Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are integrated circuits that enable designers to program customized digital logic in the field. FPGAs have been around since the 1980s and were originally conceived to give all design teams the ability to create custom logic. In the early days, using an FPGA in your design meant you had to do a lot of programming just to get your FPGA to perform simple functions, so most designers avoided them. If you haven't looked into FPGAs since your university studies way back when, you'll want to take another look at them.
The FPGA has evolved from a useful but humble interface device into a system-level integrated circuit (IC) with its own microprocessors, memory blocks, and interfaces. It's the next big thing.
Now would be a great time to get an inexpensive development kit, download free tools, and begin to explore this world for yourself. And this book will help you understand the practical uses of FPGAs.
This book is for you if you're a system designer, an experienced engineer, or someone who hasn't seen FPGAs since your days in engineering school.
This open book is licensed under a Open Publication License (OPL). You can download FPGAs for Dummies ebook for free in PDF format (2.2 MB).
Table of Contents
FPGAs for Everyone
What's in an FPGA, Anyway?
FPGAs as Systems
The Future: Heterogeneous Computing and OpenCL
Five Applications of FPGAs