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Monday 31 December 2012

Configuration Specification

Formal Definition

A configuration is a construct that defines how component instances in a given block are bound to design entities in order to describe how design entities are put together to form a complete design.

Simplified Syntax

for instance_label:component_name

use entity library_name.entity_name(arch_name);

for instance_label:component_name

use configuration library_name.config_name;


Each component instantiation refers to some design entity (entity/architecture pair) and the association is specified by a configuration specification. Component specification appears in the declarative part of the unit, where the instances are used. This way components can be configured within architecture which instances them without using a separate configuration declaration. The specification is simpler, but also less flexible. Example 1 contains a configuration specification for the same component as in the Example 1 in theconfiguration declaration description.

When the ports and generics in component declaration do not match with their counterparts in entity declaration, so called binding indication can be applied. Simply speaking this is an explicit notification on how the ports and generics in the entity should be bound to ports and generics of the component instance. The generic map and port map clauses are used for this purpose. This technique is used in Example 1. In practice, however, it is recommended to match the generics and ports of components and respective entities as this improves readability.

If no configuration (either in the form of a declaration or specification) is supported for a component, so called default binding will occur. This means that for such a component an entity will be selected such that its name, port names, port types, generics etc. match those in the corresponding component declaration. If the entity has more than one architecture, the last analyzed of them will be used.


Example 1

entity INVERTER is
generic (PropTime : TIME := 5 ns);
port ( IN1 : in BIT; OUT1 : out BIT);
architecture STRUCT_I of INVERTER is
OUT1 <= not IN1 after PropTime;
entity TEST_INV is end TEST_INV;
architecture STRUCT_T of TEST_INV is
signal S1, S2 : BIT := '1';
-- INV_COMP component declaration:
component INV_COMP is
generic (TimeH : TIME);
port ( IN_A : in BIT; OUT_A : out BIT );
end component;
use entity INVERTER (STRUCT_I)
   -- indicates generic and port aspects:
generic map (PropTime => TimeH)
port map (IN1 => IN_A, OUT1 => OUT_A);
-- instantiation of INV_COMP component:
LH : INV_COMP generic map (10 ns)
  port map (S1, S2);

Architecture STRUCT_T of the entity TEST_INV uses a component INV_COMP. The binding of the component to the entity INVERTER and architecture STRUCT_I is realized by the configuration specification which appears in the declarative part of the architecture.

Important Notes

  • Synthesis tools do generally not support configurations. Users are required to ensure that component and entity names, ports and generics match (default binding).
  • For a configuration of some design entity, both the entity and the configuration must be declared in the same library.

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