Field-Programmable Gate Array

What Does Field-Programmable Gate Array Mean?

A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit that can be programmed or reprogrammed to the required functionality or application after manufacturing. Important characteristics of field-programmable gate arrays include lower complexity, higher speed, volume designs and programmable functions. With more technological advances, field-programmable gate arrays are a convenient proposition for most designs and markets.

Advertisements

Techopedia Explains Field-Programmable Gate Array

A field-programmable gate array consists of logic blocks which are programmable, reconfigurable interconnects and input/output pads.The logic blocks used in a field-programmable gate array could consist of memory elements such as flip-flops or memory blocks. The logic blocks are capable of performing simple to complex computational functions. Field-programmable gate arrays are in many ways similar to programmable read-only memory chips. However, unlike programmable read-only memory chips, which are limited to hundreds of gates, a field-programmable gate array can support several thousand gates. Another salient feature of field-programmable gate arrays is the ability to be reprogrammed, unlike application-specific integrated circuits which are manufactured for specific tasks.

A field-programmable gate array can help computer users in tailoring the capabilities of microprocessors to meet specific individual needs. In fact, engineers use field-programmable gate arrays in designing specialized integrated circuits. Other advantages of using field-programmable gate arrays include a more predictable life cycle due to removal of wafer capabilities, potential respins, faster time to market compared to other options and simple design cycle.

Field-programmable gate arrays are used in a wide range of applications, and in markets such as aerospace, defense, data centers, automotive, medical and wireless communications.

Advertisements

Related Terms

Latest Hardware Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…