Starting Electronics needs your help! Please make a donation to help cover our hosting and other costs. Click the donate button to send a donation of any amount.

VHDL CPLD Course Introduction

Created on: 28 November 2012

This VHDL course introduces the VHDL language and then provides a series of tutorials that demonstrate the use of VHDL running on a Xilinx CPLD. It starts with some very basic and easy examples that will get the beginner in VHDL started comfortably.

The CPLD board used in the tutorials can be built at home. The programmer used to configure the CPLD can also be built at home. Both of these projects are available on this website and can be built on single sided circuit boards.

The software used to write the VHDL code and program the CPLD is the free Xilinx ISE software (called WebPACK). In the tutorials it is run on Windows 7.

It is possible to use a different CPLD or even FPGA board than the home made board, in this case the examples will need to be modified to run on the alternate board. Other CPLD programmers can also be used.

The course uses the following hardware and software. All of these articles are available on this website and will get you set up with the correct hardware and software:

VHDL Course Prerequisites

Knowledge Prerequisites

It is assumed that you have some knowledge of logic systems / digital electronics (e.g. you know what an AND gate is and what an OR gate is, what a truth table is, etc.) and have built some circuits using IC logic gates. If you do not have any knowledge of logic systems, there are plenty of books to get you started.

Books that may interest you:

C Programming with Arduino Book Ultimate Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Ultimage Arduino Uno Hardware Manual

Hardware and Software Prerequisites

It is assumed that you have built the CPLD board and programmer described above or that you have obtained a similar board and programmer. It is also assumed that you have installed the Xilinx WebPACK software and have built your first project as described in the relevant articles on this website.