Compile Time Constant

A compile time constant (CTC) is a value that can be computed at compile time. There are four types of compile time constants.

  • literals
  • induction variables
  • static constant properties of a contract, initialized with a literal
  • static constant function parameters

There are several cases where only compile time constants are allowed.

  • loop bound
  • array size
  • write to an array element using index operator
  • function parameters that are declared as static const [1] such as size in reverseBytes(bytes b, static const int size) and repeat(T e, static const int size)
contract CTC {
    static const int N = 4;
    static const int LOOPCOUNT = 30;

    // A is not a CTC because the right hand size is an expression, not a literal
    static const int A = 2 + 1;
    // B is not a CTC because it is not static
    const int B;

    // FC is a CTC declared in function parameters
    // it can be used within this function, including parameters after it & return type
    function incArr(static const int FC, int[FC] x) : int[FC] {
        loop(FC): i {
            x[i] += i; // induction variable CTC
        return x;

    public function unlock(int y) {
        int[N] arr0 = [1, 2, 3, 4];
        // use `N` to initialize CTC parameter `FC` of function `incArr`
        int[N] arr1 = this.incArr(N, repeat(1, N));
        loop(N) : i {
            require(arr0[i] == arr1[i]);

        int z = 0;
        loop (LOOPCOUNT)
            if (z<y) z += 4;
        require(y == 1);
[1]Note: the order is important: const static is not allowed when declaring a function parameter, but allowed when declaring a property.