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Firmware developer/system developer VS HDL designer

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Junior Member level 2
Dec 4, 2008
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hdl designer

In the digital communication chip design context,
Could anyone help me clearly elaborate on the job scope differences of these two engineers?

Does Firmware developer/system developer only use C and Assembly languages to program registers according to the spec? Do they need IC design knowledge to do the job or just stick to the spec would be fine?

What does HDL designer basically need to do? They use VHDL/Verilog to code according to the specs, anything else? Synthesis? any special skills needed?

How would the 2 jobs evolve in the future?

Million thanks :D

firmware developer means

Hi ,

A firmware developer means "the person who would program a predefined hardware (Micro Controller/processor) " . For him a deep knowledge in ''C'' and little bit hardware knowledge is enough .

A VlSI designer / VHDL programmer is one "who define the total Chip itself ". The thing is they will code and Define the hardware itself for any digital requirement.
Here the person should have a very gr8 knowledge in electronics and a deep knowledgein VHDL or any other programming language.


Added after 1 minutes:

For both the profile ,More wanted is there .


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firmware designing

So, does a VHDL designer requires a very strong programing skills such as algorithm formulation, etc as compared to a firmware developer?

firmware vs. vhdl

Hi hhnn (may I know your name please?.),

Not likethat , VHDL programmer and also Firmware designer must have good idea about algorithm folmulations and A VHDL programmer should have a very strong knowledge in digital electronics , compared to a firmware coder.



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Sorry for my ambiguous nick. Call me Ryan
Thanks for your reply.

I'm studying IC Design. The Internship company put me in a firmware development project. It seems to me that it's not so relevant to my specialization because firmware development does not require much of digital electronics, and only use C or assembly to do the job. Moreover, I'm bonded to the company, So I will work for them after graduation. After graduation, I intend to ask them to switch me to VHDL design department

So I'm considering whether should I ask them to switch me to VHDL design (to drill my VHDL skills) OR I keeping doing firmware development to expand my general knowledge field (so that I could I good overview of what other departments doing)?

What is your expert view on this? which one should I stick to?
Your opinions are precious to me. Thanks

Hi Ryan ,

You started your profile as a firmware coder due to the project assigned by the company.

Well, Let it be . You study a lot in algorihm calculations as a firware designed.

Tell your higher authorities that you have a interest in VHDL programing.
Often remind them . As a fresher you can continue that profile as a firmware designer and get an experience in that also.

But try a lot for becoming a VHDL coder .

Firmware designing also holds a large avenue in the field of electronics.

Best Wishes for your future.

Regards ,


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