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FPGA Design Tradeoffs Getting Tougher

By Ann Steffora Mutschler, Semiconductor Engineering | Feat. Sasa Stamenkovic, senior field applications engineer, OneSpin Solutions


In the past, FPGAs were considered a relatively quick and simple way to get to market before committing to the cost and time of developing an ASIC. But today, both FPGAs and eFPGAs are being used in the most demanding applications, including cloud computing, AI, machine learning, and deep learning. In some cases, they are being combined with an ASIC or some other type of application-specific processor or accelerator inside a chip, a package or a system. As a result, requirements for effective power, performance, and area (PPA) are every bit as strict as for ASICs and full-custom chips, and the tradeoffs are equally complicated and often intertwined.


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