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Configurable chips improve FPGA flexibility

Posted: 16 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor? FPGA? embedded system? TCP/IP? Ethernet?

Smaller silicon process geometries in line with Moore's Law have brought down the cost of 32bit embedded solutions to meet the price requirements of a broader range of applications. In addition, integrated peripherals and on-chip memory have further reduced the component and total BOM. By integrating peripherals optimized for vertical applications such as handsets and gaming consoles, the prices of many devices have lowered significantly, directly contributing to market growth.

Price pressure also requires that only a fixed combination of peripherals can be integrated into these systemsthus, the peripheral mix is usually targeted at high-volume applications. However, one size doesn't always fit all, and many small-, medium- and even some high-volume applications are underserved by off-the-shelf integrated solutions. As a result, designers must incorporate additional chips to expand the peripheral set, offload the processor or add glue logic. This is where configurable processing solutions come in.

Embedded system designers are leveraging FPGA-based configurable processing solutions because they can be tailored to their specific application or product requirements. The key benefits of this methodology are cost reduction through integration and product differentiation in the market.

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