The Designer's Guide to VHDL - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9781558606746, 9780080477152

The Designer's Guide to VHDL

2nd Edition

Authors: Peter Ashenden
Paperback ISBN: 9781558606746
eBook ISBN: 9780080477152
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 29th May 2001
Page Count: 759
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Table of Contents

1 Fundamental Concepts

1.1 Modeling Digital Systems

1.2 Domains and Levels of Modeling

1.3 Modeling Languages

1.4 VHDL Modeling Concepts

1.5 Learning a New Language: Lexical Elements and Syntax


2 Scalar Data Types and Operations

2.1 Constants and Variables

2.2 Scalar Types

2.3 Type Classification

2.4 Attributes of Scalar Types

2.5 Expressions and Operators


3 Sequential Statements

3.1 If Statements

3.2 Case Statements

3.3 Null Statements

3.4 Loop Statements

3.5 Assertion and Report Statements


4 Composite Data Types and Operations

4.1 Arrays

4.2 Unconstrained Array Types

4.3 Array Operations and Referencing

4.4 Records


5 Basic Modeling Constructs

5.1 Entity Declarations

5.2 Architecture Bodies

5.3 Behavioral Descriptions

5.4 Structural Descriptions

5.5 Design Processing


6 Case Study: A Pipelined Multiplier Accumulator

6.1 Algorithm Outline

6.2 A Behavioral Model

6.3 A Register-Transfer-Level Model


7 Subprograms

7.1 Procedures

7.2 Procedure Parameters

7.3 Concurrent Procedure Call Statements

7.4 Functions

7.5 Overloading

7.6 Visibility of Declarations


8 Packages and Use Clauses

8.1 Package Declarations

8.2 Package Bodies

8.3 Use Clauses

8.4 The Predefined Package Standard

8.5 IEEE Standard Packages


9 Aliases

9.1 Aliases for Data Objects

9.2 Aliases for Non-Data Items


10 Case Study: A Bit-Vector Arithmetic Package

10.1 The Package Interface

10.2 The Package Body

10.3 An ALU Using the Arithmetic Package


11 Resolved Signals

11.1 Basic Resolved Signals

11.2 IEEE Std_Logic_1164 Resolved Subtypes

11.3 Resolved Signals and Ports

11.4 Resolved Signal Parameters


12 Generic Constants

12.1 Parameterizing Behavior

12.2 Parameterizing Structure


13 Components and Configurations

13.1 Components

13.2 Configuring Component Instances

13.3 Configuration Specifications


14 Generate Statements

14.1 Generating Iterative Structures

14.2 Conditionally Generating Structures

14.3 Configuration of Generate Statements


15 Case Study: The DLX Computer System

15.1 Overview of the DLX CP

15.2 A Behavioral Model

15.3 Testing the Behavioral Model

15.4 A Register-Transfer-Level Model

15.5 Testing the Register-Transfer-Level Model


16 Guards and Blocks

16.1 Guarded Signals and Disconnection

16.2 Blocks and Guarded Signal Assignment

16.3 Using Blocks for Structural Modularity


17 Access Types and Abstract Data Types

17.1 Access Types

17.2 Linked Data Structures

17.3 Abstract Data Types Using Packages


18 Files and Input/Output

18.1 Files

18.2 The Package Textio


19 Case Study: Queuing Networks

19.1 Queuing Network Concepts

19.2 Queuing Network Modules

19.3 A Queuing Network for a Disk System


20 Attributes and Groups

20.1 Predefined Attributes

20.2 User-Defined Attributes


21 Miscellaneous Topics

21.1 Buffer and Linkage Ports

21.2 Conversion Functions in Association Lists

21.3 Postponed Processes

21.4 Shared Variables


A Synthesis

A.1 Use of Data Types

A.2 Interpretation of Standard Logic Values

A.3 Modeling Combinatorial Logic

A.4 Modeling Sequential Logic

A.5 VHDL Modeling Restrictions

B The Predefined Package Standard

C IEEE Standard Packages

C.1 Std_Logic_1164 Multiv-Value Logic System

C.2 Standard 1076.3 VHDL Synthesis Packages

C.3 Standard 1076.2 VHDL Mathematical Packages

D Related Standards

D.1 IEEE VHDL Standards

D.2 Other Design Automation Standards

E VHDL Syntax

E.1 Design File

E.2 Library Unit Declarations

E.3 Declarations and Specifications

E.4 Type Definitions

E.5 Concurrent Statements

E.6 Sequential Statements

E.7 Interfaces and Associations

E.8 Expressions

F Differences

G Answers to Exercises




Since the publication of the first edition of The Designer's Guide to VHDL in 1996, digital electronic systems have increased exponentially in their complexity, product lifetimes have dramatically shrunk, and reliability requirements have shot through the roof. As a result more and more designers have turned to VHDL to help them dramatically improve productivity as well as the quality of their designs.

VHDL, the IEEE standard hardware description language for describing digital electronic systems, allows engineers to describe the structure and specify the function of a digital system as well as simulate and test it before manufacturing. In addition, designers use VHDL to synthesize a more detailed structure of the design, freeing them to concentrate on more strategic design decisions and reduce time to market. Adopted by designers around the world, the VHDL family of standards have recently been revised to address a range of issues, including portability across synthesis tools.

This best-selling comprehensive tutorial for the language and authoritative reference on its use in hardware design at all levels--from system to gates--has been revised to reflect the new IEEE standard, VHDL-2001. Peter Ashenden, a member of the IEEE VHDL standards committee, presents the entire description language and builds a modeling methodology based on successful software engineering techniques. Reviewers on have consistently rated the first edition with five stars. This second edition updates the first, retaining the authors unique ability to teach this complex subject to a broad audience of students and practicing professionals.

Key Features

  • Details how the new standard allows for increased portability across tools.
  • Covers related standards, including the Numeric Synthesis Package and the Synthesis Operability Package, demonstrating how they can be used for digital systems design.
  • Presents four extensive case studies to demonstrate and combine features of the language taught across multiple chapters.
  • Requires only a minimal background in programming, making it an excellent tutorial for anyone in computer architecture, digital systems engineering, or CAD.


Database programmers; application developers


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@qu:"The second edition of The Designer's Guide to VHDL sets a new standard in VHDL texts. I am certain that you will find it a very valuable addition to your library." @source:—From the foreword by Paul Menchini, Menchini & Associates

About the Authors

Peter Ashenden Author

Peter J. Ashenden received his B.Sc.(Hons) and Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, Australia. He was previously a senior lecturer in computer science and is now a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide. His research interests are computer organization and electronic design automation. Dr. Ashenden is also an independent consultant specializing in electronic design automation (EDA). He is actively involved in IEEE working groups developing VHDL standards, is the author of The Designer's Guide to VHDL and The Student's Guide to VHDL and co-editor of the Morgan Kaufmann series, Systems on Silicon. He is a senior member of the IEEE and a member of the ACM.

Affiliations and Expertise

Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Computer Science, University of Adelaide, Australia