FPGA Programming

FPGA programming is the process of creating and planning a software program that will work with a particular hardware circuit. It is a hardware-programmable technology that uses the combination of logic gates and memory blocks to undertake computing tasks. The primary goal of the process is to build an electrical circuit that produces an output specific to the power source it is powered on.

Implementing an FPGA solution requires an extensive amount of planning to ensure that all the features necessary are present and working properly. A requirements document that contains all specifications and details can help minimize the chance of issues during the process of implementation. It is also a great idea to simulate the design using tools such as Mentor Graphics Questa, Cadence Vivado and Simulink at various stages of development.

VHDL and Verilog have been traditionally the two most popular programming languages for FPGA programming. VHDL has a syntax that is similar to C which makes it easier to write programs. Verilog is more like V and some find it easier use.

Typically, FPGA designs are implemented as a block, also known as a logic block or logic cell. It has standard logic functions such as subtraction, multiplication and addition along with basic error-checking, such as the negative and sign of the number. It also includes lookup tables (LUTs) that store pre-defined lists of logic outputs that can be used with any combination of inputs.