Understanding the Advanced Features and Industrial Applications of FPGAs
Field Programmable Gate Arrays or FPGAs are basically semiconductor devices. These are based on a combination of matrix solutions that have configurable logic blocks. These blocks can be connected with the help of programmable interconnects. Experts have the ability to twitch the FPGA because it allows you to reprogram according to the functional requirements and also as per the desired applications. This is one of the reasons why FPGAs can be distinguished from other Application Specific Integrated Circuits. These circuits, on the other hand, are manufactured so that they can they work on specifically designed tasks. The downside to these circuits is that you cannot reprogram them like the FPGAs.
The cool thing about FPGA is that you get both one-time programmable applications and also the SRAM based applications. The latter gives you the opportunity to reprogram the design as and when you want. In fact, the SRAM program was started after the users were not able to make the desired changes. So, now, you have the option to use both.
Advanced features of FPGA
Since FPGA has the ability to be reprogrammed, they have become the preferred choice in the market. You get a lot of solutions that FPGA as their base device. This is done so that the solution can be configured and changed if the user wants. The rise of SRAM in the FPGA domain has allowed the makers to bring in some advanced features. Here are some of those features discussed below:
- The use of Digital Clock Management has been added to the latest versions of FPGA. It comes with a phase loop that can provide the advanced clock management facilities. Since there is a loop lock system applied, it can provide accurate clock synthesis and the filter capabilities are also superior. It also has the ability to reduce jitters to a great extent.
- It is not possible to connect routing wires within an FPGA unit. The process connection and the length of the signal connections will determine the transmission speed and drive capacity. The chip wiring resources of FPGA are divided into four categories; the distribution of the location, length, width, and process are the crucial factors that decide how the wiring will complete the formation.
The first category of FPGA has global routing resources. This allows the global reset/set wiring of the chip internal global clock. The second category is the one that offers high-speed signals between global clock signal wiring and chips bank. Since it is a long-term solution, the guarantee of getting a constant high-speed signal is more. The third category is the short-term resource that manages the routing of logic and interconnection between the basic logic unit. This is just the predecessor of the second category. The last category provides distributed routing resources that can reset control signal line and proprietary clock.
- The processing capability of FPGA has also reached an advanced stage with the recent modifications. An embedded soft-core lie underneath a dedicated hardcore that is equivalent to an ASIC circuit. To enhance the performance of the FPGA structure, the chip maker has an integrated dedicated hard-core chip attached to it. So, if the speed of FPGA has to be increased, the mainstream FPGA will integrate the dedicated multiplier to do its job. This feature was long missing in the demo versions and even in the initial versions of FPGA but they have now been rectified to give a better user experience.
- Another embedded function that has got a massive boost is the use of CPU soft processing cores, PLL (Phase Locked Loop), and DLL (Delay Locked Loop). This has allowed multiple embedded functional units to connect to a single FPGA. This further can be used as one single system level design tool. It comes with a host of features like a gradual transition to the SOC platform, software, and hardware co-design capabilities, completing the clock precision, and a low jitter.
Industrial application of FPGA
Believe it or not, FPGA has become the preferred application in a number of sectors in which the industrial applications has been spectacular. It has fast become the leading solution for industrial customers at large. Here are some of the reasons why:
- FPGA has enabled enhanced integrated connectivity. This has been possible because of the easy integration of numerous third-party IP that is often required for industrial networks, creating a path to Ethernet-based protocols, and legacy bus support. You can now get total cost of ownership savings that is achieved by acceleration, torque, and control of speed just by going on the motor control section of FPGA.
- In a factory ecosystem, the need to use an interface that covers a range of applications is important. Applications such as I/O modules, Programmable Logic Controllers, and sensors have to be kept under control to make sure there is no glitch in the system. With FPGA in the background, industrial networks can communicate between modules and also allow a variety of components to use the same protocol.
- The motors used in the industrial setup consume over 66% of the total electrical power. Advanced algorithms used in the FPGA have helped to deliver better performance and efficiency of the motors. In addition to that, you can make use of the parallel processing performance to compare the improvement in the efficiency. FPGA has proved to offer a wide number of benefits over all the traditional processing devices. This is because of the introduction of all the advanced features in the latest editions. The lower cost, better on-chip integration of various system components, higher performance, DSP capabilities, solution customization, and robustness of solution has made it a must-have for all industries.
The use of FPGA from Direct Components Inc, has definitely been a boon for all the sectors. The fact that it can separate a motor controller operation with the help of an autonomous solution makes it a unique program that can help to maintain and test the overall system. There will be further modifications to the system to make it easier for the users in the future.