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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Semantics and synthesis of signals in behavioral VHDL

  • Author(s): Ramachandran, Loganath
  • Vahid, Frank
  • Narayan, Sanjiv
  • Gajski, Daniel D.
  • et al.

Signals are a fundamental part of VHDL behavioral descriptions. There are many kinds of VHDL signals, each possesing complex and hence often misunderstood semantics. The result is that synthesis tools often inadequately address synthesis of signals. In this report, we first make clear the semantics of the various signal kinds shared by multiple processes through the use of conceptual hardware, rather than just text. Second, with the semantics firmly understood, we discuss techniques and issues in synthesizing actual hardware for shared signals. This information can be used to take a step towards synthesizing correct hardware from VHDL descriptions while greatly reducing current restrictions imposed by synthesis tools on allowable VHDL behavior.

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