open_wave_database - 2023.2 English

Vivado Design Suite Tcl Command Reference Guide (UG835)

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2023.2 English

Open Waveform Database (WDB) file produced by a prior simulation run and return a simulation object


open_wave_database [‑noautoloadwcfg] [‑protoinst <args>] [‑quiet]
    [‑verbose] <wdb>


Name Description
[-noautoloadwcfg] Do not automatically open associated WCFG files
[-protoinst] Specify a .protoinst file for protocol analysis
[-quiet] Ignore command errors
[-verbose] Suspend message limits during command execution
<wdb> file name



The open_wave_database command opens an existing static simulator database file (WDB) and associated wave config file (WCFG). This simulation is a static simulation, not live, and can only be used to review prior results.

Note: Many of the commands for running and resetting the simulation are not available in a static simulation.

Vivado™ simulator uses a simulation debug data model to allow users to debug HDL source files using source code stepping, breakpoints, conditions, and waveform viewing tools. The debug data model contains HDL object and scope names, and maps them to memory addresses to let you examine the changing values of signals, variables and constants during the simulation. When the simulation completes, the simulation is written to a static simulator database file (WDB).

HDL objects can be added to the simulation waveform database using the log_wave command which enables logging of waveform activity for the specified objects to the Vivado simulator waveform database.

The waveform database is associated with a Wave Config file that stores the waveform activity for the simulation. The Wave Config file contains just the list of wave objects (signals, dividers, groups, virtual buses) to display, and their display properties, plus markers. The waveform database (WDB) contains the event data, values changing over time, for all traced signals, whether displayed or not.

A Wave Config file is written to disk by the use of the save_wave_config command, and can be opened with the open_wave_config command.

Use the open_wave_database command with the open_wave_config command to open a previously completed simulation for review in the Vivado IDE.

Tip: Objects that were logged in the simulation waveform database, with the log_wave command, can be added posthumously to the wave configuration in a static simulation using the add_wave command.


-noautoloadwcfg - (Optional) Do not automatically open wave config files (WCFG) associated with the waveform database.

-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.

<wbd> - specifies the path and filename of the WDB file to open.


The following example opens a WDB file with the specified name, then opens an associated Wave Config file, and finally uses the current_fileset command to open the simulation database in the Vivado IDE:

open_wave_database {C:/Data/project_xsim/testbench_behav.wdb}
open_wave_config {C:/Data/project_xsim/testbench_behav.wcfg}