VHDL: Carry Look-Ahead Adder

This example implements an 8-bit carry look-ahead adder by recursively expanding the carry term to each stage. Recursive expansion allows the carry expression for each individual stage to be implemented in a two-level AND-OR expression. This reduces the carry signal propagation delay (the limiting factor in a standard ripple carry adder) to produce a high-performance addition circuit.

Altera recommendeds using the lpm_add_sub function to implement an adder. This example is provided to show an adder implementation that does not require the LPM.

This design works best in a FLEX device compiled using the Fast synthesis style in MAX+PLUS II. To compile the project using the Fast synthesis style:

  1. Choose Global Project Logic Synthesis (Assign Menu). The Global Project Logic Synthesis dialog box is displayed.
  2. Select Define Sythesis Style.
  3. Choose Fast from the Style drop-down list box.


USE ieee.std_logic_1164.ALL;

ENTITY c_l_addr IS
         x_in      :  IN   STD_LOGIC_VECTOR(7 DOWNTO 0);
         y_in      :  IN   STD_LOGIC_VECTOR(7 DOWNTO 0);
         carry_in  :  IN   STD_LOGIC;
         sum       :  OUT  STD_LOGIC_VECTOR(7 DOWNTO 0);
         carry_out :  OUT  STD_LOGIC
END c_l_addr;

ARCHITECTURE behavioral OF c_l_addr IS

SIGNAL    h_sum              :    STD_LOGIC_VECTOR(7 DOWNTO 0);
SIGNAL    carry_generate     :    STD_LOGIC_VECTOR(7 DOWNTO 0);
SIGNAL    carry_propagate    :    STD_LOGIC_VECTOR(7 DOWNTO 0);
SIGNAL    carry_in_internal  :    STD_LOGIC_VECTOR(7 DOWNTO 1);

    h_sum <= x_in XOR y_in;
    carry_generate <= x_in AND y_in;
    carry_propagate <= x_in OR y_in;
    PROCESS (carry_generate,carry_propagate,carry_in_internal)
    carry_in_internal(1) <= carry_generate(0) OR (carry_propagate(0) AND carry_in);
        inst: FOR i IN 1 TO 6 LOOP
              carry_in_internal(i+1) <= carry_generate(i) OR (carry_propagate(i) AND carry_in_internal(i));
              END LOOP;
    carry_out <= carry_generate(7) OR (carry_propagate(7) AND carry_in_internal(7));

    sum(0) <= h_sum(0) XOR carry_in;
    sum(7 DOWNTO 1) <= h_sum(7 DOWNTO 1) XOR carry_in_internal(7 DOWNTO 1);
END behavioral;

Design Examples Disclaimer

These design examples may only be used within Altera Corporation devices and remain the property of Altera. They are being provided on an “as-is” basis and as an accommodation; therefore, all warranties, representations, or guarantees of any kind (whether express, implied, or statutory) including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability, non-infringement, or fitness for a particular purpose, are specifically disclaimed. Altera expressly does not recommend, suggest, or require that these examples be used in combination with any other product not provided by Altera.