Why do developers prefer an FPGA over a traditional CPU or GPU? First, FPGA are reprogrammable, meaning the chip can be reused over and over again and to suit different applications. Plus something like an ASIC takes a long time to develop, whereas an FPGA has a faster time to market.
Today, it’s become a lot easier for a developer to rely on the benefits of an FPGA.
1. Instead of purchasing a prohibitively expensive high-end FPGA, you can rent one online.
Just think. Before, you would have to commit thousands of dollars for a single chip, but now, you can ‘rent’ an FPGA online and pay only for the time you use it for.
Xilinx partnered with Amazon Workspaces and Intel (Altera) partnered with Alibaba Cloud to bring forth this service.
2. One of the drawbacks of using an FPGA is that it takes time to program the chip.
Cutting back on the development phase allows for easier debugging and a faster time to market.
FPGA-makers are now facilitating environments where developers can rely on C, C++ and OpenCL code to write program code into an FPGA.
3. FPGA are rising in popularity. There are several FPGA manufacturers, and competition keeps the prices reasonable. Plus different FPGA makers cater to different audiences.
We all know Altera and Xilinx. The two companies produce high-end FPGA, which are developed to meet the demands of a few, high-paying customers.
Other players in the FPGA market includes Lattice Semiconductor. Compared to Altera and Xilinx, Lattice is taking a novel approach to the FPGA it develops. Lattice produces low-end FPGA which are used in consumer devices. The company earns revenue on the sheer number of FPGA it sells.
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