The Designer's Guide to Vhdl (Edn 3) By Peter J. Ashenden

Category: Reference
Author: Ashenden Peter J.
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by anonymous   2019-01-13

After examining the question this is considered a duplicate of as well as it's answer lacking any authoritative reference as to when a signal belongs in the sensitivity list it may be worth asking where is that information derived from?

You could note Free Range VHDL only mentions wait as a reserved word in VHDL. There's much more to it than that. A process statement described in the VHDL standard (IEEE Std 1076-2008 10.3 Process statement) tells us:

If a process sensitivity list appears following the reserved word process, then the process statement is assumed to contain an implicit wait statement as the last statement of the process statement part; this implicit wait statement is of the form

wait on sensitivity_list ;

And then goes on to dicuss how the rules of 10.2 Wait statement are applied to a sensitivity list consisting of the reserved word all.

The syn_proc from architecture fsm1 of entity my_fsm1 from Free Range VHDL Listing 7.1 Solution to Example 18 has a sensitivity list in accordance with the rules found in 10.2 Wait statement for an implicitly generated sensitivity.

However, that's not the complete set of authorities. There's also IEEE Std 1076.6-2004 (RTL Synthesis, now withdrawn) Edge-sensitive storage from a process with sensitivity list and one clock:

d) The process sensitivity list includes the clock and any signal controlling an <async_assignment>.

Where <async_assignment> is defined in 6.13 Modeling edge-sensitive storage elements:

<async_assignment>. An assignment to a signal or variable that is not controlled by <clock_edge> in any execution path.

And <clock_edge>is defined by convention (1.4) as one of the forms for clock_edge defined in BNF found in 6.1.2 Clock edge specification.

(translation: d) above means what you think it means when you read it.)

This tells us what signals are necessary here. There are no restrictions on unnecessary signals in the process sensitivity list. However their effect can be discerned from IEEE Std 1076-2008 10.2 Wait statement:

The suspended process also resumes as a result of an event occurring on any signal in the sensitivity set of the wait statement. If such an event occurs, the condition in the condition clause is evaluated. If the value of the condition is FALSE, the process suspends again. Such repeated suspension does not involve the recalculation of the timeout interval.

For a wait statement:

wait_statement ::=
    [ label : ] wait [ sensitivity_clause ] [ condition_clause ] [ timeout_clause ] ;

it helps if you know the condition clause is optional as indicated by the square brackets above:

The condition clause specifies a condition that shall be met for the process to continue execution. If no condition clause appears, the condition clause until TRUE is assumed.

That means the process will resume for any event on any of the signals in the process sensitivity list and will traverse it's sequential statements.

There is no harm to the state of the design hierarchy during simulation by executing the sync_proc for an event on signal NS. Neither assignment statement in the if statement subject to conditions will execute. You could also note the same holds true for an event on the falling edge of CLK.

The objective in paring the sensitivity list is to minimize the number of times the process is resumed needlessly. The bigger more complex the design model the slower simulation will proceed, particularly dragging around needless resumptions and suspensions.

Of the three signals shown in the process sensitivity list only three binary value transitions are of interest, and none on signal NS. The current value of NS is assigned to PS on the rising edge of CLK.

A process suspends and resumes in a particular wait statement. A process with a sensitivity list shall not contain an explicit wait statement (10.3), meaning it will have only one wait statement, the implicit one.

It would seem with your first question on VHDL here you've reached beyond the limits of answers the book Free Range VHDL can supply.

A better entreaty on the subject might be The Designer's Guide to VHDL, 3rd edition by Peter Ashenden.

The idea being conveyed here that you can't get why without knowing how.