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n. (context electronics English) A technical description of the connectivity of an electronic design.


In electronic design, a netlist is a description of the connectivity of an electronic circuit. A single netlist is effectively a collection of several related lists. In its simplest form, a netlist consists of a list of the terminals ("pins") of the electronic components in a circuit and a list of the electrical conductors that interconnect the terminals. A net is a conductor that interconnects two or more component terminals.

The structure, complexity and representation of netlists can vary considerably, but the fundamental purpose of every netlist is to convey connectivity information. Netlists usually provide nothing more than instances, nets, and perhaps some attributes. If they express much more than this, they are usually considered to be a hardware description language such as Verilog or VHDL, or one of several languages specifically designed for input to simulators.

Netlists can be physical or logical, instance-based or net-based, and flat or hierarchical. The latter can be either folded or unfolded.