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on 25 October 2001
I must be almost alone in the world of reviewers since I do not rate Ashenden's book highly at all. Although an experienced engineer, my background is in software (Tcl-Tk, C, Assembler, etc) with hardware design done with schematic capture.
I was looking for a book which would help me transistion from schematic to text hardware design, and which would make sense given my programming experience.
I found this book extremely confusing as it did not describe the use of header files, prototyping, etc. in a way that I was familiar with. I do not doubt the information is in it, but it was just not in a form I was able to easily digest.
The book seems to work well with many people, and it might do for you. Personally, I find the book extremely frustrating, and am looking to find a better one. When I do, this one will be used to prop up a table leg.
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on 1 May 2008
This book is a great reference as far as describing the VHDL sintax goes. However, the "design" in the title didn't match my expectations. There is little focus on actual design, synthesis and implementation, the most part of the examples are only suitable for simulation, not implementation in reconfigurable systems.
For instance, the book does not explain how signals can infer laches or flip-flops or even simple interconnects, depending on the constructs where they appear. This a very basic subject that shouldn't go unmentioned on a Designer's book... Also, there is way too much topics about non synthesisable data types and operations, with only one meager chapter about synthesis near the end.
The book serves well as a reference for the VHDL syntax, albeit the language and syntax diagrams aren't the best choice for clearness, but it isn't suited for VHDL based design at all.
There is an awfull lot of better alternatives out there.
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on 21 February 2009
Once you are familiar with the design flow and you possess a good understanding of the language, this books is very useful and a great reference. For someone unfamiliar with the language and the concepts, I would recommend other books like the classic text by Navabi or Digital Logic with Microprocessor design by Hwang. Especially Navabi does a much better job in explaining concurrency or program structuring. I wish the author would use fewer words and more graphs to bring his message across.
Unlike other authors, he doesn't rely on any vendors' IDE. This renders the text timeless in a certain sense. This text certainly deserves its place of honor on every digital designers bookshelf.
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on 28 August 2008
I've had this book for little over a year now and I still refer back to it, time and again. In fact, I have several years experience programming in VHDL but I occassionally come across new and interesting problems and this book often has the answers I am looking for. The rather broad treatment and the plentiful examples means that I rarely have to look elsewhere.

Money well spent, I'd say.
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on 19 March 2001
This book is the one most hardware designers I've worked with use as their first point of reference for VHDL.
I learnt VHDL using this book (bought from Amazon) and use VHDL every day now.
It is a comprehensive guide to VHDL, but is easy to read and mainly avoids jargon. So it is of benefit both to beginners to VHDL, and to people who've used it on a daily basis for the last x years.
The only criticism is that it does not attempt to describe the standard libraries.
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on 9 October 2014
Great Vhdl reference book. Recommend!
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