Friday, April 20, 2007

FPGAs -The new age

FPGAs (for Field programmable gate array) have been involved in the development of all most all new age products.Their popularity has now touched every section of the market thanks to their reconfigurability and low cost perfomance.Lets see how they came into existance at the first place..
FPGAs became popular in the 1980s.Till then most of the embedded processing was carried out using microprocessors or microcontrollers with their assosiated components.But the main problem pertaining to their use was the 'glue logic' which namely refers to the interface between two datasystems having different interfaces.Inorder to make communication possible between such systems based on different protocols some component was needed which at that time was satisfied by using custom logic ICs .These ICs were designed for meeting specific customer requirements and due to that reason the idea of making a general purpose IC was almost out of the question.Also the cost involved when fabricating these MSI ICs was enormous making them a rather cumbersome solution.This is where the idea of reconfigurable logic took form..FPGAs were an effiecient substitute for these glue logic ICs mailny because of two reasons..First is that they were reconfigurable so that effiecient designing and optimization could take place at every level.The component could be redesigned at will until it met all the project requirements and could even be redesigned if the design needed to be modified later.Secondly the designing and the eventual generation of the custom component could be done by the personnel using PC assosiated CAD software as opposed to the IC designing process which involved a large no of steps starting from designing to implementation as well as the expertise of several men.Thus emerged the FPGAs ;with a view to the future and still remains as one of the most preffered technologies .The market is on the rise and it hopes to remain so for the coming years as well.

1 comment:

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