What Are Data Type in VHDL?


Larry Thompson

The data types in VHDL (Very High-Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language) are used to define the type of data that can be stored and manipulated within a VHDL program. These data types play a crucial role in designing and describing hardware circuits.

Numeric Data Types

VHDL provides several numeric data types, including:

  • Integer: Used to represent whole numbers, both positive and negative.
  • Real: Used to represent floating-point numbers.
  • Time: Used to represent time delays or intervals.

Character Data Type

The character data type in VHDL is called character. It is used to store individual characters or strings of characters. The character data type is particularly useful when dealing with text-based inputs or outputs.

Boolean Data Type

The boolean data type in VHDL represents the logical values of true and false. It is often used when defining conditions or making logical decisions within a VHDL program. The boolean data type can simplify the coding process and improve readability.

Composite Data Types

VHDL also provides composite data types, which allow multiple values to be grouped together. These include:

  • Array: An ordered collection of elements of the same type.
  • Record: A collection of elements of different types, organized into fields.

User-Defined Data Types

In addition to the built-in data types, VHDL allows users to define their own custom data types. This feature enables designers to create data types that are specific to their needs and make the code more readable and maintainable.


Data types in VHDL are essential for defining and manipulating data within a hardware description. Whether it’s numeric, character, boolean, or composite data types, understanding how to use them effectively is crucial for designing efficient and reliable hardware circuits in VHDL.

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