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VLSI Design
Volume 1 (1994), Issue 2, Pages 113-126

A VHDL Based Expert System for Hardware Synthesis

1Computer Science Department, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, USA
2Rockwell International, 555 Discovery Drive, Huntsville, Alabama, USA

Received 9 May 1989; Revised 16 October 1989

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper describes an expert system for Hardware Synthesis. Details of the target digital system are input to the expert system using Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language (VHDL). The VHDL representation is first translated to a knowledge representation scheme known as a ‘hologram’ which is a combination of rule, frame and semantic network representation schemes. The hologram representation of the target system is then input to the inference engine, which matches the target system to the Knowledge Base components and selects an appropriate set for implementation, and connects them creating a digital circuit. Some design examples are described. The expert system approach results in designs very close to designs from a human designer. In its present form, the system does not perform a design space exploration for alternate designs, but expects the designer to alter the VHDL representation, after observing the results from previous design cycles.