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'[OT]: VHDL how to start?'
2005\06\30@130348 by Andre Abelian

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face
HI to all,

I was wondering if some one can point me to right direction.
I like to learn VHDL but I do not know where to start
Previously  I only worked with 22v10 PLD chip.
any link for tutorial or software would highly appriciate.
any recomedation ?

thank you

Andre

2005\06\30@135628 by Alex Harford

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On 6/30/05, Andre Abelian <spam_OUTandreTakeThisOuTspamditechnology.com> wrote:
> HI to all,
>
> I was wondering if some one can point me to right direction.
> I like to learn VHDL but I do not know where to start
> Previously  I only worked with 22v10 PLD chip.
> any link for tutorial or software would highly appriciate.
> any recomedation ?

Andre,

Personally I prefer Verilog, but if you really want to do VHDL, I
highly recommend the 'Chess Book'.

I have no idea if these Amazon.com links will work, if not, search for
'vhdl Vranesic'

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0072499389/qid=1120153542/sr=8-20/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i5_xgl14/104-2148971-7765519?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author-exact=Zvonko%20%20Vranesic/104-2148971-7765519

You might be able to pick up a cheap version at a local University bookstore.

2005\06\30@141049 by Robert Young

picon face
>
> HI to all,
>
> I was wondering if some one can point me to right direction.
> I like to learn VHDL but I do not know where to start
> Previously  I only worked with 22v10 PLD chip. any link for
> tutorial or software would highly appriciate. any recomedation ?
>
> thank you
>
> Andre


"free" software : ISE Webpack from Xilinx (http://www.xilinx.com) and Quartus
II from Altera (http://www.altera.com).  Both include or have a way of
accessing a free version of ModelSim from Mentor Graphics for behavioral
simulations.  Post-PAR (place and route) simulation is also possible but
at greatly reduce speed and functionality (gotta pay for that one).
Windows 2K, XP and various Linux implementations are available.  Also
there are a small handfull of free VHDL simulators, google for "free
vhdl simulator".

http://www.fpga4fun.com has good tutorials and sample projects in VHDL and
Verilog.  He also sells some reasonably inexpensive development boards.


Newsgroups comp.arch.fpga and comp.lang.vhdl

Xilinx offers a $99 developemnt board for their Spartan-3 FPGAs that is
a very good deal.  There is a similar product available from Altera.

Google for "vhdl tutorial" and you will find several.  As with anything
else you find on the web, some are good and some are not.  Lots of
universities have their undergraduate lab assignements and lecture notes
available on the web, these are usually pretty good.  Snoop around on
the Aldec site (again, you may need to google for it) and there used to
be a good tutorial with small quizes after each topic is introduced.

Amazon.com has lots of books.  Peter Ashden's is pretty good as is an
older book by Kevin Skahill (may be out of print) and Ben Coehn's books.
Ben Coehn's books can be a bit dense at times but he does know what he
is talking about.  The books are a little pricey and you can get a
pretty good jump on learning about VHDL with on-line tutorials and
tutorial files and application notes available from various FPGA and
CPLD manufacturers.

One last comment, you are going to be drowning in new materal to learn.
Don't panic, it will slowly start to make sense.

Rob

2005\06\30@145150 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2005-06-30 at 10:01 -0700, Andre Abelian wrote:
> HI to all,
>
> I was wondering if some one can point me to right direction.
> I like to learn VHDL but I do not know where to start
> Previously  I only worked with 22v10 PLD chip.
> any link for tutorial or software would highly appriciate.
> any recomedation ?

Hello Andre, probably the best tools out there for free are the free
ones offered from Xilinx and Altera for their parts. Both come with
simulators so you can create test benches and sim your code. They
include samples that should be good to get a feel of how things work.

Two things I'd like to mention though:

1. Why VHDL? While there is alot of VHDL out there, Verilog is quickly
overtaking VHDL. All the major players use Verilog almost exclusively.
Personally I dislike VHDL, my brain seems to be able to wrap around
Verilog much easier then VHDL. Your brain may be different. Verilog is a
little more lax about certain things, which can sometimes get you into
trouble though.

