VHDL Assignment 7: Design and Implementation of a 4-Bit Comparator Solution

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Description

In this VHDL assignment, you will describe a 4-bit comparator circuit in VHDL and test it on the Altera DE1-SoC board using LEDs as outputs and sliding switches as inputs.

1 Learning Outcomes

After completing this lab you should know how to

  • Describe a circuit using sequential assignment statements

  • Test digital circuits on the Altera DE1-SoC board

  • Use the sliding switches on the Altera DE1-SoC board to specify the inputs to your circuits

  • Use the LEDs on the Altera DE1-SoC board to visualize the outputs of your circuit

2 Prerequisites

Before starting this lab you should be familiar with the information in previous coding assignments. If you need any help regarding the lab materials, you can

  • Ask for help from the TA of your lab session.

  • Refer to the text book. In case you are not aware, Appendix A “VHDL Reference” provides detailed infor-mation on VHDL.

It is highly recommended that you first try to resolve any issue yourselves by referring to the textbook, Altera Board manual, and/or the multitude of VHDL resources on the Internet. Syntax errors especially can be quickly resolved by reading the error message to see exactly where the error occurred and checking the VHDL Reference or examples in the textbook for the correct syntax.

3 Sequential Assignment Statements

In the previous VHDL assignments, you have learned several types of assignment statements such as simple assign-ment statements, selected assignment statements, and conditional assignment statements. All of these statements have the property that the order in which they appear in the VHDL code does not affect the meaning of the code, that is, it does not affect the synthesized circuit. For this reason, these statements are usually referred to as concurrent assignment statements.

VHDL also has a second category of statements, called sequential assignment statements, for which the order of the statements may affect the meaning of the code. In the following, we briefly discuss this new kind of statements. They are described in more detail in Sections 6.6.6 and 6.6.7 of the textbook. Please read these sections before you attempt this assignment. Even more details can be found in Appendix A.9 of the textbook.

McGill University ECSE 222 – Digital Logic (Winter 2020)

VHDL Assignment #7

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The two main types of sequential assignment statements are: if-then-else statements and case statements. These sequential assignment statements must be placed inside a block, called a process block. The PROCESS block starts with the keyword “PROCESS”. It has an optional label and a sensitivity list. Following the PROCESS keyword is the statement “BEGIN”. Any statement between “BEGIN” and the “END PROCESS label;” are sequential statements.

l a b e l : PROCESS ( s e n s i t i v i t y list )

BEGIN

— s e q u e n t i a l s t a t e m e n t s

END PROCESS l a b e l ;

The sensitivity list contains signals. Unlike concurrent statements which are executed all the time, the process block is activated only when one of the signals in its sensitivity list changes its value. Once activated, the statements inside the process block are executed sequentially in the order they appear in the block. There are two things to note: (i) Any assignments made to signals inside the process are not visible outside the process until all of the statements in the process have been evaluated; (ii) in case of multiple assignments to the same signal, only the last one determines the final value of the signal. Also note that VHDL allows multiple processes to be described within the same architecture.

3.1 IF-THEN-ELSE Statements

IF-THEN-ELSE statements are used to modify the behavior of your function depending on whether one or more conditions hold. The syntax of IF-THEN-ELSE statements is shown below. Note that the “END IF” must be separated by a space.

IF c on di ti o n THEN

— s e q u e n t i a l s t a t e m e n t s

ELSE

— s e q u e n t i a l s t a t e m e n t s

END IF;

You may have nested IF and ELSE as follows:

IF c on di ti o n THEN

— s e q u e n t i a l s t a t e m e n t s

ELSIF c on di ti o n THEN

— s e q u e n t i a l s t a t e m e n t s

ELSIF c on di ti o n THEN

— s e q u e n t i a l s t a t e m e n t s

ELSE

— s e q u e n t i a l s t a t e m e n t s

END IF;

In this structure only one of the branches is executed depending on the condition. Even if there are several conditions which are true in this structure only the first TRUE condition will be followed. After the execution of the sequential statements within the first true condition the statements after the END IF will be executed next. Therefore it is very important to write the order of IF blocks and ELSIF blocks according to your desired behavior.

