If you are looking at high-density and high-performance FPGA, you should know that there are several manufacturers out there that offer it. We can think of the Altera Stratix. But if you are like most people, you are probably wondering what an FPGA is and how it works.

Programmable Chip

In a few short words, an FPGA is basically programmable chip. You might think that all chips are programmable because of the software that runs on them. However, the truth is that at the hardware level, they are not. With FPGA, though, the chips are made like lego blocks so you will need to give it a so-called shape and in the process tell it what to do.

As it is right now, the chip found on smartphones are programmed only to run applications and the operating system. With an FPGA, any engineer with sufficient knowledge can make a chip work in a certain way. For example, with an FPGA on a smartphone, a phone can be made to run a sensor without draining the battery. And there are other possibilities.

High Performance FPGA

This is made possible because the circuits are not hardwired on silicon. But this flexibility does have its disadvantages as it makes the life of computer engineers even more complicated. With powerful high-density and high-performance FPGA, only very companies are able to tackle the challenge of customizing them. Intel is one such company.

What makes FPGAs complicated is that you need to be creative and know what you want it to do, and only then can you add programs. Thankfully, though, more and more professionals are working with reprogrammable chips to make it useful to the end consumers. However, it may take awhile before we can see FPGA chips on smartphones.

The current crop are bulky and are used on computers. However, there are startups that are planning on manufacturing small FPGA chips small enough to fit into a handheld device.

FPGA chips are so powerful, they are currently being used by the military, specifically, the Intel Stratix FPGAs are being used for 5G wireless communication, secure computing for the military, data center acceleration, and network function virtualization.

When they become mainstream, we can only imagine what it would mean for the average smartphone user. We might just be able to run powerful medical apps like scanners on smartphones without draining the battery. And that’s just the beginning. For more details visit http://www.directics.com/fpga-board/