2. The NUMBER 1 RULE of writing VHDL or Verilog IMHO is: eliminate ALL
warnings. Almost every time I've encountered a problem with someone's
code it's been traced back to a warning they should NOT have ignored.
While warnings are "normal" to most people in most programming
languages, IMHO 0 warnings is the only way to stay out of a huge amount
of trouble when coding in HDLs.

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\06\30@154039 by Andre Abelian

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face
Herbert, Rober, Alex,

All three of you recommended same softwares and Verilog instead of VHDL.
There is a company who wants to hire me but the requirement is I have to
know
VHDL too on top of PIC, PCB layout. I do know when am I suppose to use
all this
but to me PIC itself is already enough for one person to deal with.
I just wanted to appreciate all of you for fast reply and  recommendation
I will start searching Verilog after I sent this e-mail.
once again thank you very much.

Andre




Herbert Graf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\06\30@160728 by Robert Young

picon face
>
>
> Herbert, Rober, Alex,
>
> All three of you recommended same softwares and Verilog
> instead of VHDL. There is a company who wants to hire me but
> the requirement is I have to
> know
> VHDL too on top of PIC, PCB layout. I do know when am I
> suppose to use
> all this
> but to me PIC itself is already enough for one person to deal
> with. I just wanted to appreciate all of you for fast reply
> and  recommendation I will start searching Verilog after I
> sent this e-mail. once again thank you very much.
>
> Andre

If the requirement is to use VHDL (and check that it is a legitimate
requirement) then go ahead and learn VHDL over Verilog.  If you can do
one, you can do the other.  Like learning C and then switching to Pascal
later.  Many of the concepts are similar.  You will have a learning
curve for both but the steepest curve will be for the first language.
The second (and later maybe System-C) will come easier.

One thing (mostly based on personal experience so I'm expecting to be
shot at for this) about Verilog vs. VHDL, it is VERY easy to write code
in VHDL that will not synthesize.  Verilog code seems a bit closer to
the hardware while VHDL can be much more abstract, so much so that you
can produce designs that cannot be directly realized in hardware.

Rob

2005\06\30@161039 by Andre Abelian

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face
Herbert, Rober, Alex,

All three of you recommended same softwares and Verilog instead of VHDL.
There is a company who wants to hire me but the requirement is I have to
know
VHDL too on top of PIC, PCB layout. I do know when am I suppose to use
all this
but to me PIC itself is already enough for one person to deal with.
I just wanted to appreciate all of you for fast reply and  recommendation
I will start searching Verilog after I sent this e-mail.
once again thank you very much.

Andre




Herbert Graf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\06\30@164129 by Shawn Tan Ser Ngiap

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On Thursday 30 June 2005 21:07, Robert Young wrote:
> If the requirement is to use VHDL (and check that it is a legitimate
> requirement) then go ahead and learn VHDL over Verilog.  If you can do
> curve for both but the steepest curve will be for the first language.
> The second (and later maybe System-C) will come easier.

My personal experience, started with VHDL, then learned Verilog...

The most important thing to learn is not so much the language, but to have an
idea how each piece of code that you write is translated into hardware.. (i.e
synthesized)... Learn how latches, flip-flops, muxes, gates and all that are
inferred from your code.. I had this book that showed nothing but code vs
schematics... A lot of beginners get caught doing code that works up to RTL
simulation but doesn't synthesize...

Once you've got that part right, then switching languages, shouldn't be a
problem...

> One thing (mostly based on personal experience so I'm expecting to be
> shot at for this) about Verilog vs. VHDL, it is VERY easy to write code
> in VHDL that will not synthesize.  Verilog code seems a bit closer to
> the hardware while VHDL can be much more abstract, so much so that you
> can produce designs that cannot be directly realized in hardware.

