FPGAs – what are they?
Field Programmable Gate Arrays offer customisable hardware in a single chip. These devices come in a range of sizes containing hundreds to millions of programmable hardware elements from logic, memory to ADC’s and high speed serial interfaces. The devices have a range of IC packages from tens of pins to thousands giving great flexibility.
There are cost sensitive options targeted at mobile applications and huge devices aimed at massive parallel processing systems. Some FPGAs which have become very popular contain highly integrated CPU cores from ARM, allowing the use of a huge array of software, tools and existing code.
FPGAs – why use them?
When designing a system we take into account the capabilities available from all sources of software and hardware and when an implementation requires an FPGA board, we usually see that:
- A System On Chip does not have the necessary interfaces or control logic
- Standard IC Logic is not available or would take up a lot of board space
- A software solution for an algorithm would be too power hungry or would require expensive DSPs or large multicore CPUs
- A real-time bespoke algorithm is required for the system
- An obsolete component needs to be replaced
- A regulatory body may enforce code checks on software such that it is simpler to use hardware for the same functions. This mostly happens with safety critical systems
- Having custom hardware in a chip increases the level of difficulty of reverse engineering and copying
FPGA Programming – Our Expertise
With over twenty years’ experience in FPGA development, ByteSnap Design is a proven, reliable and innovative partner.
We use VHDL and Verilog to design FPGAs and to write test benches. Our FPGA designs suit a range of applications, including general purpose, bespoke IP cores, and 3rd party IP.
We are experts in using Xilinx, Actel/Microsemi, Lattice, and Altera/Intel devices.
Indeed, ByteSnap has been named the UK’s key player in the FPGA market.
“Working with ByteSnap FPGA design team has proven to be the most satisfactory experience.”
Richard Marangos, Project Manager – Viasystems Group Inc.
Need an FPGA board or FPGA programming? Talk to us
We work with a wide range of devices and, as experts in FPGA programming and CPLD development, we are well placed to help you make impartial decisions about the best solutions for your requirments.