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Michiel Ligthart
Michiel Ligthart
Michiel Ligthart is president & COO of Verific Design Automation. Prior to Verific he worked at startups in asynchronous logic and FPGA synthesis. He started his career at Philips Research.

The demise of VHDL has been greatly exaggerated

September 5th, 2013 by Michiel Ligthart

I don’t recall when it was the first time that I heard VHDL was a dying language, but for sure it was many years ago, maybe as far back as the late 1990s. Obviously the EDA futurists of then got it very wrong, and I was recently wondering if I could put a number on how wrong.

At Verific, as the premier provider of SystemVerilog and VHDL parsers to many  EDA, FPGA, and semiconductor companies, we do have some good insights in what our customers license from us and how they use it. Since its start, Verific has shipped just over 100 licenses. So I sat down and tallied the HDL languages companies obtained from Verific during that period. Here is the countdown

All aggregate licenses over time (includes non-active)

  • 97 % licenses Verilog / SV
  • 76 % licenses VHDL

All currently active licenses

  • 98 % licenses Verilog / SV
  • 75 % licenses VHDL

Although not as popular as (System)Verilog, VHDL is clearly holding its own.

We also noticed the continuing interest in VHDL a few years back when many of our customers started inquiring about VHDL-2008 support. Believe me, they wouldn’t do that if it wasn’t for their end-users requesting it. The answer, would you care, is ‘fully supported’. Finally, when some SystemVerilog end-users submitted enhancement requests to support import of VHDL packages in their SystemVerilog designs (no, I am not kidding) we knew VHDL was here to stay.

At Verific, we don’t play favorites. As long as the market requests them, we’ll keep providing SystemVerilog and VHDL parsers alike.

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