Since the early 1980s, when schematic capture was introduced as an efficient way to design very large-scale integration (VLSI) circuits, it has been the design method of choice for designers in the world of VLSI design.
However, the use of this method reached its limits in the early 1990s, as more and more logic functionality and features were integrated onto a single chip. Today, most application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips consist of no fewer than one million transistors. Designing circuits this large using the method of schematic capture is time consuming and is no longer efficient. Therefore, a more efficient manner of design was required. This new method had to increase the designers' efficiency and allow ease of design, even when dealing with large circuits.
From this requirement arose the wide acceptance of HDL (hardware description language). HDL allows a designer to describe the functionality of a required logic circuit in a language that is easy to understand. The description is then simulated using test benches. After the HDL description is verified for logic functionality, it is synthesized to logic gates by using synthesis tools.
This method helps a designer to design a circuit in a shorter timeframe. The savings in design time is achieved because the designer need not be concerned with the intricate complexities that exist in a particular circuit, but instead is focused on the functionality that is required. This new method of ...