In the computer and electronics world, we are used to two different ways of performing computation: hardware and software. Computer hardware, such as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), provides highly optimized resources for quickly performing critical tasks, but it is permanently configured to only one application via a multimillion-dollar design and fabrication effort. Computer software provides the flexibility to change applications and perform a huge number of different tasks, but is orders of magnitude worse than ASIC implementations in terms of performance, silicon area efficiency, and power usage.

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are truly revolutionary devices that blend the benefits of both hardware and ...

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