There are controversies in the VHDL community about how you can and shouldn’t use subprograms. Some say you should avoid using functions or procedures in synthesizable (RTL) code.

While there are debatable subjective reasons to restrict the use of subprograms, many of these beliefs stem from myths or misconceptions. Therefore, I’m writing this article to give you clarity and understanding of subprograms so you can decide for yourself.

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This article examines how we can use configuration constructs to create variants of a module or testbench without maintaining multiple versions of the file. We will also look at other use cases for configuration declarations in VHDL design.

Configurations have been part of the VHDL standard since the first version of the language. But still, many FPGA designers never use them, perhaps because few people understand how configurations work.

I find that unfortunate because it’s really not that complicated.

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There are two ways to instantiate a module in VHDL: component instantiation and entity instantiation. Some people refer to the latter as direct instantiation.

Entity instantiation didn’t exist in the first revisions VHDL, but it has been available since VHDL’93. This is the method that I recommend unless you have specific reasons to use component instantiation.

To use the component instantiation method, you first have to declare the component in the declarative scope of where you want the module instance.

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When you have worked with VHDL code written by many other FPGA engineers, you are bound to notice that there are two common ways to model an edge detector in VHDL. There’s the rising_edge(clk) statement, and there’s the old style clk’event and clk = ‘1’ method.

The two if-statements do the same thing once the code is on the FPGA. They postulate that whatever is inside of the if-statement happens on the rising edge of the trigger signal,

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