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Title: Functional HDLs : a historical overview
Authors: Cordina, Joseph
Pace, Gordon J.
Keywords: Computer hardware description languages
Functional programming languages
Functional programming (Computer science)
Haskell (Computer program language)
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of ICT
Citation: Cordina, J., & Pace, G. J. (2006). Functional HDLs : a historical overview. 4th Computer Science Annual Workshop (CSAW’06), Bighi. 1-6.
Abstract: When designing hardware systems, a variety of models and languages are available whose aim is to manage complexity by allowing specification of such systems at different abstraction levels. Languages such as Verilog and VHDL where designed with simulation in mind rather than synthesis and lack features such as parametrised complex circuit definitions, a must for the design of generic complex systems. A more modern approach is the use of functional languages for hardware description that take advantage of the inherent abstraction in this paradigm, resulting in a more concise and manageable description of the system. This paper gives an overview of different functional language implementations for hardware description, highlighting their historical significance in terms of their capabilities and design approach. We will compare and contrast different ways that certain features, such as circuit sharing, have been implemented in these.
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