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

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6

Introduction to Verilog HDL

6.1 A BRIEF BACKGROUND TO HARDWARE DESCRIPTION LANGUAGES

This chapter will introduce the fundamental aspects of what has become an essential tool for the modern digital system designer, namely the HDL. There are many different HDLs used for a variety of purposes. Some are best suited to low-level design, making use of logic gates and Boolean equations (e.g. ABEL [1]), while other so-called system-level languages are intended to aid the design and verification of entire systems comprising both hardware and software (examples are SystemC [2] and SystemVerilog [3]).

In addition to the support for digital systems, in which events and values are modelled in discrete terms, HDLs have evolved to encompass the realm of continuous time or analogue behaviour. Apart from mentioning these languages in passing, this book will not consider the details of this category of HDL.

The HDL described in this book is the very popular, and relatively easy-to-learn, Verilog HDL [4], often referred to as ‘Verilog’ or ‘HDL’ (the names ‘Verilog’ or Verilog HDL' are used interchangeably throughout this book). The language has a considerable user base among the digital design communities within both industry and academia across the globe. Verilog HDL is unique with regard to the breadth of support it provides for describing and simulating digital systems. Using built-in models of metal oxide–semiconductor (MOS) transistors, the language allows digital circuits to be described ...

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