Hardware Description Language (HDL)
A hardware description language (HDL) is a specialized computer language used to program the structure, design and operation of electronic circuits, and most commonly, digital logic circuits. It also allows for the compilation of an HDL program into a lower level specification of physical electronic components, such as the set of masks used to create an integrated circuit. A hardware description language looks much like a programming language such as C; it is a textual description consisting of expressions, statements and control structures. One important difference between most programming languages and HDLs is that HDLs explicitly include the notion of time. HDLs form an integral part of electronic design automation (EDA) systems, especially for complex circuits, such as microprocessors.