3.2 CASE Statements

CASE statements consider all of the possible values that an object can take and execute a different branch depending on the current value of the object as shown next.

McGill University ECSE 222 – Digital Logic (Winter 2020)

VHDL Assignment #7

3

CASE object I S

WHEN value1 =>

— s t a t e m e n t s

WHEN value2 =>

— s t a t e m e n t s

WHEN value3 =>

— s t a t e m e n t s

— etc .

WHEN OTHERS =>

— s t a t e m e n t s

END CASE;

Note that the CASE statement must include a WHEN clause for each of the possible values of object. This necessitates a WHEN OTHERS clause if some of possible values of object are not covered by WHEN clauses.

4 4-Bit Comparator

Comparators are a useful type of arithmetic circuits that compare the relative sizes of two binary numbers. In this assignment you will implement a 4-bit comparator circuit that takes two 4-bit unsigned inputs A and B, and determines which one of the cases A = (B + 1), A < (B + 1), A ≤ (B + 1), A > (B + 1), A ≥ (B + 1) holds. It should detect the occurrence of overflow when performing B + 1, i.e., detect if B + 1 requires more than 4 bits. Use the following entity declaration for your implementation of the comparator circuit.

l i b r a r y

IEEE;

u s e IEEE.STD_LOGIC_1164.ALL;

u s e IEEE.NUMERIC_STD.ALL;

e n t i t y f i r s t n a m e _ l a s t n a m e _ c o m p a r a t o r i s

P o r t

( A,B

: i n

s t d _ l o g i c _ v e c t o r (3 downto 0) ;

A g t B p l u s O n e

: o u t s t d _ l o g i c ;

A g t e B p l u s O n e

: o u t s t d _ l o g i c ;

A l t B p l u s O n e

: o u t s t d _ l o g i c ;

A l t e B p l u s O n e

: o u t s t d _ l o g i c ;

A e q B p l u s O n e

: o u t s t d _ l o g i c ;

overflow

: o u t

s t d _ l o g i c ) ;

end f i r s t n a m e _ l a s t n a m e _ c o m p a r a t o r ;

Note that in case of overflow when performing B + 1, the comparator circuit outputs 1 for the overflow signal while the remaining signals (i.e., AgtBplusOne, AgteBplusOne, AltBplusOne, AlteBplusOne and AlteBplusOne) are set to 0. Otherwise, the circuits outputs proper values for AgtBplusOne, AgteBplusOne, AltBplusOne, AlteBplusOne and AeqBplusOne signals according to A > (B + 1), A ≥ (B + 1), A < (B + 1), A ≤ (B + 1), A = (B + 1), respectively, while the overflow signal is set to 0. For example, if A = 910 and B = 510 then both AgtBplusOne, AgteBplusOne should be 1, while the rest (including overflow) should be 0. The firstname_lastname in the name of the entity is the name of one of the students in your group.

To describe your comparator in VHDL, use sequential statements in a single process block. Once you have described your circuit in VHDL, you should test your design on the FPGA board. Similar to the VHDL Assignment #6, the inputs of the comparator circuit are provided using the slider switches; you will need to use eight slider switches. To visualize the output signals of the comparator circuit, use the LEDs located right above the slider switches on the FPGA board. Note that you will need to use six LEDs (one for each output signal). When an output signal is set to ’1’, the corresponding LED turns on; otherwise, it will be off. Afterwards, perform the pin assignments and program the FPGA by following the instructions provided in VHDL Assignement #6. Note that the pin locations of LEDs are different from those of 7-segment LEDs. The pin assignments for the LEDs are given in Figure 3.16 on p. 23 of the Altera board manual. Once completed, test the functionality of your comparator circuit for different input values using the LEDs and slider switches.

5 Demo

Instead of submitting a report, you will demonstrate your work on the Altera board to one of the TAs during your scheduled lab session in the week of March 16.

McGill University ECSE 222 – Digital Logic (Winter 2020)


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