VHDL is a language for describing digital electronic systems. It arose out of the United
States government’s Very High Speed Integrated Circuits (VHSIC) program. In the course
of this program, it became clear that there was a need for a standard language for describ-
ing the structure and function of integrated circuits (ICs). Hence the VHSIC Hardware De-
scription Language (VHDL) was developed. It was subsequently developed further under
the auspices of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and adopted in
the form of the IEEE Standard 1076, Standard VHDL Language Reference Manual, in 1987.
This first standard version of the language is often referred to as VHDL-87.
The Designer’s Guide to VHDL is organized so that it can be read linearly from front to
back. This path offers a graduated development, with each chapter building on ideas in-
troduced in the preceding chapters. Each chapter introduces a number of related concepts
or language facilities and illustrates each one with examples. Scattered throughout the
book are three case studies, which bring together preceding material in the form of ex-
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