Not trying to start a war here, but, I sort of remember reading somewhere (a
long time ago), where they had a competition (i think it was at a SNUG
event), where they asked VHDL and Verilog coders to code a similar device...
The results were that all (or almost all) Verilog coders finished the code
and their resultant core was smaller...

Also, there are more language rules/syntax/semantics that need to be
remembered for VHDL... It's more like a software programming language than
Verilog... So, different heads might wrap around it differently... Just some
things for you to watch out for...

cheers..

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

2005\06\30@170747 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2005-06-30 at 21:42 +0100, Shawn Tan Ser Ngiap wrote:
> On Thursday 30 June 2005 21:07, Robert Young wrote:
> > If the requirement is to use VHDL (and check that it is a legitimate
> > requirement) then go ahead and learn VHDL over Verilog.  If you can do
> > curve for both but the steepest curve will be for the first language.
> > The second (and later maybe System-C) will come easier.
>
> My personal experience, started with VHDL, then learned Verilog...
>
> The most important thing to learn is not so much the language, but to have an
> idea how each piece of code that you write is translated into hardware.. (i.e
> synthesized)... Learn how latches, flip-flops, muxes, gates and all that are
> inferred from your code.. I had this book that showed nothing but code vs
> schematics... A lot of beginners get caught doing code that works up to RTL
> simulation but doesn't synthesize...

Very good advice IMHO. In fact, when I code Verilog I usually only think
of what gate structure I want (i.e. a flopped net, a demux, or an FSM)
and then apply the kind of code structure that infers that gate
structure.

If you just code it's very easy to come up with something that seems to
make sense, but when synthesized comes out as something completely
useless.

Also, something else I'd like to add is do NOT trust the simulators too
much, they will often show everything is working properly, yet in real
hardware nothing works right. If you can do a gate sim, which will be
much closer to what the real hardware will do. Otherwise have a look at
the gates and make sure the structure you wanted was inferred properly.

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\06\30@175715 by Mauricio Jancic

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>>... I had this book that showed nothing
> but code vs schematics...

And that book is.... :))

Regards,

Mauricio Jancic
Janso Desarrollos - Microchip Consultants Program Member
.....infoKILLspamspam@spam@janso.com.ar
http://www.janso.com.ar
(54) 11 - 4542 - 3519



'[OT]: VHDL how to start?'
2005\07\01@022451 by Luis.Moreira
picon face
Hi Robert
This is the first time I heard about System-C, is that a new language?
Any links would be appreciated.
Best regards
               Luis

Luis Moreira
luis.moreiraspamKILLspamjet.uk
tel. 01235464615
JET PSU Department
UKAEA Culham Division
J20/1/55, Culham Science Centre
Abingdon
Oxfordshire
OX14 3DB


{Original Message removed}

2005\07\01@042522 by Electron

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At 10.01 2005.06.30 -0700, you wrote:
>HI to all,
>
>I was wondering if some one can point me to right direction.
>I like to learn VHDL but I do not know where to start
>Previously  I only worked with 22v10 PLD chip.
>any link for tutorial or software would highly appriciate.
>any recomedation ?

Definitely buy this book: "HDL Chip Design", by Douglas J. Smith.
Then dump VHDL and start with Verilog.. (the book contains a lot
of examples in 3 versions: VHDL, Verilog and schematic entry, and
thus is useful not only for learning and studying all kinds of
devices, but also for letting you know the pros and cons of VHDL
and Verilog).

If you need a FPGA development board, I can definitely advice you
the one that IMHO has best price/performance ratio:
"LiveDesign Evaluation Board", made by Altium. $99 and an Altera
Cyclone EP1C12, 1MB SRAM plus many useful I/O on board.


>thank you

You're welcome.



>Andre
>-

2005\07\01@093902 by Robert Young

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>
> Hi Robert
> This is the first time I heard about System-C, is that a new
> language? Any links would be appreciated. Best regards
>                Luis
>

Google is your friend! :-)

http://www.systemc.org


Also Handel-C http://www.celoxica.com which I forgot to mention.

Rob

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