Newbie level 4
I am interested in supplementing a low-power microcontroller (MSP430) with an FPGA (undecided) to add 8 custom timers. My experience with FPGAs is limited (1 semester), but I do know that it is possible to emulate certain processors within an FPGA, so I could theoretically end up with a single-part solution where an MCU is wired up to these 8 timers inside the FPGA. My question is: what is the power consumption of an FPGA 'emulating' a processor vs the power consumption of the real processor? I suspect I will be better off adding a small FPGA to an MCU rather than combining them, but I would like to know the thoughts of some folks with real experience. Also, how does emulating a processor in an FPGA affect its maximum clock speed relative to the actual processor?