Lesson 03: Data Types

All variables in Verilog have a predefined type. There are only two families of data types: nets and registers.

  • Net variables act like wires in a physical circuit and establish connectivity between design objects that represent hardware units.
  • Register variables act like variables in computer programming languages — they store information while the program executes.



Logic Values

Verilog supports four logic values and eight strengths to model the functionality of real hardware. There are two additional unknown logic values (H and L) that may occur internal to the simulation, but which cannot be used for modeling.

Logic ValueDescription
0 Zero, Low, or False
1 One, High, or True
x or X Unknown, Don't care, or Uninitialized (either 0 or 1)
z or Z Undefined, High-Impedance, or Floating
L Partially unknown; either 0 or Z, but not 1 (Internal simulation value only)
H Partially unknown; either 1 or Z, but not 0 (Internal simulation value only)


Verilog has 8 strength levels: 4 drivings, 3 capacitive, and high impedance (no strength). The words strenght0 specifies the strength when the net drivers drive the value 0; strength1 specifies the strength when the net drivers drive the value 1. The capacitive strengths are for trireg nets only.

The table below shows the strengths:

Strength LevelNameKeywordDisplay Mnemonic
7 Supply drive supply0, supply1 Su0  Su1
6 Strong drive strong0, strong1 St0  St1
5 Pull drive pull0, pull1 Pu0  Pu1
4 Large capacitive large La0  La1
3 Weak drive weak0, weak1 We0  We1
2 Medium capacitive medium Me0  Me1
1 Small capacitive small Sm0  Sm1
0 High impedance highz0, highz1 HiZ0  HiZ1

The default strength is strong drive. For pullup and pulldown gates, the default strength is pull drive; for trireg the default strength is medium capacitive; and for supply nets, the default strength is supply drive.

A net that is not being driven has a high impedance strength, except for tri0 and tri1 that have pull strength; trireg hold their last strength; and supply nets have supply strength.

Data Types

Verilog has two major data type classes:

  • Net data types are used to make connections between parts of a design.
    • Nets reflect the value and strength level of the drivers of the net or the capacitance of the net and do not have a value of their own.
    • Nets have a resolution function, which resolves a final value when there are multiple drivers on the net.
  • Variable data types are used as temporary storage of programming data.
    • Variables can only be assigned a value from within an initial procedure, an always procedure, a task, or a function.
    • Variables can only store logic values; they cannot store logic strength.
    • Variables are un-initialized at the start of the simulation and contain a logic x until a value is assigned.



  • The Left Hand Side (LHS) of procedural assignments must be of a Register type.
  • For continuous assignments outside of procedural blocks, LHS must be Nets (wires)