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FPGA Prototyping by VHDL Examples: Xilinx Spartan-3 Version 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470185315
ISBN-10: 0470185317
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book is well organized and contains many useful synthesizable VHDL examples. Moreover, design concepts are clearly explained … This book is indeed an excellent text for people who wish to learn PFGA and VHDL from practical examples and exercises." (Computing Reviews, February 18, 2009)

"Brimming with code examples, flowcharts and other illustrations, the book serves as a good starting point for a development project.  It's recommended to anyone looking to get started with FPGA prototyping using VHDL." (Electronic Design, February 4, 2008)

"It's recommended to anyone looking to get started with FGPA prototyping using VHDL." (Electronic Design Online, February 4, 2008)

From the Back Cover

A hands-on introduction to VHDL synthesis and FPGA prototyping

Hardware Descriptive Language (HDL) and Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices

allow designers to quickly develop and simulate a sophisticated digital circuit, realize it on a prototyping device, and verify the operation of its physical implementation. As these technologies have matured, they have become accepted mainstream practice so that it is possible to use a PC and an inexpensive FPGA prototyping board to construct a complex digital system.

This book uses a "learn by doing" approach to introduce the concepts and techniques of VHDL and FPGA to designers through a series of hands-on experiments. FPGA Prototyping by VHDL Examples provides:

  • A collection of clear, easy-to-follow templates for quick code development

  • A large number of practical examples to illustrate and reinforce the concepts and design techniques

  • Realistic projects that can be implemented and tested on a Xilinx prototyping board

  • A thorough exploration of the Xilinx PicoBlaze soft-core microcontroller

Although the book is an introductory text, the examples are developed in a rigorous manner and the derivations follow strict design guidelines and coding practices used for large, complex systems. It lays a solid foundation for students and new engineers and prepares them for future development tasks. FPGA Prototyping by VHDL Examples is an indispensable companion text for introductory digital design courses and also serves as a valuable self-teaching guide for practicing engineers who wish to learn more about this emerging area of interest.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Interscience; 1 edition (February 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470185317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470185315
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Stewart on April 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book - It states teaching VHDL is not its goal; the goal is FPGA programming in a general way to be transportable across various FPGAs while apologizing for the need to use a specific hardware board for the examples. The board is the Xilinx Spartan-3 evaluation board which is readily available for ~$200. It starts with an easy logic structure and ends with a complex pico-Blaze soft-core embedded processor project. It has memory controllers, LCD and PS/2 keyboard controllers in between. Each example has the full VHDL code and many compare alternate HDL coding approaches. Thus, while VHDL syntax is not covered directly, if you want the construct of a multiplexer or a serial port, or more complex functions, the examples serve as an excellent starting point and will continue to provide solid building blocks for future projects. If you are having difficulty sorting out the starting point in the fog of VHDL, ISE tools, RTL, footprints, and all else related to FPGAs using this book in conjunction with the Xilinx Spartan-3 evaluation board will point you in the right direction. Within a matter of a few days to a couple of weeks you will understand the key elements, the order they are applied and be able to demonstrate them in actual hardware. To become an expert is a long path, finding the trail head is always a good start. Once you are comfortable with the FPGA coding process "Circuit Design with VHDL" by Volnei A. Pedroni is an excellent reference book on VHDL for future projects.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have spent many years amassing a collection of every book on FPGA on the market! Ok, maybe that's pushing it...However, compared to what most books lack in practical examples, this one I find is a complete GEM! From the beginning to the end it keeps you going with interesting, real world examples of what can be done with a Digilent Spartan Starter Kit. The author, Prof. P. Chu does an excellent job at progressivelly building your understanding of FPGA logic design, through a series of chapters that gradually take you to the more advanced stages of design in easily comprehensible lessons that require more elevated skills as one approaches the end chapters. The beauty of this book is that it uses the lessons learned prior to take you to the next level. I've used Prof. Chu's samples and interfaced them with a PIC and ARM9 development boards respectivelly, just to spice in some more fun and excitement. I may be considering launching a free site for the microcontroller sample code interfacing to his functional FPGA examples with his prior consent! There are lessons on dealing with numbers, such as the illusive negative integers and floats represented in binary logic. These are not borring discussions. They are well explained and straight to the point, complete with test benches and some of them can even be ran in the Xilinx simulator. The muxing example for LEDs should be the starting point of all experiments. It's that useful! The chapter on circular buffers is alone worth the price of the book! The memory interfacing and the VGA interfacing are priceless chapters as well! Try looking at a Xilinx sample for memory interfacing! PHEW... I cannot rave enough about the amount of work he has put into this...This is not a lazy approach to book writing!Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best introductory VHDL books out there. Even though it does not focus on the VHDL Language itself it does demonstrate the use of VHDL and the hardware design methodology via practical design examples. All explanantions are clear and easy to follow. The design examples provided in the book are very practical (UART, PS2, VGA controller). The examples themselves are designed using the hardware design methodologies presented (FSM-based and FSMD-based). Finally the Picoblaze section in the textbook is the best treatize of the picoblaze micro that I've seen this far.

For those interested in a more rigourous treatment of the VHDL language, design methodology and synthesis issues (but not practical examples) I also highly recoommend "RTL Hardware Design Using VHDL: Coding for Efficiency, Portability, and Scalability" by the same author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would just like to reiterate DavidK's comments that the Kindle version of this book is a major mess. I bought it anyway as I much prefer electronic editions, largely because you can set the font size and my vision is not that great these days. Like him, though, I have now had to also order the hardcover version. Otherwise this book does seem like the most straightforward way to learn VHDL, and I say this after reading several other books and sitting through a number of Xilinx's training videos. All of these failed to help me break through the initial confusion of trying to figure out how to fit all the workflow pieces together.

It just makes sense to guide someone step by step through the first couple projects when the process is this complex. VHDL is complex enough without having to simultaneously untangle a complex and cryptic (to the beginner) development environment. There's considerably more to implementing an FPGA than "just" learning a hardware design language. There are also things such as simulation, timing, clock propagation timing and jitter, I/O constraints, synthesis, implementation, fitting, optimization... These can be more difficult than simply writing the code. In the absence of a mentor this book is the next best approach.

Be aware that the book uses the modelSim simulation software, which used to be available in a free version, but is now quite expensive (unless you have proof that you're a student). Xilinx provides the iSim simulator with their free web ISE, but you can't rely on this book for help with it. Xilinx does provide an iSim User's Guide, though.
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