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FSM-based Digital Design using Verilog HDL by Ian Elliott, Peter Minns

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5

The One Hot Technique in Finite-State Machine Design

5.1 THE ONE HOT TECHNIQUE

The FSMs designed up to now have used secondary state variables to identify each state. This requires the use of unit distance assignment, where possible, to try to avoid potential glitches in output signals.

An alternative would be to assign a flip-flop for each state. Although this may be considered wasteful, it has the advantage that it would in theory avoid the generation of output glitches, since each state would have its own flip-flop. At any one time, only one flip-flop would be set, i.e. the one corresponding to the state the FSM was currently in.

This idea is called ‘One Hotting’ and is much used in FSM designs that are targeted to FPGAs. This is because FPGAs have an architecture that consists of many cells that can be programmed to be flip-flops, or gates. So a large number of flip-flops is not difficult to achieve. A PLD, on the other hand, has an architecture with only a limited number of flip-flops controlled from AND/OR ‘sum of product’ terms.

Another feature of the One Hot technique is that it can require fewer logic levels because there is no required logic from other state variables apart from the primary inputs and previous state(s). This can result in faster logic speeds.

The method of implementing a ‘One Hot’ FSM will now be described.

Consider Figure 5.1. In this example of the use of the One Hot technique, the single-pulse generator with memory problem is revisited. It uses three ...

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