Circuit simulation with hardware description languages

Test Run

© Lead Image © donatas1205,

© Lead Image © donatas1205,

Article from Issue 272/2023

Designing field-programmable gate arrays is only half the job: The hardest part is the simulation, but Linux is the best place to tackle certain challenges.

In the previous issue of Linux Magazine, I introduced the digital integrated circuits called field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) [1], explained why they are important, and described the bare minimum needed to set up and try a state-of-the-art FPGA design environment on Linux. This article, which is divided into three parts, concludes that introduction.

First I'll describe the main types of elementary digital circuits that can be built, combining the logic gates covered in the first tutorial and the basic features of hardware description languages (HDLs) that allow their implementation and simulation.

The central part combines some HDL code that's freely available online [2] [3] into one simple HDL module and the code necessary to simulate it. The final part shows a run of that simulation and concludes by explaining why Linux is the perfect platform for working with FPGAs.


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