Equations in Vector Range Definitions

Discussion in 'VHDL' started by guyanalog, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. guyanalog

    guyanalog Guest

    Is it acceptable to use equations in the vector range description of a signal where the parameters are generics, or does this adversely affect synthesis?

    What I have now:

    BYTE_NUM : natural range 10 downto 1 := 3; -- # bytes (used somewhere else)
    BYTE_BITS : natural range 10 downto 1 := 24 -- # bits for above bytes

    signal vec_int : std_logic_vector(BYTE_BITS - 1 downto 0);

    What I was thinking of changing it to (eliminates a generic):

    BYTE_NUM : natural range 10 downto 1 := 3 -- # bytes (used somewhere else)

    signal vec_int : std_logic_vector(8*BYTE_NUM - 1 downto 0);

    Does the multiplier generate unwanted logic?

    guyanalog, Aug 23, 2013
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  2. guyanalog

    GaborSzakacs Guest

    1) Multiplying by a power of 8 doesn't add logic.
    2) Any amount of arithmetic that evaluates to a constant at synthesis
    time doesn't add logic.
    3) I can't imagine what sort of logic could be created to end up with
    a variable width std_logic_vector!
    4) Wouldn't it be easier and faster to try this on your synthesis tool
    rather than posting code to a newsgroup?
    GaborSzakacs, Aug 23, 2013
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  3. guyanalog

    Andy Guest

    Gabor's points are very good.

    However, multiply/divide (of unsigned quantities) by a constant power of 2 generates a simple shift, usually resulting in zero additional logic.

    The concept of constant values is different for simulation and synthesis. In synthesis, it includes such things as for-loop indices. When the for-loopis unrolled, the index value is known for each unrolled iteration. Thus any calculation of index and other constant values is also a constant.

    It is possible to describe VHDL functions/procedures which return variable width results, but the width must be constant (see above). As an example, to_unsigned() takes a size argument to determine the size of the result. Onecould define a to_unsigned(natural) function that just returned enough bits to hold the result, based on the value being converted. However, it wouldlikely not be synthesizable unless it was called with a constant (see above) value, which would severely limit its usefulness.

    Andy, Aug 26, 2013
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