What is FPGA?
A Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or a designer after manufacturing by using a hardware description language (HDL). FPGAs can be used to implement any logical function that an ASIC could perform. The ability to update the functionality after shipping, partial reconfiguration of a portion of the design and the low non-recurring engineering costs compared to an ASIC design, offer advantages for many applications.
Historically, FPGAs have been slower, less energy efficient and generally achieved less functionality than their fixed ASIC counterparts. However, with the mass-production, method of the semiconductor micro-fabrication, the intense R&D activities and others in recent years, the gap in function between ASIC and FPGA has been significantly narrowed. FPGAs have contributed to much lower power consumption, higher speed, lower materials cost, minimal implementation space, re-configuration on the spot, a shorter time to market, lower non-recurring engineering costs and so on. It is also noteworthy that at the design stage you can use FPGA and when the design is finalized, you can switch to ASIC for mass-production purposes for a cost-efficient solution.
Example#3 An Equipment Manufacturer Customer “C”
Development Cost Reduction by the Method of Merged Designs for Replacement ASIC
Example#2 An Equipment Manufacturer Customer “B”
Drastic Cost Reduction Realized By shifting from FPGA approach to ASICs