Evolution of FPGAs

Bielby, Robert
November 2005
Portable Design;Nov2005, Vol. 11 Issue 11, p33
The article discusses the evolution of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) from an "off-the-wall" concept into an ubiquitous technology with a key role in catalyzing the growth of a wide range of new markets and applications. In the 1980s Xilinx co-founder Ross Freeman developed this revolutionary product, allowing users to customize devices. By the mid-'90s, through a steady stream of innovation and increasingly competitive capabilities, FPGAs were closing in as a viable alternative to fixed gate arrays and application-specific integrated circuits (ASlCs). FPGAs today are enabling a wide spectrum of end products in everything from video phones to the Mars Rover and plasma TVs to the latest breakthroughs in medical imaging. This explosive growth is expected to continue as more and more designers convert to the "programmable way" of designing products.


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