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FPGAs, GALs and PALs in industry

by Bipolarity
Tags: fpgas, gals, industry, pals
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May25-13, 06:03 PM
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To electronics and computer engineers currently working in industry, how often do you use these? Were you already trained in VHDL/HDL/Verilog or whatever language you used to configure them before you were given the assignments?

In general, are programmable chips commonly used in industry standard electronics and computers? If not, how are large complex computer systems usually designed?

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May26-13, 03:41 AM
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I know that some TV's contain FPGA's. B&O have FPGA's in their TV's. I'm unsure whether Samsung and Phillips also have, but its plausible.
May26-13, 10:17 AM
P: 572
Hello BiPO - The use of programmable arrays - has benefits over other types of programmable devices. While they can often be "programmed" with sequential program - their strength is to be able to have "hard logic" used for part - ore all of the application, as well as price. Many of the applications my customers work with could only be run on DSP - 20 years ago due to the type and power of the processing needed. Today, they are moving to FPGA, or even more powerful PICs - or hybrids.
So I do not think of these are alternates or one replacing the other - but more tools available to the engineers, and have more options to choose what is best for a particular application.
IMO - work on your coding skills - these can be applied the most universally.

May26-13, 01:38 PM
berkeman's Avatar
P: 41,274
FPGAs, GALs and PALs in industry

We use FPGAs and CPLDs for several applications. We use very large Xilinx FPGAs to prototype our new ICs, so that we can run tests on them and shake out bugs before we commit to the custom silicon of the final ICs.

I use CPLDs in my embedded controller designs, since it lets me sweep up lots of random logic, and also helps me do the memory control portion of the product. Usually 32-128 cell CPLDs are big enough for those functions. The big Xilinx designs are done in Verilog, and I usually do my CPLD designs in VHDL or AHDL.

It is very common to use Verilog and FPGAs in products that are designed here in Silicon Valley. I think that is a valuable skillset to learn. When you work on custom IC design, Verilog is typically used, so that's another reason to learn it.

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