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VHDL Reference Guide - Configuration Specification
Configuration Specification

Specification ---- used in ----> Architecture


for instance_label: component_name
	use entity 

for instance_label: component_name
	use configuration library_name.config_name;

See LRM section 5.2

Rules and Examples

Using a configuration specification, components may be configured within an architecture which instances them, rather than using a separate configuration declaration design unit. This is less flexible, as the architecture has to be re-analysed to change the configuration.

Component instances may be individually configured:
architecture STR of XA is
  component HALFADD 
    port(A,B : in bit;
         SUM, CARRY : out bit);
  end component;
  component ORGATE 
    port(A,B : in bit;
         Z : out bit);
  end component;
  for U1 : HALFADD use entity
  for U2 : ORGATE use entity
  U1: HALFADD port map (A,B,S,C);
  U2: ORGATE port map (A,B,Y);
end STR;

The keyword all may be used to refer to all instances of a component:
for all: FULLADDER use entity

The keyword others may also be used to refer to all instances not explicitly mentioned.

If the port names on an entity do not match those on the component declaration, a port map may be included in the configuration:
for all:HALFADD use entity
      port map (X => A, Y => B,
            S => SUM, C => CARRY);

In the abscence of an explicit configuration for any part of a model, default binding will occur. For each unbound instance of every component, an entity will be selected whose name, port names and port types etc. match thosein the corresponding component declaration. Where an entity has more than one architecture, the last analysed architecture will be used.

Synthesis Issues

Configuration is not usually supported by synthesis tools. The user usually has to ensure that component and entity names and ports match, and that only one architecture per entity is analysed.

Whats New in '93

In VHDL-93, an entity-architecture pair may be directly instantiated, i.e. a component need not be declared. This is more compact, but does not allow the flexibility of configuration.

DIRECT: entity HA_ENTITY(HA_ARCH) port map(A, B, S, C);

In VHDL-93, a configuration specification for a component (or instance) may legally be overridden by a configuration declaration for the same item. This was not allowed in VHDL-87.