# Forum: FPGA, VHDL & Verilog Learning VHDL beyond basics

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a month ago I decided that I was lacking FPGA knowhow, said and done I
ordered an experiment board (beeing an opensource aficionado I ordered
the LogicStart MegaWing bundle with a Papilio One 500k) and two books,
Ashenden's "The Designers Guid to VHDL" and Pong Chu's "FPGA Prototyping
by VHDL Examples: Spartan 3". My reasoning behind these two books is
that I start with Ashenden to learn the whole language then go to Pong
to learn how to write syntezisable VHDL, since both contain exercises
they make for really good self teaching material. I know Pong is
targeting another experiment board but it's the same FPGA and im very
confident I can myself make adjustments, except for e.g. the PS2 port
which my papilio thankfully does not have.

I have now started to search for what to do after these books, how do I
get more advanced in my FPGA knowledge. I'm a software guy and if I got
the question "I want to start programming" from someone new to
programming I would recomend a good starting book in python, then a good
book on how to do test driven design, then a book about patterns, then
moving to C followed by a book about object oriented design, then
perhaps going for a best practice book and so on, by level of complexity
and relevance. I have scoured the internet (or feels like it) to find
such a list regarding FPGA, but at no luck so far, so thinking of
posting the question here.

I have looked at three books for continued learning after I'm finished
with Pong

Volnei Pedroni: Circuit Design and Simulation with VHDL ; seems to be
aimed at explaining deeper the differences beetwen syntezisable and
simulated VHDL. Though it seem to go through the VHDL language
constructs yet again perhaps it is too much overlapping with Pong and
Ashenden

Volnei Pedroni: Finite State Machines in Hardware: Theory and Design ;
seems a good continuation, I understand that FSM is a very important
topic in HW world and that they are completely different from SW FSM,
also it seem to have excersises after each chapter which is good.

Pong Chu - RTL Hardware Design Using VHDL: Coding for Efficiency,
Portability, and Scalability ; seems good, no more comments.

Thats my thinking, any suggestions or comments? Have not come about any
books regarding FPGA testing? Perhaps I should look outside the more
hands on book to one of the "meta" books out there?

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Johan wrote:
> then go to Pong to learn how to write syntezisable VHDL
That piece of painted paper is the absolute wrong thing to learn
anything about the Xilinx S3. Although this book carries the S3 in its
name it has asynchronous resets throughout. And according to the Xilinx
WP272 thats the absolutely wrong design strategy for that platform...

> I understand that FSM is a very important topic in HW world
Of course it is: even the most simple counter results in a FSM...

My best hint to learn VHDL for FPGA is: start with simple designs and
always look for the RTL schematics after synthesizing.

: Edited by Moderator

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