LiveHD (2023)

Projects for LiveHD.
Lead Mentors: Jose Renau and Sakshi Garg.
Contributor(s): Shahzaib Kashif

LiveHD is a “compiler” infrastructure for hardware design optimized for synthesis and simulation. The goals is to enable a more productive flow where the ASIC/FPGA designer can work with multiple hardware description languages like CHISEL, Pyrope, or Verilog.

There are several projects available around LiveHD. A longer explanation and more project options are available at projects. Contact the mentors to find a project that fits your interests.

A sample of helpful projects:


DescriptionPerform synthesis for graph in LiveHD using Mockturtle
Mentor(s)Jose Renau and Sakshi Garg
SkillsC++17, synthesis
SizeMedium 175 hours

Mockturtle ( is a synthesis tool partially integrated with LiveHD. The goal of this task is to iron out bugs and issues and to use the LiveHD Tasks API to parallelize the synthesis.

Main features:

  • The current synthesis divides the circuit in partitions. Each partition can be synthesized in parallel.
  • Support hierarchical synthesis to optimize cross Lgraphs (cross verilog module optimization)

The goal is to use Mockturtle ( with LiveHD. The main characteristics:

  • Use mockturtle to tmap to LUTs
  • Use mockturtle to synthesize (optimize) logic
  • Enable cut-rewrite as an option
  • Enable hierarchy cross optimization (hier:true option)
  • Use the graph labeling to find cluster to optimize
  • Re-timing
  • Map to LUTs only gates and non-wide arithmetic. E.g: 32bit add is not mapped to LUTS, but a 2-bit add is mapped.
  • List of resources to not map:
    • Large ALUs. Large ALUs should have an OpenWare block (hardcoded in FPGAs and advanced adder options in ASIC)
    • Multipliers and dividers
    • Barrell shifters with not trivial shifts (1-2 bits) selectable at run-time
    • memories, luts

LiveHD Console

TitleLiveHD Console
DescriptionCreate a console app that interacts with LiveHD to query parameters about designs
Mentor(s)Jose Renau and Sakshi Garg
SizeMedium 175 hours

Current LiveHD uses replxx but it a no longer maintained shell/console. The result is that it fails in newer versions of OSX.

There is an alternative Crossline ( This affects main/main.cpp and nothing else.

In addition to replace the current console with auto-completion, the plan is to add “query” capacity to visualize some of the LiveHD internals.

Wavedrom and duh allows to dump bitfield information for structures. It would be interesting to explore to dump tables and bit fields for Lgraph IOs, and structs/fields inside the module. It may be a way to integrate with the documentation generation.

Example of queries: show path, show driver/sink of, do topo traversal,….

Compiler error generation pass

TitleLgraph and LNAST check pass
DescriptionCreate a pass that check the integrity/correctness of Lgraph and LNAST
Mentor(s)Jose Renau and Sakshi Garg
SizeLarge 350 hours

Create a pass that checks that the Lgraph (and/or LNAST) is semantically correct. The LNAST already has quite a few tests (pass.semantic), but it can be further expanded. Some checks:

  • No combinational loops
  • No mismatch in bit widths
  • No disconnected nodes
  • Check for inefficient splits (do not split buses that can be combined)
  • Transformations stages should not drop names if same net is preserved
  • No writes in LNAST that are never read
  • All the edges are possible. E.g: no pin ‘C’ in Sum_op
Jose Renau
Jose Renau
Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, Department Chair

Research interests in computer architecture, focusing on productive hardware design flows (LiveHD and ESESC), out-of-order cores, and RISC-V verification.

Sakshi Garg
Sakshi Garg
Ph.D. Student, UC Santa Cruz

Sakshi is a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the domain of Computer Engineering. Her research interests are compiler and EDA tool design for productive hardware development flow.