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Welcome to this installment of EE Classroom on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)!

As the 35-year old field programmable gate array (FPGA) evolves, applications previously the domain of application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) are now taking advantage of this “millennial” device. State-of-the-art interfaces now simplify programming and allow compatibility with other technologies opening up more innovation in applications ranging from artificial intelligence to aerospace.


Maybe now is the time for you to consider whether an FPGA is right for your design, and we are here to get you started with this Classroom. Bolster your basics knowledge of the selection and integration of FPGAs and comparisons with other programmable devices. Were you wondering about the relationship between a regular “old” SoC and FPGA — and an SoC FPGA? Read on and learn more about that, as well as some of the latest devices for embedded designs and emerging applications.

Aimee Kalnoskas

Editor in Chief, EE World Online

FPGA Classroom Sponsored by

Design • Integration • Application

FPGAs and other programmable devices – what’s the difference?

What are the application considerations when selecting FPGAs? 

What are system integration issues with FPGAs?

How does using FPGAs impact the design process?

Floorplanning and the use of predesigned hardware or software functional cores can help to speed the design flow process.

The various FPGA embodiments to consider and compare with other programmable digital ICs.

A look at two “generic” applications for FPGAs used in a variety of end-use systems.

Challenges and system integration issues that need to be confronted when working with FPGAs.

Related Resources

How to Easily Migrate from Xilinx® Spartan®-6 Devices to Microchip FPGAs

PolarFire® FPGAs

The award-winning PolarFire® FPGAs family deliver the industry’s lowest power at mid-range densities with exceptional security and reliability. This family of products spans from 100K Logic Elements (LEs) to 500K LEs, features 12.7G transceivers and offers up to 50% lower power than competing mid-range FPGAs.

Watch our webinar, featuring Martin Kellermann, to learn how Microchip allows a straightforward migration from Spartan-6 FPGAs to our portfolio of FPGAs, such as IGLOO® 2 FPGAs or SmartFusion® 2 SoCs.

PolarFire® SoC FPGAs

Balancing Power and Performance in Embedded Systems

The PolarFire® SoC FPGA family delivers low power consumption, thermal efficiency and defense-grade security for smart, connected systems. It is the first System-on-Chip (SoC) FPGA with a deterministic, coherent RISC-V CPU cluster and a deterministic L2 memory subsystem for creating Linux® and real-time applications.

FPGAs are enabling the next generation technology revolution by offering power-efficient performance in new high-volume applications in every industry.

Power  •  RISC-V   •  SoC

RISC-V for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and embedded systems

What is an SoC?

Validating power integrity in embedded systems

SoC integrates the replaceable components onto a single chip, thereby reducing the size and increasing efficiency.

A look at the factors affecting the power distribution system’s integrity.

Consider the some of the options for integrating RISC-V into high-performance systems.

Back to Basics  •  Embedded 

What are Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)?

FPGA Vs Microcontrollers - Another Approach to Embedded Design

Getting started with FPGAs

In simple terms an FPGA is a logic chip which contains a two dimensional array of logic cells and programmable switches. 

It is highly recommended to get hands dirty on an FPGA board after some work on microcontrollers.

The FPGA takes the design to hardware level where an engineer can design a computing device from the architecture level.

Microchip Technology Inc. is a leading provider of smart connected and secure embedded control solutions. Its easy-to-use development tools and comprehensive product portfolio enable customers to create optimal designs which reduce risk while lowering total system cost and time to market. The company’s solutions serve more than 120,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications and computing markets. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.

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