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VHDL programmable design rule checker

PROTON is a tool that allows the quick and efficient checking of virtual hardware description language(VHDL) models against a coding standard. By automatically configuring generic design rule checks for VHDL code, PROTON ensures that all VHDL models are compatible with a given methodology and a given set of computer aided design (CAD) tools.

By allowing VHDL coding standard rules to be programmed in a flexible and easy manner and by automatically configuring generic design rule checkers for these rules, PROTON can ensure that all VHDL models are compatible with a given methodology and a given set of CAD tools. This in turn guarantees that every designer uses VHDL in the same way. Being programmable means that methodologies can easily be redefined to cater for new criteria such as a change in the tools being used or in the general design flow. PROTON contains two separate tools: a rule specification tool that uses a simple input meta-language to specify the rules that define the coding standard (these rules are then compiled, and from this as many rule checkers as needed can be configured automatically.); a generic rule checking tool that accepts VHDL code and outputs error messages according to the compatibility between the code and the coding standard. It also optionally checks predefined quality rules and synthesis subset compliance. PROTON ensures that VHDL can be used as a true standard. The tools are aimed at design groups needing to verify that the VHDL models developed are compliant with VHDL design rules and guidelines imposed by corporate methodology, or by the tools used in the design flow.

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