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Is there any application that is dominated by FPGA?

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pdp1231

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Is there any product which mostly uses FPGA or Gate array? This is as opposed to using the standard cell design. I have to write an answer for my homework.

I think medical equipment should use FPGA's to avoid high NRE costs, reduce design time and also because most medical equipment don't run on batteries. I have been searching for medical equipment but all that I find in their specifications is that the machine is 'electronically controlled'. The problem is that the question in my hw does not ask for my opinion but is asking for a product which uses FPGA.

I have not found any document saying that a particular instrument uses FPGA. Am I wrong in thinking that medical equipment use FPGA?

If yes, please tell me about any product that primarily uses FPGA. If no, can you please provide me with any references to help me make my point?
 

ads_ee

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I know for certain Xilinx has a disclaimer in their documentation that states that their products are not to be used in medical equipment. Don't know if any of the medical equipment manufactures disregard that and use them anyway. Just check one of their datasheets and they have this as the last line of the disclaimer: "CUSTOMER ASSUMES THE SOLE RISK AND LIABILITY OF ANY USE OF XILINX PRODUCTS IN CRITICAL APPLICATIONS" So maybe there are Xilinx parts in a medical device....Hmmm. I guess I don't ever want to be hooked up to a medical device, considering the quality of FPGA designs I've seen. ;-)

Quite a few products in the video distribution network use FPGAs (just look at Xilinx/Altera websites and the cores they provide). Systems that have to deal with a lot of data and emerging standards usually use FPGAs to compensate for changes in the standard down the line. Hardly any consumer electronics use FPGAs due to both cost and power.
 
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naught

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hi, ads_ee. Could you explain a little more about"considering the quality of FPGA designs I`ve seen". Thanks.
My experience mainly falls around wireless communication field...and the FPGA seems to work fine...
 

ads_ee

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It's a semi serious joke about how many times I've seen really poor quality code written for FPGAs that I've had the displeasure of having to fix.

Things like clock domain crossings with no metastability protection and the signal goes to two different places in the design....
 

Elektronman

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FPGAs are used a lot in the avionics and space industries.
However in production industry, FPGA are used more for creating prototypes of the final product. FPGAs still suffer from being too expensive and power consuming, so they are not good for mass production.
My 2 cents

Elektronman
 

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