VHDL (VHSIC-HDL, Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language) is a hardware description language used in electronic design automation to describe digital and mixed-signal systems such as field-programmable gate arrays and integrated circuits. VHDL can also be used as a general-purpose parallel programming language.
VHDL is an extremely powerful tool. The more you understand as you work and study with VHDL, the more it will enhance your learning experience independently of your particular area of interest. The concept of using software to design hardware that is controlled by software will definitely provide you with endless hours of contemplation.
VHDL is designed to fill a number of needs in the design process. Firstly, it allows description of the structure of a design, that is how it is decomposed into sub-designs, and how those sub-designs are interconnected. Secondly, it allows the specification of the function of designs using familiar programming language forms. Thirdly, as a result, it allows a design to be simulated before being manufactured, so that designers can quickly compare alternatives and test for correctness without the delay and expense of hardware prototyping.
1. Free Range VHDL by Bryan Mealy, Fabrizio Tappero
The purpose of this book is to provide students and young engineers with a guide to help them develop the skills necessary to be able to use VHDL for introductory and intermediate level digital design. These skills will also give them the ability and the confidence to continue on with VHDL-based digital design.
The book presents topics to someone familiar with digital logic design and with some skills in algorithmic programming languages such as Java or C. The information is focused on giving a solid knowledge of the approach and function of VHDL.
2. Introducing the Spartan-3E FPGA and VHDL by Mike Field
This is a book on using the Spartan 3E FPGA with VHDL, using the Papilio One or Digilent Basys2 boards. This book provides you with:
- A working knowledge of a subset of VHDL — enough to complete most projects.
- Familiarity with the ISIM simulator, and have used it to debug an issue or two.
- Familiarity with all the major components of the Spartan-3E FPGA.
- Used nearly all the interfaces on your chosen FPGA development board.
- Transferred data to an FPGA over the USB host port (which is often overlooked in other books!)
- You may have even built a few custom interfaces that are not on the board.
3. The VHDL Cookbook by Peter Ashenden
VHDL Cookbook begins with the basics of VHDL, which, like any software language, has keywords, operators, flow control statements, and programming conventions.
Next, the author introduces his first case study – a “pipelined multiplier accumulator,” which simulates a CPU register. He then moves on to more complicated models, such as a design for a complete CPU (the DLX processor, which is used as a model for educating future CPU designers).
More advanced aspects of VHDL follow, including guard signals, abstract data types, and even file I/O. A final case study (for a “queuing network”) puts these components into practice. The book closes with a discussion of “synthesizers” – additional software tools that convert a VHDL specification into silicon–and how these tools impose design limits.
All books in this series:
|Free Programming Books|
|Ada||ALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages|
|Agda||Dependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory|
|Arduino||Inexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform|
|Assembly||As close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal|
|Awk||Versatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language|
|Bash||Shell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language|
|BASIC||Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code|
|C||General-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language|
|C++||General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language|
|C#||Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic|
|Clojure||Dialect of the Lisp programming language|
|COBOL||Common Business-Oriented Language|
|Coq||Dependently typed language similar to Agda, Idris, F* and others|
|Crystal||General-purpose, concurrent, multi-paradigm, object-oriented language|
|CSS||CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) specifies a web page’s appearance|
|D||General-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax|
|Dart||Client-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms|
|Dylan||Multi-paradigm language supporting functional and object-oriented coding|
|ECMAScript||Best known as the language embedded in web browsers|
|Eiffel||Object-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer|
|Elixir||Relatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine|
|Erlang||General-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language|
|F#||Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods|
|Factor||Dynamic stack-based programming language|
|Forth||Imperative stack-based programming language|
|Fortran||The first high-level language, using the first compiler|
|Go||Compiled, statically typed programming language|
|Groovy||Powerful, optionally typed and dynamic language|
|Haskell||Standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language|
|HTML||HyperText Markup Language|
|Icon||Wide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data|
|J||Array programming language based primarily on APL|
|Java||General-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language|
|Julia||High-level, high-performance language for technical computing|
|Kotlin||More modern version of Java|
|LabVIEW||Designed to enable domain experts to build power systems quickly|
|LaTeX||Professional document preparation system and document markup language|
|Lisp||Unique features - excellent to study programming constructs|
|Logo||Dialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility|
|Lua||Designed as an embeddable scripting language|
|Markdown||Plain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write|
|Objective-C||Object-oriented language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to C|
|OCaml||The main implementation of the Caml language|
|Pascal||Imperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s|
|Perl||High-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language|
|PHP||PHP has been at the helm of the web for many years|
|PostScript||Interpreted, stack-based and Turing complete language|
|Prolog||A general purpose, declarative, logic programming language|
|Python||General-purpose, structured, powerful language|
|QML||Hierarchical declarative language for user interface layout - JSON-like syntax|
|R||De facto standard among statisticians and data analysts|
|Racket||General-purpose, object-oriented, multi-paradigm, functional language|
|Raku||Member of the Perl family of programming languages|
|Ruby||General purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language|
|Rust||Ideal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code|
|Scala||Modern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language|
|Scheme||A general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol|
|Scratch||Visual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children|
|SQL||Access and manipulate data held in a relational database management system|
|Standard ML||General-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"|
|Swift||Powerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language|
|Tcl||Dynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells|
|TeX||Markup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text|
|Vala||Object-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#|
|VHDL||Hardware description language used in electronic design automation|
|VimL||Powerful scripting language of the Vim editor|
|XML||Rules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning|