For those who are new to hardware description languages (HDLs), or looking to refresh dormant skills, Nazeih Botros’s HDL Programming Fundamentals provides a basic course in both VHDL and Verilog. There’s a slew of books out there that take up either one language or the other; this one is a bit unusual in that it covers both in parallel. So it can be used to learn either language or both, as the reader deems necessary. The latter approach would well equip a reader to approach a mixed-language project.
After kicking off with an introductory chapter that looks broadly at HDLs and how they’re used, the book delves into specifics, with chapters covering dataflow descriptions, behavioral descriptions, and structural descriptions. The latter introduces gate-level and register-transfer-level (RTL) descriptions.
Subsequent chapters cover switch-level (or transistor-level) descriptions and topics such as mixed-language descriptions that borrow elements from both VHDL and Verilog. By this point in the book, it’s assumed that the reader is versed in both languages; this chapter shows how to mix their constructs. A final chapter covers the basics of hardware synthesis.
The book is suffused with examples that cover the rules governing HDLs as well as the basics of digital logic design. These examples span a wide range of topics, such as artificial neural networks and simple biological mechanisms.
Packaged with the book is a companion CD-ROM that includes all of the code from the design examples and code listings. The code can be copied and pasted into the project navigation screen of any HDL simulator; a mixed-language simulator would of course be required to handle relevant examples. The disc supports Windows NT/2000/XP systems.
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