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Field programmable gate array (FPGA)

A field programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit (IC) that includes a two-dimensional array of general-purpose logic circuits, called cells or logic blocks, whose functions are programmable. The cells are linked to one another by programmable buses. A field-programmable gate array comprises any number of logic modules, an interconnect routing architecture and programmable elements that may be programmed to selectively interconnect the logic modules to one another and to define the functions of the logic modules. The basic device architecture of an FPGA consists of an array of configurable logic blocks (CLBs) embedded in a configurable interconnect structure and surrounded by configurable I/O blocks (IOBs). An IOB allows signals to be driven off-chip or optionally brought onto the FPGA onto interconnect segments. The IOB can typically perform other functions, such as tri-stating outputs and registering incoming or out-going signals. The configurable interconnect structure allows users to implement multi-level logic designs. In addition, FPGAs typically include other specialized blocks, such as block random access memories (BRAMs) and digital signal processors (DSPs). These specialized blocks perform more specific tasks than the CLBs, but can still be configured in accordance with a variety of options to enable flexible operation of the FPGA. Field programmable gate arrays may be classified in one of two categories. One category of FPGA devices is one-time programmable and uses elements such as antifuses for making programmable connections. The other category of FPGA devices is reprogrammable and uses devices such as transistor switches as the programmable elements to make non-permanent programmable connections. An FPGA can support hundreds of thousands of gates of logic operating at system speeds of tens of megahertz. To implement a particular circuit function, the circuit is mapped into the array and the appropriate programmable elements are programmed to implement the necessary wiring connections that form the user circuit. The FPGA is programmed by loading programming data into the memory cells controlling the configurable logic blocks, I/O blocks, and interconnect structure.


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