FGPA/ASIC/DSP

Despite the availability of a range of commodity products, designers often need to turn to custom devices to meet particular needs. But which technology best suits the application? Should you base your design around an FPGA or is it better to use an ASIC? Can you meet your design requirements using a DSP?

In this section, New Electronics brings you the latest developments from the advanced platforms market, looking at how to develop and apply FPGA, ASIC and DSP technology.

Measuring battery life

Poor battery life is affecting the take-up of too many devices. How can power be analysed in enough detail to ensure products live up to consumer expectations?

Design a switch mode power supply using an isolated flyback topology

Here, Rich Miron, Applications Engineer at Digi-Key Electronics explores the operation of switch mode power supplies and explores make Vs. buy decision process for power supplies. Miron also investigates the design of a single output supply utilising flyback topology and provides a sample design using readily available parts and components.

Tackling congestion on programmable devices

Now more than 30 years old, the field-programmable gate array has evolved from a glue-logic device that made it possible to customise boards easily to a complete configurable system-on-chip (SoC). Hardwired 64bit processors, digital signal processing (DSP) engines and dedicated memory arrays have helped overcome the FPGAs density handicap versus fully custom silicon even for projects that expect to move into high volume.

Enabling the adaptable world

The intelligent connected world needs adaptable accelerated computing. As a result, more engineers are turning to FPGA as a Service providers via the cloud.

Living on the Edge

As the deployment of Industrial IoT systems continues to proliferate, the streams of data transferred to the cloud skyrockets, drastically increasing the cost for cloud computing.

It’s Time to Overdesign for Flexibility - Don’t Let the IIoT Catch You With Your Head in the Sand

Tired of the countless articles talking about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? Surely all of the pundits, industry-leading companies, and technology providers excited to share their perspective on the growing impact of the IIoT have exhausted the topic. Instead of focusing on what the IIoT is, this article takes the opposite approach and talks about what the IIoT isn’t. Let’s be honest, the IIoT isn’t defined. It isn’t a known target with a clear set of parameters and rules. But there’s one thing we do know—as we build and define the IIoT, it’s critical that providers overdesign their technology offerings for flexibility.

Rising to the acceleration challenge

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning is the future of computing. Intelligent machines that understand the world as humans do, interpret our languages and learn from data will habitually be used to resolve problems too complex for the human brain.

Under exposure

Chipmakers are set to break the 10nm barrier as they move from the test-chip stage to full production on 7nm processes. The move marks another extension of a lithography technology that was meant to be phased out 15 years in favour of so-called next-generation lithography.

Developing all programmable logic using the SDSoC environment

The traditional development flow of an all programmable Zynq SoC segments the design between processor system and programmable logic. The Zynq is a complex heterogeneous system which combines advanced ARM dual core Cortex-A9 processing systems with programmable logic. This programmable logic provides not only the traditional Flip Flops and Look Up Tables but also block RAM and distributed RAM, DSP Slices, PCIe endpoints and multi-gigabit transceivers. Users need a development environment which enables them to exploit the capability provided by both the processor and the programmable logic.

Pushing performance for VPX boards

FPGA technology has seen a significant change in the last two decades. From relatively simple devices used mainly as glue logic and for last minute board fixes, FPGAs have evolved into highly complex parts.

Using FPGAs in embedded systems

While there’s nothing new about the use of FPGAs in electronics products, many engineers are only just beginning to explore how the devices could help to improve their designs.

Technology to integrate FPGA functionality into SoCs

FPGAs are rarely out of the news, but the acquisition of Altera by Intel in 2015 pushed the technology firmly into the headlines. Intel’s main reason for buying Altera was to provide a way to accelerate the performance of its Xeon processors, used widely in data centres. But Intel hasn’t been the only company turning its attention to the use of FPGAs in such applications; earlier in 2015, Microsoft said that Project Catapult used Altera’s Arria 10 FPGAs to boost data centre power/performance.

Optimising wearable designs by integrating support circuitry

Systems on a Chip for wearable devices offer an astounding level of integration. Advanced manufacturing processes give SoC and MCU developers plenty of transistors to work with and these devices can integrate multicore processors, wireless connectivity, memory and graphics controllers.

Intel’s Programmable Systems Group takes its first step towards an FPGA based system in package portfolio

Speaking in 2012, Danny Biran – then Altera’s senior VP for corporate strategy – said he saw a time when the company would be offering ‘standard products’ – devices featuring an FPGA, with different dice integrated in the package. “It’s also possible these devices may integrate customer specific circuits if the business case is good enough,” he noted.

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