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MATLAB Function Block Design Patterns for HDL

You can use MATLAB Function blocks to write algorithms for implementation in Simulink® and Stateflow®, then use this code for HDL code generation. You can use the HDL design patterns library eml_hdl_design_patterns to implement common hardware modeling algorithms using the MATLAB Function block. The library contains examples that demonstrate hardware-friendly applications of the MATLAB Function block for HDL code generation.

To open the library, at the MATLAB® command prompt, enter:


You can use the blocks in the library to model various hardware elements by:

  • Copying a block from the library to your model and using it as a computational unit.

  • Copying the code from the block and using it as a local function in an existing MATLAB Function block.

When you create custom blocks, you can control whether to inline or instantiate the HDL code generated from MATLAB Function blocks. To inline or instantiate the HDL code, in the Configuration Parameters dialog box, click HDL Code Generation > Global Settings. In the right pane, in the Coding style tab, select Inline MATLAB Function block code.


Do not use the Inline MATLAB Function block code setting when you set the Architecture HDL block property of the MATLAB Function block to MATLAB Datapath. Enable FlattenHierarchy instead. For more information, see HDL Optimizations Across MATLAB Function Block Boundary Using MATLAB Datapath Architecture.

HDL Design Pattern Blocks

This table summarizes some of the categories of HDL design patterns in the eml_hdl_design_patterns library. For more information on the different blocks, see Create Hardware Design Patterns Using the MATLAB Function Block For HDL Code Generation.

Library SubsystemPurpose

Combinatorial fixed-point algorithms, such as expressions containing addition, subtraction, and multiplication operators with different fixed-point data types.


Algorithms that model different adder logic.

DelaysAlgorithms to model integer delay, tap delay, and tap delay vector blocks by using vectors of persistent variables. Use these design patterns to implement sequential algorithms that carry state between executions of the MATLAB Function block in a model.
ComparatorsAlgorithms for finding the minimum value of a vector.

MATLAB Function block control constructs such as switch/case and if-else, coupled with fixed point arithmetic operations to model control logic quickly.

The FSMs/mealy_fsm_blk and FSMs/moore_fsm_blk blocks provide example implementations of Mealy and Moore finite state machines in the MATLAB Function block.


Counter logic that shows how to model state and quantize data elements within loops.

Shift Registers

Algorithms that model shift register hardware elements.

The shift_reg_1by32 block shows how to model shift registers by using the bitsliceget and bitconcat functions. This function implements a serial input and output shifters with a 32–bit fixed-point operand input.

The shift_reg_1by64 block shows a 64 bit shifter. In this case, the shifter uses two fixed-point words to represent the operand, overcoming the 32-bit word length limitation for fixed-point integers.

Word TwiddlersAlgorithms that perform word conversions, such as conversions from an integer to bits and bits to an integer.

Using Blocks in this Library for HDL Code Generation

To build models using blocks in this library and generate HDL code:

  • Create or open a model.

  • Copy a block from eml_hdl_design_patterns library to your model.

  • Place the block in the device under test (DUT) subsystem.

  • Run the hdlsetup command to set up your model for HDL code generation.

  • Run the makehdl function to generate HDL code for the DUT subsystem.

For more information on generating HDL code from a MATLAB Function block, see Code Generation from a MATLAB Function Block.

Fixed-Point Algorithm Support

The MATLAB Function block supports floating-point arithmetic and fixed-point arithmetic by using the Fixed-Point Designer™ fi function. This function supports rounding and saturation modes that you can use to code algorithms that manipulate arbitrary word and fraction lengths. HDL Coder™ supports all fi rounding and overflow modes. HDL code generated from the MATLAB Function block is bit-true to MATLAB semantics. Generated code uses bit manipulation and bit access operators, such as slice, extend, reduce, and concatenate that are native to VHDL and Verilog. The eml_hdl_design_patterns library includes example blocks that use the fi object, such as the blocks in the Adders subsystem.

See Also

Related Topics