FPGA Design

The challenge of Field Programmable Gate Array design is that of having the right tools for the job and knowing how to use them to implement the most efficient and highest performance design possible. FPGA components offer an unparalleled degree of flexibility and functional density to the digital system designer without the costs normally associated with a full custom ASIC development. Some families of FPGA components are once-programmed PROM based devices while other families are re-programmable SRAM based devices. Some families offer the added flexibility of in-circuit configuration which allows many design changes to be made without modification or impact to the host printed circuit card. The dynamic in-circuit reconfiguration of FPGA components has even opened up new opportunities in reconfigurable computing and the development of self-modifying hardware based algorithms. Our extensive experience in FPGA design can help provide you with all the advantages in system size and performance that you require.


  • VHDL Design
    VHSIC Hardware Description Language has been in use for many years, but predominantly by ASIC designers who required tools to more easily develop and manage extremely complex digital circuits. However, as FPGA devices now approach one million equivalent gates, VHDL is frequently becoming the method of choice in defining and capturing these complex logic designs as well. Although schematic capture is still a valuable design entry and documentation method, hybrid schematic-VHDL designs are becoming common place. VHDL is a particularly powerful approach when designing circuitry that may be used with multiple FPGA device families. Without the use of device specific parameters, VHDL is by itself a highly portable language.
  • Xilinx Design
    Although there are many companies now offering programmable logic components, Xilinx was the first to combine the capabilities of standard gate array logic with the flexibility of end user programmability. Since 1985, Xilinx has continued to push the leading edge of FPGA technology, and has in fact just unveiled the world's first "million gate" FPGA, as part of their new Virtex family of parts. In addition to a wide range of components providing all choices of density and programming options, Xilinx also provides design software supporting the entire process of schematic entry, VHDL synthesis, compilation (place & route), and simulation. Support for a wide variety of netlist formats also enables communication with a host of other design tools.
  • Lattice Design
    Lattice is another company that has provided leading edge developments in programmable logic components since the mid 1980s beginning with the shift from bipolar PALs to CMOS PLDs. They were the first, in 1992, to introduce in-system programmable High-Density PLD (ispLSI™) devices. Coupled with their family of programmable digital switches (ispGDS™), Lattice provides the ultimate in leading edge performance and I/O management design solutions. Their design implementation tools provide architecture specific algorithms for performance oriented synthesis, partitioning, routing while compatibility with many 3rd party design entry tools helps make end-to-end implementation a reality.
  • Simulation
    With the ever increasing complexity of digital designs and the decreasing accessibility for hardware troubleshooting, both functional and performance simulation has become a necessity for cost effective design verification. The use of integrated design environments such as OrCAD Express™ provides a complete set of tools for design entry, simulation, VHDL synthesis, and interactive interface with a wide selection of vendor specific FPGA fitter tools. Finding and fixing design problems before the hardware is fabricated is certainly the most cost effective methodology for complex digital system development.