Want to simulate logic gates

Discussion in 'VHDL' started by usao, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. usao

    usao Guest

    I am a home hobbyist who builds small digital circuits for fun. I am
    interested in designing a bigger project, probably a few hundred chips
    of the 74HC family. I recently heard of VHDL, and wondered how I might
    try this out.
    Basically, I would like to create a program which would allow me to
    watch the signal levels and single step the signals through gates to
    look at timing and other stuff.
    Im trying to locate a VHDL compiler (since it doesn't appear that GCC
    on Linux supports *.vhdl files). I want to be able to compile it, and
    step through it, making changes and watching it as I go.
    Is this possible? Where is a freeware/gnu compiler? Does anyone know
    if there is a GUI to observe the signals or do I need to gnuplot the
    signal history?
    Ron
    usao, Apr 13, 2004
    #1
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  2. On 13 Apr 2004 14:56:25 -0700, (usao) wrote:

    >I am a home hobbyist who builds small digital circuits for fun. I am
    >interested in designing a bigger project, probably a few hundred chips
    >of the 74HC family.


    You might find it easier to use a single, cheap FPGA rather than
    design something of this size out of SSI or MSI parts.

    Evaluation kits are available; you won't even need to design a board.

    >I recently heard of VHDL, and wondered how I might
    >try this out.
    >Basically, I would like to create a program which would allow me to
    >watch the signal levels and single step the signals through gates to
    >look at timing and other stuff.
    >Im trying to locate a VHDL compiler (since it doesn't appear that GCC
    >on Linux supports *.vhdl files).


    GCC is designed for compiling programming languages, and isn't really
    suited to HDL (hardware description languages).

    >I want to be able to compile it, and
    >step through it, making changes and watching it as I go.
    >Is this possible?


    This is possible, and done frequently!

    >Where is a freeware/gnu compiler? Does anyone know
    >if there is a GUI to observe the signals or do I need to gnuplot the
    >signal history?


    If you drop the requirement for open source, there are a number of
    free or low cost VHDL simulators of excellent quality, e.g. Modelsim
    AE or XE, or Simili (http://www.symphonyeda.com/) Typically they have
    a "free" license that is crippled in some way, usually simulation
    speed, but that probably won't bother you (at first).

    They come with waveform viewers ("GUI") built in.

    Regards,
    Allan.
    Allan Herriman, Apr 14, 2004
    #2
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