IP catalog, or add ILA debug cores into the synthesized netlist using the create_debug_core command.

Signals in the design can be probed to monitor signal values and track hardware events on the FPGA device. Debug probes can be added to ILA debug cores in the synthesized netlist design using the create_debug_port command, and connected to signals in the design using connect_debug_port. Probes can only be added to VIO debug cores when the IP core is customized, or re-customized, from the IP catalog, and signals connected to it in the RTL design. Refer to the Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Vivado Programming and Debugging (UG908) for more information on adding ILA and VIO debug cores and signal probes to the design.

Debug cores and probes are written to a probes file (.ltx) with write_debug_probes, and associated with the hardware device, along with the bitstream file (.bit), using the PROBES.FILE and PROGRAM.FILE properties of the hw_device object. The hardware device is programmed with this information using the program_hw_devices command.

This command returns a list of debug probe objects on the device, or returns an error if it fails.


-of_objects <arg> - (Optional) Return the debug probes assigned to the specified ILA or VIO debug cores. The ILA or VIO cores must be specified as hardware objects using the get_hw_ilas, current_hw_ila, get_hw_vios, or current_hw_vio commands.

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>.
-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.

-filter <args> - (Optional) Filter the results list with the specified expression. The -filter argument filters the list of objects returned by get_hw_probes based on property values on the debug probe objects. You can find the properties on an object with the report_property or list_property commands. In the case of the "hw_probes" object, "NAME" and "SIGNAL" are two 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*"}
Boolean (bool) type properties can be directly evaluated in filter expressions as true or not true:
-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 hw_probes against the specified patterns. The default pattern is the wildcard '*' which gets a list of all hw_probes assigned on the current device.


The following example gets probes assigned to the current ILA debug core:

get_hw_probes -of_object [current_hw_ila]