comment on this article

The soft option?

Will fpgas be the pcb of the future? By Nancy Eastman.

Whilst pcb manufacturing technology has evolved, the fundamental concept of board level electronics system design has remained the same – take a bunch of components and connect them together to form a circuit.
High capacity, low cost programmable devices have the potential to alter this paradigm. The question for board level system designers is how their skill set will fit into an increasingly ‘soft’ future.
The biggest recent upheaval came with low cost microprocessors, which brought ‘embedded intelligence’ to previously ‘dumb’ devices. The microprocessor’s success was down to its ability to allow a significant part of the design to be moved from a hard wired environment into a ‘soft’ domain. Design at the board level continued to use the ‘hard wired components’ paradigm, but product behaviour – or ‘intelligence’ – could be added as software.
This platform based approach allowed the same physical hardware to be manufactured with lower risk because it was possible to modify the behaviour after constructing the hardware.

Nancy Eastman

Related Downloads

Comment on this article



Altium Ltd

This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

What you think about this article:

Add your comments


Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

To gel or pad?

New electronic product generations bring new challenges associated with thermal ...

Extreme boards!

“Extraordinary circumstances often bring along with them extraordinary ...

Custom MMIC design

Plextek RFI CEO Liam Devlin discusses the technical and commercial ...

Between the layers

ZofzPCB is a free 3D Gerber viewer that allows designers to see inside the ...

Cloud Solver

Today, new technologies enter the market very, very quickly. For some of the ...