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Hardware description language (HDL) is widely used to model the structure and behavior of digital systems ranging from simple hardware building blocks to complete systems in today's hardware design. To tackle with ever-increasing complexity of process models, higher level of abstraction needs to be exploited. We propose an ontology-based architecture in the process of hardware design using HDLs. The architecture combines the traditional HDL design processes with ontology models and offers a semi-automatic process utilizing the ontology reasoning abilities of OWL (Web ontology language). Based on such ontology assistant architecture, more flexible and automatic processes can be devised, which are of crucial importance to meet current market demands.