Flash Poll 5/20/2013 Post a comment
In an ideal world, every design would work first time - in the real world, not so much. When the hardware fails to perform as expected, different designers favor different tools to diagnose the problem. Which tools do you use?
The Price of Failure
Flash Poll 5/13/2013 Post a comment
Different designs target different application areas, and the ramifications of design failure vary from application to application. In some cases, a design failure may result in a slight inconvenience; in others, it may be a matter of life and death.
How Large Is Your Team?
Flash Poll 5/6/2013 3 comments
In the past it was relatively common to have small design teams who did everything. Over time it became more common to have larger teams comprising a range of specialists. More recently, there seems to be a trend to smaller teams again.
Flash Poll 4/29/2013 Post a comment
Some design houses try to stick with the same FPGA vendor come what may. Others switch vendors on a project-by-project basis in an attempt to take advantage of the biggest/fastest devices. Which sort of design house do you work for?
Flash Poll 4/15/2013 Post a comment
These days, projects can involve teams in multiple locations – even multiple time zones or countries. In such cases, keeping track of design documentation may be problematic.
Flash Poll 4/8/2013 1 comment
There are many aspects to parts management, including selecting the parts in the first place in such a way as to meet cost, quality, and delivery targets, all the way to maintaining legacy systems for years (possibly decades).
Who Pays for What Education?
Flash Poll 4/1/2013 Post a comment
In order to stay competitive, many engineers decide they need to sign up for special training or job-related courses, but who pays for these on-going training activities?
Flash Poll 3/25/2013 Post a comment
These days you never seem to finish learning. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of options when it comes to improving your FPGA design skills, from college to webinars.
Your Work Week
Flash Poll 3/18/2013 Post a comment
It seems everyone is working harder now than we used to 10, 20, and 30 years ago. It would be interesting to know how many hours per week are considered typical for designer members of All Programmable Planet.
How Many Layers?
Flash Poll 3/4/2013 Post a comment
Early circuit boards were single-sided (had copper on only one side). Then came double-sided, then multi-layer boards with four metal layers (two signal, one for power and one for ground). Today, circuit boards can be incredibly complex and can contain a large number of metal layers.
How Big Is Your Library?
Flash Poll 2/25/2013 1 comment
Prior to the arrival of the Internet, it was common for engineering companies to have their own onsite technical libraries. Also, engineers typically had their own mini-libraries in their offices. It would be interesting to know how this compares to younger engineers who have grown up in the Internet Age.
When Did You Start?
Flash Poll 2/19/2013 2 comments
New blogger Steve Leibson started with programmable logic PALs in 1982. When did you start working with programmable logic?
Flash Poll 2/4/2013 Post a comment
The members of All Programmable Planet come from all over the globe with a wide range of engineering backgrounds. Some are hardware designers, and others are software developers; some are digital experts while others are analog gurus. Which category best describes you?
Number of GPIOs?
Flash Poll 1/28/2013 Post a comment
Each new generation of FPGAs offers more and more general-purpose input/outputs (GPIOs). Some designs continue to use relatively few GPIOs, while others use as many GIPOs as are available to the designer.
Flash Poll 1/22/2013 Post a comment
When creating an FPGA-based design, a lot of options are available, such as 7 Series FPGAs implemented at the 28nm technology node, Virtex-6/Spartan-6 devices created at the 45/40nm node, or devices created at earlier technology nodes.
Flash Poll 1/7/2013 Post a comment
Today's FPGAs are being used for a tremendous variety of applications. Different designs and application areas require different component grades that can survive different environments ranging from consumer/commercial to outer space.
GPIO Data Rate?
Flash Poll 12/17/2012 Post a comment
Today's FPGAs are being used for a tremendous variety of applications. Different designs and application areas require different data rates on the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins.
FPGA Support Language?
Flash Poll 12/10/2012 1 comment
In addition to capturing the design using an HDL like Verilog, VHDL, or MyHDL, FPGA designers may employ a number of other languages for things like algorithmic modeling, design space exploration, and verification.
Biggest Design Worry?
Flash Poll 12/3/2012 Post a comment
Each engineer has his or her own area of concern. Some worry about ensuring they have captured the correct functionality, while others obsess about achieving timing closure.
Flash Poll 11/26/2012 Post a comment
The input/output (I/O) pins on FPGAs can be programmed to implement a wide range of standards. Some designers may use only one I/O standard, while others may use a mixture of standards, especially in the case where the FPGA is used to interface among other devices that support different standards.
Flash Poll 11/19/2012 Post a comment
FPGAs are being using in more and more products, and an increasing number of people are starting to work with these devices. This has led to a wide spread in the range of experience seen in the FPGA design and verification community.
Application Area / Market Segment
Flash Poll 11/12/2012 Post a comment
When FPGAs first appeared on the scene, they were primarily used to implement simple functions like small-state machines and glue logic. Over the years they grew in capacity and performance. Today FPGAs are found in almost every application area / market segment.
Size of BOM?
Flash Poll 11/5/2012 Post a comment
The number of components in a bill of materials can vary dramatically depending on your industry. Some FPGA-based designs have fewer than 20 components on the board, while others might have more than 1000.
Flash Poll 10/29/2012 7 comments
When FPGAs first appeared on the scene, designs were captured by hand as truth tables and the connections between logic blocks. The next step was FPGA-based schematic capture systems. Today, the predominant technique is language-driven design using logic synthesis technology, and a number of languages may be used to capture the design.
