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An image problem

FPGAs solve board level technology problems. By Jurgen Eder.

The benefits of fpgas have become clearer recently, not only because of improvements in technology, but also because of the growth in the applications available to take advantage of them.
Whilst fpgas are an established feature of electronics, they have only recently been able to function as processing devices in their own right. As part of this development, fpgas commonly include embedded processors, large embedded rams and high speed serial I/O – all of which has contributed to the reinvention of the fpga as a flexible, high speed processing device.
One area where the technological and economic benefits of fpgas are most significant is video and signal processing – especially military image processing.
Image processing is intrinsically data intensive and even routine tasks can be slowed by the time required to process each captured image. Solutions include the use of more advanced processors or the addition of dedicated hardware, either of which requires more space and expense. Now, fpgas represent a third, more efficient, technique.

Graham Pitcher

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