Re: VHDL questions

From: David Wood (
Date: 2005-11-22 18:50:03

I recently purchased the xilinx spartan3 starter kit from xilinx's online
store.  It's a fairly impressive package that also includes the CPLD starter

I wasnt particularly interested in the CPLD kit, so I'll run through the
fpga kit quickly.  It hosts a vga output port that can generate 8 colors,
rs232, a number of pushbuttons, switches, and 4 7seg LED digits as well as a
ps/2 port.

The board is centered on a 200k-gate spartan-3 unit.  For reference, an
individual created an entire stock vic20 implementation in a 250k-gate

The kit does come with software for which the license is free for at least
noncommercial use.  The software accepts VHDL, Verilog, schematic, and some
other form of input I dont remember. ;-) it does have a tutorial that shows
you how to make a 4bit counter in VHDL.  Of course, with a 50mhz clock, I
can only assume the four solidly lit LEDs were counting. ;-)

VHDL is fairly straightforward once you get used to the structure.  I'm not
quite there yet, but I can understand simple VHDL instances easily enough.

Lots of resources to cover the language in general online too. is your friend as well as google.


On Tue, 22 Nov 2005, Steve Judd wrote:

> A little atopical, I know, but I have some questions for the experienced
> VHDL types around here:
> How difficult is is to learn VHDL?  More specifically, does having a
> background in C64 programming -- registers, timing and synchronization,
> digital circuits/timers/etc. -- help, hurt, or make no difference?
> Any recommended books/tutorials/resources for learning it?  (Any ones to
> avoid?)
> Finally, any recommended tools for developing VHDL?  For implementing it
> in e.g. FPGA?
> Basically I need to get up to speed on VHDL, but I'm wondering if it's the
> type of thing that I could learn well enough to do an implementation
> myself, or if it's the type of thing that I can learn OK enough to
> communicate but really need someone else to do the design.
> Thanks in advance!  Feel free to email me directly if needed (to keep down
> list clutter, etc.).
> -S
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