1 Introduction to Field Programmable Gate Arrays

1.1 Introduction

Electronics continues to make an impact in the twenty-first century and has given birth to the computer industry, mobile telephony and personal digital entertainment and services industries, to name but a few. These markets have been driven by developments in silicon technology as described by Moore’s law (Moore 1965), which is represented pictorially in Figure 1.1. This has seen the number of transistors double every 18 months. Moreover, not only has the number of transistors doubled at this rate, but also the costs have decreased, thereby reducing the cost per transistor at every technology advance.

Graph showing the Moore’s law representation against year from 1950–2020 versus 10–10,000,000,000 where 500T/mm2 Chip=4mm2, 10,000T/mm2 Chip=200mm2, etcetera are plotted.

Figure 1.1 Moore’s law

In the 1970s and 1980s, electronic systems were created by aggregating standard components such as microprocessors and memory chips with digital logic components, e.g. dedicated integrated circuits along with dedicated input/output (I/O) components on printed circuit boards (PCBs). As levels of integration grew, manufacturing working PCBs became more complex, largely due to greater component complexity in terms of the increase in the number of transistors and I/O pins. In addition, the development of multi-layer boards with as many as 20 separate layers increased the design complexity. Thus, the probability of incorrectly connecting components grew, particularly as the possibility of successfully ...

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