An adder is a digital component that performs addition of two numbers. Its the main component inside an ALU of a processor and is used to increment addresses, table indices, buffer pointers and in a lot of other places where addition is required.

A full adder adds a carry input along with other input binary numbers to produce a sum and a carry output.

Truth Table

A B Cin Cout Sum
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 0 1
0 1 0 0 1
0 1 1 1 0
1 0 0 0 1
1 0 1 1 0
1 1 0 1 0
1 1 1 1 1


An example of a 4-bit adder is shown below which accepts two binary numbers through the signals a and b which are both 4-bits wide. Since an adder is a combinational circuit, it can be modeled in Verilog using a continuous assignment with assign or an always block with a sensitivity list that comprises of all inputs. The code shown below is that of the former approach.

module fulladd (  input [3:0] a,
                  input [3:0] b,
                  input c_in,
                  output c_out,
                  output [3:0] sum);

   assign {c_out, sum} = a + b + c_in;


The code shown below uses an always block which gets executed whenever any of its inputs change value.

module fulladd (  input [3:0] a,
                  input [3:0] b,
                  input c_in,
                  output reg c_out,
                  output reg [3:0] sum);

	always @ (a or b or c_in) begin
  	{c_out, sum} = a + b + c_in; 	


Hardware Schematic


module tb_fulladd;
	// 1. Declare testbench variables
   reg [3:0] a;
   reg [3:0] b;
   reg c_in;
   wire [3:0] sum;
   integer i;

	// 2. Instantiate the design and connect to testbench variables
   fulladd  fa0 ( .a (a),
                  .b (b),
                  .c_in (c_in),
                  .c_out (c_out),
                  .sum (sum));

	// 3. Provide stimulus to test the design
   initial begin
      a <= 0;
      b <= 0;
      c_in <= 0;
      $monitor ("a=0x%0h b=0x%0h c_in=0x%0h c_out=0x%0h sum=0x%0h", a, b, c_in, c_out, sum);

		// Use a for loop to apply random values to the input
      for (i = 0; i < 5; i = i+1) begin
         #10 a <= $random;
             b <= $random;
         		 c_in <= $random;


Note that when a and b add up to give a number more than 4 bits wide, the sum rolls over to zero and c_out becomes 1. For example, the line highlighted in yellow adds up to give 0x11 and the lower 4 bits get assigned to sum and bit#4 to c_out.

Simulation Log
ncsim> run
a=0x0 b=0x0 c_in=0x0 c_out=0x0 sum=0x0
a=0x4 b=0x1 c_in=0x1 c_out=0x0 sum=0x6
a=0x3 b=0xd c_in=0x1 c_out=0x1 sum=0x1
a=0x5 b=0x2 c_in=0x1 c_out=0x0 sum=0x8
a=0xd b=0x6 c_in=0x1 c_out=0x1 sum=0x4
a=0xd b=0xc c_in=0x1 c_out=0x1 sum=0xa
ncsim: *W,RNQUIE: Simulation is complete.