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Want to simulate logic gates

 
 
usao
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      04-13-2004
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
 
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Allan Herriman
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      04-14-2004
On 13 Apr 2004 14:56:25 -0700, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (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.
 
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