Check out our latest short video introduction to FPGAs:
“Field Programmable Gate Arrays or FPGAs for short are silicon chips that are made of reconfigurable blocks. In a normal chip, such as a CPU or a GPU, when we program them essentially what we do is hand them a list of instructions and there will be specific piece of hardware used to execute those instructions, such as an adder to perform additions. In FPGA technology, we don’t provide a list of instructions, but instead reconfigure the hardware to what we want it to be. For instance, if we want to perform additions, we tell our chip to place adders into the hardware.
This reconfigurability offers a level of customisability that you can’t match unless you want to start manufacturing your own chips, which is incredibly expensive. With this customisability we can achieve levels of performance that other chips can’t match especially in terms of latency and power consumption. This has led to them being used in applications where massive amounts of data must be processed fast, including automotive, data centres and finance. Because of the potential of FPGAs, we are seeing tech giants take an interest in them. Microsoft is powering large-scale Artificial Intelligence through FPGAs. In 2015 Altera, one of the two major FPGA manufacturer was acquired by Intel. Xilinx, the other major FPGA manufacturer was acquired by AMD in 2020. As FPGA technology progresses, we are likely to see increased adoption and have them be applied in more interesting and amazing ways. To find out how you can get started with FPGAs visit our website.”