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The Flow

A project log for VHDL/Verilog to Discrete Logic Flow

Work in progress: Flow to synthesize VHDL/Verilog code into a PCB

TimTim 10/13/2021 at 23:140 Comments

To cut a (quite) long story short, you can see the flow I came up with below.

The diagram above shows how the individual steps of the flow are connected. The starting point is the design (A VHDL source file) in the blue file box. In subsequent steps, this design will be transformed by various tools into new intermediate representations (grey). To aid this, technology description files and testbenches are needed (orange). The output at the end of the flow are the three green files, which describe the PCB layout (Gerber), the part list (BOM) and where the parts have to be placed on the PCB (Pick & Place).

Right now, everything is based on shell scripts that have to be invoked manually and sub-sequentially. The numbers in the process boxes indicate the number of the script that performs this step. Scripts ending on zero (10,20,30) are mandatory steps for the flow, scripts ending on other digits are optional, e.g. for intermediate simulation.

The output of the automated part of the flow is an unrouted PCB. Routing and design file generation has to be invoked manually with the indicated tools.

You can find the current state of affairs on Github.

https://github.com/cpldcpu/PCBFlow

The technology description files and scripts reside in subfolders. Subfolder 10 also holds the design files.

Please be aware that the placement tool is in a very early experimental stage. Constants in the code may have to be tuned for better results depending on input design.

All intermediate and output files are stored in the work folder. It can be cleaned by calling the "clean_all.sh" script.

I am planning to follow up with some addtional logs explaining how I arrived at the current state, to show some examples and to document future changes.

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