Saturday, May 14, 2005

VHDL and Genetic Algorithms

Hello, people!!

I was absent from my blog a long time, because I have been too much busy with University.

But today I would like to tell you about a "new" programming language called VHDL. VHDL is a hardware description language and is used to define some architecture to a device named FPGA. The good thing about VHDL is that the user can modify his hardware via software and take an enormous advantage from parallel processing, because a lot of things happens at the same time in a microchip, for example.

But, what VHDL has with Genetic Algorithms?? A Lot!! Imagine programming the FPGA to performs a GA, this could result in a big economyu processing of time, because FPGA's don't search in its command set for instructions defined to others operation as a PC's processor does, so the GA would be very fast and gain a lot with parallel processing, for example, evaluating various population at the same time. :D

However we have some drawbacks: we don't have a free compiler for VHDL language as we have for C/C++; to record the VHDL program inside the FPGA we need the use of a specific electronic board to do the communication between the PC and the FPGA; some low level electronic is needed; the fastest clock of a FPGA is 900 MHz My teacher in Hardware Analysis (we call him "Sugarfoot", because he is very seemed with Woodpecker's horse :D) says that in the future all the PCs will use FPGA as CPU and that the users will not need to buy new computers, only the VHDL software to modify the FPGA architecture. Oh, he says too that sequential languages, as C/C++, will be extincted in the next 30 years. I don't know, but some persons seems to be as the "Man who had only a hammer in his hands... and thought that everything around him was a nail".

And, remember, kids: before to go to bed, read the "No Free Lunch Theorem For Search". :D




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