Hardware Descriptor Languages (MATE4995)

Latest Course Syllabus-ABET Style () (PDF)

Credits: 3
Students should take this course at: Elective


This course provides students with the knowledge necessary to design and implement digital computing structures using hardware description languages at the 'behavioral', 'register–transfer' and structural levels. Verification and testing of designs using functional simulation tools. Introduction to programmable logic devices, ie FPGAs and CPLDs. Case studies of systems structures for custom computer arithmetic, signal processing and control.


  • Methodology for digital systems design

  • Introduction to VHDL

  • Review of digital systems: combinational logic

  • Models for combinational logic in VHDL

  • Review of digital systems: sequential logic

  • Models for sequential logic in VHDL

  • Control structures

  • Programming in VHDL: sub-programs, libraries, 'packages', input and output

  • Reconfigurable logic devices

  • Synthesis and algorithms for automated design

  • Post-synthesis and implementation

  • Advanced Topics: Built-in Self Test, dynamic reconfiguration, electronics

  • Evolutionary, asynchronous design, hardware / software codesign.


  • Understand and describe different types of technology to implement digital circuits and their advantages and disadvantages in performance, manufacturing cost and design effort

  • Implement such systems using hardware description languages like VHDL and Verilog.

  • Design digital systems using simple and moderately complex systems using methodologies that are common for the implementation to reconfigurable logic devices.

  • Develop custom computational data-paths and control units using hardware description languages (HDLs) from various levels of abstraction: structural, register-transfer level and behavioral

  • Validate and debug computational structures created using HDLs.

  • Implement the process of synthesis and post-synthesis in the developed systems and verify their functioning once implemented in reconfigurable logic devices.

  • Understand some of the algorithms used during the design process of automated digital circuits in the areas of synthesis (logic minimization, scheduling) and physical design (place and route).