Free Range VHDL is a comprehensive guide that aims to provide a complete understanding of VHDL, a hardware description language used in digital circuit design. The book is written by Bryan Mealy and Fabrizio Tappero, both experienced designers in the field of electronics and digital circuitry.
The authors have structured the book in such a way that it can serve as both a beginner’s guide and a reference manual for advanced designers. The book covers all the fundamental concepts of VHDL, including data types, operators, concurrent and sequential statements, and design methodologies. It also covers more advanced topics like subprograms, packages, test benches, and design verification.
One of the unique features of the book is that it encourages a “free range” approach to learning VHDL. This means that the book does not rely on any particular hardware or software platform, allowing readers to experiment with different tools and platforms as they learn. Instead, the book provides detailed examples and exercises that can be implemented on any VHDL simulator or FPGA development board.
Another key aspect of the book is its focus on practical design examples. The authors have included a wide range of real-world design projects, ranging from simple digital circuits to more complex designs like a VGA controller, an Ethernet interface, and a digital signal processor. These examples not only illustrate the concepts discussed in the book but also provide readers with a hands-on approach to learning VHDL.
The book also includes a chapter on design verification, which is a critical step in any digital design process. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of verification methodologies and tools, including simulation, formal verification, and hardware emulation.
Overall, Free Range VHDL is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn VHDL or improve their existing skills. Its clear and concise writing style, practical design examples, and free-range approach make it an invaluable reference for both beginners and experienced designers alike.