What is VCD and is there any free tool to view it ?
VCD - Value Change Dump format - is an ASCII file that contains the "Changes inValues of Signals". This is a STANDARD format and is compatible between differentwaveform viewers etc. Also most of the simulators can write out VCD files - both VHDL& Verilog, though in Verilog you could do it more easily (than in VHDL - where youhave to go through your simulator's C-API) with the system tasks like $dumpvars.
VCD (Value Change Data)
Verilog simulator dumps the simulation information for waveform viewing in VCDFormat (Value Change Data).
Different types of Verilog Simulators
There are mainly two types of simulators available.Event DrivenCycle Based
This Digital Logic Simulation method sacrifices performance for rich functionality:every active signal is calculated for every device it propagates through during aclock cycle. Full Event-based simulators support 4-28 states; simulation of Behavioral HDL, RTL HDL, gate, and transistor representations; full timingcalculations for all devices; and the full HDL standard. Event-based simulatorsare like a Swiss Army knife with many different features but none are particularlyfast.Event based simulators are further categorized in 2 types.Compiled-Code Simulators:This technique takes the input definition (HDL) of the design and spends timecompiling it into a new data structure in order to enable much faster calculationsduring run-time. You sacrifice compile time to be able to run large numbers of tests faster. it is used in some high end, Event-based simulators.e.g. Synopsys Inc.'s VCS Simulator converts verilog files into C code which thenbe compiled and run, just like any other executable file. It is 10 to 50 times faster than any other interpretive simulator.seehttp://www.synopsys.com/products/simulation/vcs_ds.html