TCD-CS-93-05 Courtney, A. A.

TuRTLe Language Reference Manual

June 1993.


This document is a reference manual for TuRTLe, the Trinity Register Transfer Language. TuRTLe is a language for description and simulation of digital computer hardware. The language has a clean type system, simple syntax, and facilities for procedural abstraction. The language integrates procedures with the type system to allow for procedural "objects". Merging procedures and data type allows the programmer to extend the primitives of the language with new building blocks synthesized from simpler types. This approach yields a language which is simple, extensible and powerful.

The language lacks many of the more complex "features" provided by similar hardware description languages. The minimalism reflects the principle that the benefit of any feature must justify its cost in overall complexity. Where possible, TuRTLe provides simple primitives which the programmer combines in a piece-parts approach to form more complex solutions. Computer languages which are overly complex yield programs that are difficult to write, read and (mostly importantly) reason about. A pragmatic approach to the design of the hardware description language, coupled with modest goals for intended use, yields a system which is clear and concise, yet powerful enough for many circuit simulation tasks.

Technical Reports Home Page