FPGA stands for Field Programmable Gate Array which is an IC that can be programmed to perform a customized operation for a specific application. They have thousands of gates. In the field of VLSI FPGAs have been very popular. Languages such as VHDL and Verilog are used to write the code for FPGA programming.
It consists of thousands of fundamental elements called Configurable Logic Blocks (CLBs) which are surrounded by a system of programmable interconnects known as a fabric, which directs signal between CLBs and I/O blocks interface between the FPGA and external device.
Logic Block consists of Multiplexers, Full Adders, D flip flop, a lookup table (LUT) which is the basic building block of the FPGA. LUTs determines the output for any given source of input. LUTs with 4-6 input bits are widely used and can even go up to 8 bits after experiments. D flip flop stores the output of LUT.
Types of FPGA
Based on their applications FPGA are classified as :
- Low-End FPGAs –
They consume less power than the other two and are less complex as no of gates are less.
- Mid-Range FPGAs –
They consume more power than low-end FPGAs and have more number of gates, so more complex. They provide a balance between performance and cost.
- High-End FPGAs –
They have a large gate density, so are more complex than mid-range. Their performance is better than low-end and mid-range FPGAs be Some High-End FPGAs.
- FPGAs provide better performance than a general CPU as they are capable of handling parallel processing.
FPGAs are reprogrammable.
- They are cost-efficient.
- FPGAs allow you to finish the development of your product in a very short time, so they are available in the market in a shorter time.
- They have high power consumption and programmers do not have any control over power optimization.
- The programming of FPGA is not as simple as C programming.
- They are only used where the production volume is low.
FPGAs are used in defense equipment for image processing in SDRs, for ASIC prototyping, for high-performance computers, in wireless communication such as WiMAX, WCDMA, etc. and in various equipment used for diagnosis and therapy in the medical field. They are also used in consumer electronics like flat panel displays, residential set-top boxes, etc.