Proselytizing Programmable Logic
The faithful are easy.
An FPGA company rolls out a new line and the bragging begins: "More LUTs, increased Fmax, Shorter PnR runs, faster MGTs!"
The faithful are impressed: "Yes! Tell us more! Have you increased the LUT width? Added more FF's to your LEs? Diversified your mix of hardened IP blocks? Increased the BRAM ratio? "
(The Faithful talk like that most of the time - all acrimoniously acronymic, feasting in their insider insight, devouring the minutiae with reckless abandon, disdainfully dismissing the unwashed masses.)
The rest of the world, however, is less easily amused: "FGP- what? Can I make a digital camera out of one? Or is this a new name for the LPGA? What's a LUT?"
As status symbols go, memory chips are about as low as you can get. Even in the nerdy world of embedded chips and software, memories are low on sex appeal, low on differentiation, and low on most designers’ list of interesting devices. They are, in a word, generic.
So what’s new and exciting in the world of embedded memories? Uh... nothing, really. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile reexamining your assumptions about memory and memory types. There’s a decades-old memory technology that perhaps has been overlooked for too long.
Developments in Embedded WiFi
The internet has been a massive game-changer for humanity. It started as a way for people to get information, then a quicker way to communicate, then a way to do business. And now… well, perhaps we’ve come full circle back to getting information. But it’s become clear that there is such a thing as too much information. Thanks to ubiquitous access to the many ways of keeping in touch with those people whom you know are interested in your every move, your every thought, your every… synaptic firing, we can all practically live in each other’s brains.
We can now know when you started breakfast, what you had for breakfast, whether you liked it, when you finished, and whether you cleaned the dishes after or just put them in a heap for later. We could, if you wanted, receive a record of every chew. We know when you’re excited, when you’re bored, when the weather is great, when you trimmed that carbuncle, when that ingrown hair started festering, when you learned that… well, it might just get to be a bit more than we need. But as far as you’re concerned, we’re all just dying to hear all this stuff.
Image format conversion is commonly implemented within various broadcast infrastructure systems such as servers, switchers, head-end encoders, and specialty studio displays.
At the basic level, the need for image format conversion is driven by the multitude of input image formats that must be converted to high definition (HD) or a different resolution before being stored, encoded, or displayed.
The broadcast infrastructure is a fragmented market with every vendor having slightly different ‘image format conversion’ requirements – be it the number of channels, the output resolution, progressive vs. interlaced image processing, etc. Also different characteristics are important within different sub-segments. While overall delay is very important in switcher applications, latency is a key factor for displays and video-conferencing systems. Server system requirements are more about image quality and have a higher priority than latency.
FPGAs Going the Distance Against ASIC
Imagine seeing the following copy in a modern ad: "The new BMW 5-series sedan outperforms the horse and buggy in every important way. Your family will travel farther in a day and arrive less fatigued thanks to our superior cruising speed, climate-controlled cabin, and luxurious upholstery. It's so much easier to use as well - no more hitching up the team before you start, and no more watering, feeding, and grooming at the end of the day. You just turn the key and drive away. Simple as that. So, before you snap up that new stallion you've been eyeing - consider a car instead."
You'd probably feel like our Bavarian auto-marketers were out of touch with the times. Certainly, there was a time when the main mission of the auto industry was replacement of horse-drawn conveyances, but there came a time when the automobile won, and marketers shifted their sights to more serious competition.
A Look at Silicon Debug – After You’ve Got Silicon
Hey Mike… Come here a sec… We need your help.
Sure. What is it?
Need you to find someone.
OK… who and where?
Name’s Waldo. Here’s his background. He’s in New York City.
New York City?? I’m supposed to find him there? Just like that?
Yup. Oh, come on, don’t look at me like that. You did a great job last time.
Last time? Are you serious? That was Tonopah! There’s, like, three main ways in and out. A handful of city streets. And great visibility, so even if someone takes the back road, you can spot them 20 miles away from the air.
How can you even compare that to New York City?? And besides, if you’ve been on his case, why did you lose him in the first place?