The full form of FPGA is Field Programmable Gate Array. Essentially, it is a type of hardware circuit which can be programmed by a user for the purpose of carrying out multiple different types of logical operations. In more technical terms; FPGA are nothing but ICs or integrated circuits which forms a set of different circuits on a chip; this is what make the array part of it. These arrays or circuits are a collection of programmable memory, logic gate and other elements.
With standard chips, one major disadvantage is the fact that it cannot be programmed. It comes with a pre-set programming and that’s what it is! With these kinds of chips it is possible for a user to write codes and programs, which can be loaded into a chip for executing certain functions. With these chips, you have the option of deleting the program or replacing it. However, the chip in its hardware form remains unchanged.
When it comes to a FPGA, there is no chip involved. It is the hardware circuit which needs to be programmed. There can be different types of programming that can be used; such as simple logic gate (with an OR or AND function), single or it can also involve multiple different complex functions. Including those functions which together performs the task of a multi-core processor.
What is the Purpose of using FPGA?
There are various reasons where using a FPGA is the best option. Some of them are
- When you are required to optimize the chip for a specific workload
- You are planning to make changes in the chip at a later stage.
As far as usage of FPGA is concerned, it covers a wide spectrum of area; which ranges from devices for imaging and video to computer circuits. Besides, the use of FPGA in military, auto and aerospace application is quite common.
FPGA s have proven to be particularly effective when it comes to (ASICs) prototyping application-specific integrated circuits or processors. It is possible to reprogram an FPGA until the processor or ASIC design is bug free and final. Intel, one of the leading manufacturers of computer processors, uses FPGA s for the purpose of prototyping new chips.
What are the Benefits of FPGAs?
There are multiple different benefits which FPGA s have to offer. Here is a brief insight which would help you understand about the benefits which they yield.
- Availability at a long term basis
- Adaptation and updating at the customer
- Efficient and fast systems
- Real time applications.
- Software acceleration.
Apart from these, there are various other kinds of benefits which FPGA has to offer. The fact that they can be reprogrammed, has made them highly flexible to accomplish different types of tasks,
When it comes to a powerfull FPGA module, it comes with features like up gradation and modification. With the option of reprogramming; FPGA is the future of industrial sectors, where automation, flexibility and processing speed are the need of the hour.