I'm very new to Verilog, and I'm not quite sure I'm getting it. I have a 4x16 decoder module that utilizes two 3x8 modules I've included from a separate file that worked under simulation. The problem is even though the test bench is providing the correct inputs, the output is undefined (XXXXXXXXXXX) so I'm pretty sure the 4 to 16 decoder is not returning the output as it should. Any help with this project would be much appreciated.

`timescale 1ns / 1ps

module decoder4_16test;

    // Inputs
    reg [3:0] d;
    // Outputs
    wire [15:0] o;

    // Instantiate the Unit Under Test (UUT)
    decoder4_16 uut (

    reg clk;
    reg [3:0] count;

    initial begin
        // Initialize Inputs
        d = 0;
        count = 0;
        clk = 0;
        // Wait 100 ns for global reset to finish
        forever #10 clk = ~clk;

    always @(posedge clk) begin
    //  if (count > 3) count = 0;
        d <= count[3:0];
        count <= count + 1; 

4 to 16 decoder (XXXbrokenXXX)

`timescale 1ns / 1ps
module decoder4_16(
    input [3:0] d,
    output reg [15:0] o

    wire en1, en2;
//  assign en1 = d[3];
    assign en1 = 1;
//  assign en2 = ~d[3];
    assign en2 = 0;
    decoder3_8 a(
    decoder3_8 b(

3 to 8 decoder

`timescale 1ns / 1ps

module decoder3_8(
        input [2:0] d,
        input en,
        output reg [7:0] o

    //combinational logic
        always @(*) begin
                //conditional cases
                if(en) begin
                                //converts binary comb to output wire
                                3'd7: o=8'd128;
                                3'd6: o=8'd64;
                                3'd5: o=8'd32;
                                3'd4: o=8'd16;
                                3'd3: o=8'd8;
                                3'd2: o=8'd4;
                                3'd1: o=8'd2;
                                3'd0: o=8'd1;
                                default: o = 8'd0;
                        if (!en) o = 8'd0;
                //default case

enter image description here

edit changing the output type from reg to wire fixed the problem. The test bench now looks normal.

enter image description here

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Did you get any warnings or errors when you compiled decoder4_16? The output should NOT be declared as a reg, since it's being connected directly to submodule outputs. Also, I don't think it matters in this case, but I would use <= assignments in decoder3_8. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


In decoder4_16 you declare o to be a reg type, but then you connect it to an output of a module instance. For a net that will be driven by a module instance output, you need to declare it as a wire type (for an output of the module being written, just remove the reg qualifier).

Other than that I don't see any glaring errors.

Make sure you test decoder3_8 and make sure it is working correctly before starting on decoder4_16.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 3_8 was working before I started. Changing reg to wire on my output did the trick. Thank you very much. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alan Boxx
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 23:38

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