I am working to create a daisy chain Flip Flop circuit (following the asynchronous method of connection).

The Q output of a flip flop acts as the clock for the next Flip Flop.

module dff(d,clk,q,qbar,rst);
input d,clk, rst;
output reg q, qbar;
always@(posedge clk)
if(rst) begin q<=0; qbar<=1; end
else begin q<=d; qbar<=~d; end

module dffchain(d,clk,q,qbar,rst);
parameter N=2;
input [N-1:0]d;
input clk, rst;
output [N-1:0] q, qbar;
wire [N:0] connect;
wire [N-1:0] qbarc;
genvar i;
assign connect[0] = clk;
            begin: DFFL
            dff DU(d[i],connect[i],connect[i+1],~connect[i+1],rst); 
assign q[N-1] = connect[N];  

I am obtaining the following error: Line 21: Illegal expression in target

The Line 21 is dff DU(d[i],connect[i],connect[i+1],~connect[i+1],rst);

Why is the problem occurring, and what are best practises to avoid it in the future?


2 Answers 2


The problem is that the expression ~signal is not an lvalue — an entity that can be assigned a value on the left-hand side of an assignment. Anything connected to an output port of a module must be an lvalue, like a bare signal name. That's why you're getting that specific error.

But more to the point of your actual example, why would you want to connect to both q and qbar? They are just redundant copies of the same information.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a lot for the information. Since I was using qbar in the FF module as an input port, so I was curious to use it in the daisy chain too. Thanks a lot, I learned something new. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2020 at 12:50

You should not use an expression, ~connect[i+1], to connect to the qbar output port of dff. Perhaps you can leave this output unconnected:

            dff DU (
                .d      (d[i]),
                .clk    (connect[i]),
                .q      (connect[i+1]),
                .qbar   (),
                .rst    (rst)

One way to avoid connection problems like this is to use connection-by-name, as shown, instead of connection-by-order (as in your code).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am thankful for your reply. Please, can you guide on what is the problem that is occurring if we use the expression ~connect[i+1], to connect to the qbar output port, it'll help me to understand the functioning better. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2020 at 12:02

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