Flash Poll 10/15/2012 Post a comment
When FPGAs first appeared on the scene, they contained only relatively small amounts of logic. Over time other functions were added, including blocks of RAM and DSP functions. Now, today's high-end FPGAs can include hundreds of thousands of lookup tables (LUTs), megabits of RAM, thousands of DSP slices, and many other types of hard macros.
FPGA Clock Frequency?
Flash Poll 10/8/2012 Post a comment
When FPGAs first appeared on the scene, their maximum clock frequency was relatively low by today's standards. Over the years the capabilities of these devices has increased, and designers have moved to using ever-higher clock frequencies.
Flash Poll 10/1/2012 Post a comment
When FPGAs first started offering multi-gigabit transceivers, only a small proportion of users took advantage of this technology. As the capacity and performance of FPGA fabric have increased, however, more and more designs now make use of multi-gigabit transceivers to input and output vast quantities of data.
Number of PCB layers?
Flash Poll 9/24/2012 3 comments
The number of pins/terminals on a programmable device can range from a few tens up to a couple of thousand. The more complex programmable devices require sophisticate circuit boards with lots of metal layers for signal and power, and they might need micro-vias and high-density interconnect.
Flash Poll 9/16/2012 Post a comment
These days there are multiple sources that can be used to find any news and to perform any research necessary to make strategic business decisions. These sources include colleagues and peers, industry analysts, journalists, and vendors/suppliers.
What's your interest?
Flash Poll 9/10/2012 3 comments
Membership of All Programmable Planet is growing in leaps and bounds. Different members have different areas of interest, including hardware, software, design, tools, projects, and applications.
What are you using FPGAs for?
Flash Poll 9/3/2012 2 comments
Programmable devices are now being used for a wide range of applications in a tremendous variety of markets, and they are also being used for a wide range of production runs, from fewer than 1,000 units to more than 10,000.
How many blocks/modules?
Flash Poll 8/27/2012 Post a comment
Generally speaking, it makes thing easier to partition a design into a number of smaller blocks/modules. In the case of smaller projects, some designers may prefer to have a single large module, but most designers partition the top-level design into a number of distinct functional units.
How Many I/O Standards?
Flash Poll 8/20/2012 Post a comment
FPGA devices generally support a range of I/O standards, thereby allowing the FPGA to communicate directly with other devices, each of which may employ a different standard.
How Many Clock Domains?
Flash Poll 8/13/2012 5 comments
An FPGA design may employ multiple clocks, where each clock is said to form a "clock domain" inside the device. The tricky thing comes if a signal generated in one clock domain has to pass into another clock domain.
What industry do you work in?
Flash Poll 8/6/2012 Post a comment
Programmable devices are now being used for a wide range of applications in a tremendous variety of markets – from aerospace and automotive to medical and scientific.
Typical FPGA Design Size
Flash Poll 7/30/2012 Post a comment
The first FPGA contained only 64 lookup tables (LUTs) and 64 registers. By comparison, today's high-end devices can contain hundreds of thousands of LUTs and registers.
How Many FPGAs on Your PCB?
Flash Poll 7/23/2012 Post a comment
Thirty years ago FPGAs were an unknown quantity; now they are key elements in all sorts of different applications. In fact, many applications require multiple FPGAs.
Where Do You Go for Information?
Flash Poll 7/16/2012 Post a comment
The Internet offers a tremendous variety of informational resources. Where do system architects, design engineers, students, and other people go when they are trying to learn more about programmable devices and technologies?
How Big Is Your MCU?
Flash Poll 7/9/2012 Post a comment
Some people think that 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers are a thing of the past, and that 32-bits are the wave of the future, but there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of projects coming online that use the smaller processors.
Alternative Number Formats
Flash Poll 7/2/2012 Post a comment
Different designs may use different formats to store and represent numerical values. Common formats include integer, fixed-point, floating-point, and binary coded decimal (BCD). Which format or formats do you use the most?
Searching for FPGAs
Flash Poll 6/25/2012 Post a comment
Even though there are only a few FPGA vendors, they each offer multiple FPGA families, and each family has multiple members. When system architects and design engineers are starting a new project, how do they decide which FPGA to use?
Is your MCU inside or outside your FPGA?
Flash Poll 6/18/2012 Post a comment
Some embedded systems require only a standalone microcontroller unit (MCU). Others augment the MCU with an FPGA. More recently, designers are increasingly using FPGAs containing soft and/or hard MCU cores.
Which Coding Style Is Best?
Flash Poll 6/4/2012 2 comments
When capturing FPGA designs in Verilog or VHDL, different people prefer different coding styles. Some prefer to have keywords in uppercase and user-defined signals and variables in lowercase; others prefer things the opposite way ’round. Which is the best coding style to use?
Mind the FPGA Gap
Flash Poll 5/28/2012 Post a comment
The name field-programmable gate array (FPGA) has outlived its usefulness, because modern programmable devices are capable of so much more than their rudimentary ancestors, so is it time to adopt a new appellation?
Who Are You?
Flash Poll 4/17/2012 Post a comment
The members of the Programmable Planet community span a tremendous range, from beginners to experts, hardware designers to software developers, and people who already know programmable logic to engineers who are just now moving into this field.
In order to celebrate Geek Pride Day, Sylvie Barak has created a mega-cool infographic that depicts how geeks have been building the Internet since 1832.
Can statistical or heuristic verification really work for FPGA designs?
One of the things I've been wondering is whether or not the "okWireOR" module is really just a giant OR, or if the order in which things are attached matters.
I am shocked and horrified. It appears that those little scamps at Planet Analog are writing blogs pertaining to field-programmable issues.
This week's live online chat takes place on Thursday, May 23, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. ET.