Grunk wrote:Yes, there is a free version of the Quartus software if he wanted to have a play. I think anyone can download it from the website, although you probably have to register. Depending on the Uni he's at they may have full blown versions available too.
What I was oging to add was (and I think this thrawn geezer might be able to help?) is that Altera have their own toolsuite called Quartus, it has support for both VHDL and systemVerilog, I also believe they have evaluation/student versions available.
So it might be worth seeing if your nephew wants to download a copy and having a play with writing a couple of state machines, and a bus driver, nothing too taxing, but if you can do it in both languages, then you'll probably jump to the top of the graduate list.
Also, listen to Grunk! I work on the internal software infrastructure, so only have a passing familiarity with the industry. Grunk quite clearly knows what he's talking about (Well, he uses the same words as our engineers do).