Fpga-en­abled in­stru­men­ta­tion

Electronics For You - - TEST & -

ith the in­crease in sys­tem-level tools for field-pro­gram­mable gate ar­rays (FPGAs) over the last few years, an in­creas­ing num­ber of man­u­fac­tur­ers are in­clud­ing FPGAs in in­stru­men­ta­tion. What’s more, en­gi­neers are given the choice to re­pro­gram these FPGAs ac­cord­ing to their re­quire­ments. So test en­gi­neers can em­bed a cus­tom al­go­rithm into the de­vice to per­form in-line pro­cess­ing inside the FPGA, or even em­u­late part of the sys­tem that re­quires a real-time re­sponse.

Satish Thakare, head-R&D, VLSI division, Scien­tech Tech­nolo­gies, ex­plains the tra­di­tional chal­lenges that led to this trend: “De­sign­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers have to face a lot of chal­lenges to make the prod­uct avail­able in the mar­ket in a short time. Us­ing a hard­ware-based ap­proach does not serve the pur­pose as the de­signer has to re­design the hard­ware for ev­ery prod­uct. Even con­ven­tional meth­ods will not serve the pur­pose as it works on the se­quen­tial method. So the de­sign­ers need a kind of tech­nol­ogy that al­lows them to change the func­tion­al­ity with­out chang­ing the hard­ware while be­ing able to up­grade the prod­uct on the go.”

Thakare goes on to ex­plain the so­lu­tion: “The ob­vi­ous choice for the de - the FPGA in the in­stru­ments is that it of­fers high re­li­a­bil­ity, low la­tency, em­bed­ded dig­i­tal sig­nal pro­ces­sor (DSP) core and true par­al­lel­ism.”

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