FPGA- Universal Solution for Learning and Personal Use

February 2020
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FPGA- New Age Technological Evolution

The electronic industry has prototyping and simulations as their vital segments ever since a long time. Electronic companies create the hardware with their protocols and standards dedicated to the products thereby making it challenging for end users in reconfiguring the hardware according to their needs. It is this need for hardware that has opened doors for a novel segment of customer-configurable FPGAs. Field Programmable Gate Arrays are excellent devices which provide the flexibility to an average person in creating their own digital circuits. An FPGA by itself does nothing but it rests on the designer in creating a configuration file or bit file. Once loaded, this will act as the digital circuit the designer designed. A key reason that makes FPGAs so incredible is as opposed to Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), the circuit design here is not set. This means one can configure it end number of times as they wish. It allows the designer in implementing just any algorithm or control which they like. The global field programmable gate array market is eyeing for a substantial increase at an appealing 10.87% CAGR over the assessment period (2018-2025), reveals Market Research Future (MRFR) report.

Why Use Field Programmable Gate Arrays?

An FPGA can be used for optimizing a chip for a specific workload or make alterations at the chip later on. Its uses cover a wide array of areas right from circuitry for military, aerospace, auto and computer applications, electronics for specialized processing to equipment for imaging and video. Field Programmable Gate Arrays are extremely useful for prototyping ASICs or processors. Intel itself utilizes FPGAs for prototyping new chips. The modern-day field programmable gate array fabric has innumerable flip flops and logic gates which can be combined for implementing everything from an x16 PCIe gen-3 host controller to button denounce circuits. Using FPGAs within a design will give the designer the infinite freedom of implementing whatever functionality they require. Engineers can make a design using FPGAs, instead of investing time to optimize the circuit design they bake the layout into a sole design mask.

Programming Methodology

FPGAs are building bricks that allow desired hardware customization. There are special PLDs (programmable logic devices) with increased capability and higher density to implement functionality within a brief time span through computer aided design (CAD). FPGAs come in assorted varieties resting on the programming methodology used. It can be programmed using,

  • SRAM Technology- FPGAs that uses SRAM is presently dominating technology. It offers very fast recognition, unlimited programming and partial recognition at the time of operation with minimal circuitry. Leading companies such as Xilinx, Atmel, Actel and Altera are making the most of these devices.
  • Antifuse Technology- This can be programmed just once. Here configuration is made by burning a couple of fuses. Devices made by QuickLogic use Antifuse technology. It serves as an alternative for ASIC and utilized in places where intellectual property protection is of utmost significance.
  • Flash Technology- FPGA that uses flash technology can be reprogrammed endless times, taking just a couple of minutes to reprogram. It has non-volatile memory.

Leveraged Across Diverse Industry Verticals

In this era, the production machines need to be highly accommodating and flexible in order to sustain the continuous changing product demands. A good number of these machines operate using FPGA which are designed specifically to allow system design flexibility even post manufacturing. Field Programmable Gate Arrays can indeed be leveraged across diverse industry verticals to offer the following advantages,

  • First and foremost, FPGAs allow parallel processing. This means every processing is independent and assigned to a specific chip section which is working dedicatedly on that specific task. This way the performance of every section remains unaffected despite the addition of more processing operations.
  • Field Programmable Gate Arrays are cost effective and there is no non-recurring engineering expenditure as in case of ASIC.
  • It has a simple design cycle.
  • One FPGA can be re-used for various applications by merely programming the HDL code
  • With Field Programmable Gate Array functionality, design engineers have the flexibility of making changes in the device by downloading into the device a configuration file and then verifying the change.
  • Through hardware parallelism, Field Programmable Gate Arrays can exceed the computing power of DSPs (Digital Signal Processors)
  • It offers the much-needed flexibility and prompt prototyping capabilities that allow companies in reducing that time to market.

FPGAs Latest Frontier- Artificial Intelligence

Field Programmable Gate Arrays finds application in various sectors including automotive, communications, defense, industrial and space, but of late it has gained immense recognition in DNNs (deep neural networks) which are used for AI (artificial intelligence). Running a DNN inference model needs considerable processing power. Often graphics processing units are used for accelerating the inference processing, yet in some cases, FPGAs of high-performance can outperform graphics processing units to analyze huge data especially for machine learning. Microsoft is making the most of Intel FPGA versatility for accelerating AI.

APAC to Remain at the Vanguard

The Asia Pacific region is reigning the FPGA market and is anticipated to remain highly attractive. Countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and China has witnessed tremendous boom especially in electronic manufacturing. This is a leverage point for the market in this region. Besides, urbanization and industrialization are also creating new avenues.

Market Mavericks

Key manufacturers in the Field Programmable Gate Array market include Intel Corporation, Xilinx Inc., Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Achronix Semiconductor Corporation, QuickLogic Corp, Lattice Semiconductor, Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, and Microchip Technology Inc. Collaborations and acquisitions are smart moves which key players are indulging in for staying top-notch. They are also considering better opportunities for reinforcing their market leadership.

All in all, with every generation of Field Programmable Gate Array technology being faster and also having more logic gates, lower power and smaller geometry, all for less investment per operation, the potentials seem endless.

For More Information, Visit: https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/field-programmable-gate-array-market-1019


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