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Assert

Used In

  • Entity
  • Architecture
  • Process
  • Function
  • Procedure

Reference Manual

VHDL-93:
  • Section 8.2
  • Section 9.4

Syntax

assert condition report string severity severity_level;
label: assert condition report string severity severity_level;

Rules and Examples

The assert statement tests a boolean condition. If this returns false, it outputs a message containing the report string to the simulator screen:

assert (J /= C) report "J = C" severity note;

The severity level may be defined as note, warning, error, or failure. Failure normally aborts the simulation.

assert (not OVERFLOW) report "Accumulator overflowed" severity failure;

If the message clause is ommited, a default message is output. The severity level and the name of the design unit containing the relevant assert statement may also be output.

If the severity clause is ommited, the default level is error.

A concurrent statement monitors the boolean condition continuously.

An unconditional message can be output by using the literal false:

procedure PUT
    (signal STACK  : inout T_STACK;
    signal POINTER : inout T_POINT;
    signal ITEM    : in    T_DATA) is
begin
    if (POINTER < 5) then
        STACK(POINTER) <= ITEM;
        POINTER <= POINTER + 1;
    else
        assert false report "Stack overflow" severity error;
    end if;
end PUT;

As well as functional errors, timing errors can be reported via assert:

CHECK_SETUP: process (CLK, D)
begin
    if (CLK'event and CLK = '1') then
        assert D'stable(SETUP_TIME) report "Setup Violation..." severity warning;
    end if;
end process CHECK_SETUP;

Report can be used on it’s own as a sequential statement, giving the same functionality as assert false, except that the default severity is note.

MSG1: report "Starting test sequence" severity note;

A concurrent assert statement may be run as a postponed process.

Synthesis Issues

Assert statements are ignored by logic synthesis tools.

See Also