# Difference between >> and >>> in verilog?

What is the difference between >> and >>> in verilog/system verilog? I know that == tests for only 1 and 0, while === tests for 1, 0, X, Z. So how is that similar to the shift operator?

It is not similar to ==/===, if the left hand operand is signed then >>> performs sign extension.

reg signed [9:0] b = 10'sb11_0101_0101;
reg signed [9:0] a_signed;
reg        [9:0] a_unsigned;

always_comb begin
a_signed   = b >>> 2;
a_unsigned = b >>  2;
end


Result:

#a_signed   1111010101
#a_unsigned 0011010101


Example on EDA Playground.

• Wow, that is exactly the opposite of the meanings of the Java >> and >>> operators... wicked. Oct 11, 2014 at 7:23
• Verilog was 10 years before Java. :P Oct 11, 2014 at 15:49
• @dave_59, but signed values (aside from the 32-bit integer type) and the arithmetic shift operators were only introduced to Verilog in Verilog-2001. Jan 19, 2019 at 22:15
• Verilog already had >> to mean logical shift in 1985 (taken from Pascal, which is from 1970). So it had to use >>> for arithmetic shift. Jan 20, 2019 at 2:11

According to IEEE1800-2012 >> is a binary logical shift, while >>> is a binary arithmetic shift.

Basically, arithmetic shift uses context to determine the fill bits, so:

• arithmetic right shift (>>>) - shift right specified number of bits, fill with value of sign bit if expression is signed, otherwise fill with zero,
• arithmetic left shift (<<<) - shift left specified number of bits, fill with zero.

On the other hand, logical shift (<<, >>) always fill the vacated bit positions with zeroes.

For example:

a = 5'b10100;
b = a <<< 2; //b == 5'b10000
c = a >>> 2; //c == 5'b11101, 'cause sign bit was 1
d = a <<  2; //d == 5'b10000
e = a >>  2; //e == 5'b00101

• The results of this example depend on the declaration of c: if you use reg [4:0] c, you'll get 5'b00101, not 5'b11101. Updating the example to clarify the types would be useful, I think. Feb 21, 2020 at 14:06