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When Why and How Should You Use Embedded FPGA Technology


Jun. 27, 2018 – If integrating an embedded FPGA (eFPGA) into your ASIC or SoC design strikes you as odd, it shouldn't. ICs have been absorbing almost every component on a circuit board for decades, starting with transistors, resistors, and capacitors – then progressing to gates, ALUs, microprocessors, and memories. FPGAs are simply one more useful component in the tool box, available for decades as standalone products, and now available for integration into your IC design using Achronix's Speedcore eFPGA, supported by Achronix's ACE design tools. These products allow you to easily incorporate the performance and flexibility of programmable logic into your next ASIC or FPGA design.
The questions then become: Why would you want to do that? Why use an FPGA at all? Why put a programmable fabric in your ASIC or SoC?
Why FPGAs?
System-level designers employ FPGAs for many reasons, but the two main ones are performance and flexibility. Many tasks executed in software running on a processor benefit from significant performance improvements when implemented in hardware. When designing ASICs and SoCs, however, there's a fork in the hardware path. If you're absolutely certain that there will never be any changes in the associated algorithms, then freezing the functionality into ASIC gates makes sense.

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