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Secondary Unit


architecture architecture_name of entity_name is
	concurrent statements
end architecture_name;

See LRM section 1.2

Rules and Examples
Declarations may typically be any of the following: type, subtype, signal, constant, file, alias, component, attribute, function, procedure, configuration specification.
architecture TB of TB_CPU is
	component CPU_IF
		port   -- port list
	end component;
	signal CPU_DATA_VALID: std_ulogic;
	signal CLK, RESET: std_ulogic := '0';
	constant PERIOD : time := 10 ns;
	constant MAX_SIM: time := 50 * PERIOD;
	-- concurrent statements
end TB;
The order of concurrent statements is not important - behaviour is defined by data dependencies only:
architecture EX1 of CONC is
	signal Z, A, B, C, D : integer;
	D <= A + B;
	Z <= C + D;
end EX1;
Items declared in an architecture are visible in any process or block within it.
An equivalent architecture:
architecture EX2 of CONC is
	signal Z, A, B, C, D : integer;
	Z <= C + D;
	D <= A + B;
end EX2;

An architecture can contain any mix of component instances, processes or other concurrent statements:
architecture TEST of TB_DFF is
	component DFF port (CLK, D: in  std_ulogic;
			    Q     : out std_ulogic);
	end component;
	signal CLK, D, Q : std_ulogic := '0';
	UUT: DFF port map (CLK, D, Q);
	CLK <= not (CLK) after 25 ns;
	STIMULUS: process
		wait for 50 ns;
		D <= '1';
		wait for 100 ns;
		D <= '0';
		wait for 50 ns;
	end process STIMULUS;
end TEST;
An entity can have one or more architectures. which one is used (or "bound") depends on the configuration
An architecture cannot be analysed unless the entity it refers to exists in the same design library

Synthesis Issues

Architectures are fully supported by synthesis tools, provided the declarations and statements they contain are compatible with synthesis.

Configuration is not usualy supported by synthesis tools, so only one architecture per entity may be analysed. With some tools, this architecture must be in the same design file as the entity.

Whats New in '93

In VHDL-93, the keyword end may be followed by the keyword architecture, for clarity and consistency.

In VHDL-93, shared variables may be declared within an architecture. Shared variables may be accessed by more than one process. However, the language does not define what happens if two or more processes make conflicting accesses to a shared variable at the same time.