FPGA Insights has engaged in an exclusive interview with JITENDRA GUPTA, FPGA Engineer at VVDN Technologies
Q1) Can you provide an overview of your experience with FPGA design projects mentioning a few that you’ve worked on, starting with a brief introduction?
I am working as an FPGA/RTL design engineer. I engaged with a team of engineers to carry out FPGA development of thermal Camera projects as well as with the QA, HW, and SW teams for the smooth development of our project.
Q2) Can you explain the benefits of using FPGAs over other types of processors?
The Salient advantage of designing with FPGAs is their fundamental programmable fabric, which empowers the designer to rapidly program (and re-program) them to perform and preserve nearly any function.
There are a number of attractive advantages of FPGAs over all types of processors. Some major advantages are as follows:
The greatest advantage that FPGAs have over any other alternative is that they are reprogrammable. This means that even after the circuit has been designed and implemented, FPGAs can still be modified, and updated as per requirements and completely change its functionality to perform a completely different task than previously.
Re-programmability reduces the efforts and cost required for the long-term maintenance of these chips. You do not need to invest in replacing or redesigning new hardware when the old one becomes out of date — you can simply update its code and program it in the field with the new functionality.
b) Cost Efficiency
Since FPGAs can be reprogrammed again and again they prove to be extremely cost-effective in the long run even though they may pose higher unit costs. This is clearly one of the advantages of FPGA architecture. They rid you of the need to cover recurring bug-related costs that you may get stuck paying if you were to opt for an ASIC. ASICs also have heavy non-recurring expenses which are skipped altogether when it comes to FPGAs in addition to the fact that you do not require the use of any costly and expensive tools to design or configure your FPGA chip.
ASICs also prove to be more expensive in the long run as they must be completely redesigned along with hardware if updates and enhancements are needed. FPGAs do not share these costs as they can be reprogrammed for next to nothing.
c) Parallel Task Performance
Chips that perform data processing in a sequential manner tend to not be used time time-critical applications. FPGAs can be designed to include multiple blocks processing data in parallel. This means that it can offer much greater scalability as compared to other processors such as ASICs and MCUs as well as time-critical data processing.
d) Time to Market
One of the most significant advantages of FPGAs is that they allow you to finish the development of your product in a very short amount of time, meaning a shorter time to market. FPGA design tools are easy to use and do not require a long learning curve.
Q3) What are the most significant trends observed in the FPGA industry over the past year? How will these trends shape the industry’s future?
FPGAs have become game-changers in this era of limitless possibilities, changing hardware functionality and enabling industries to reach new heights
No more limitations of fixed-function hardware – projects can adapt, upgrade, and optimize seamlessly.
With lightning-fast performance, FPGAs handle complex computations and data processing tasks at astonishing speeds.
The year 2023 unveils a world of opportunities fuelled by FPGAs. From artificial intelligence to telecommunications and automotive sectors, the transformative power of FPGAs is reshaping industries.
Q4) How do you see FPGA development evolving to meet the demands of modern applications and complex workloads?
The FPGA development evolving very rapidly to fulfill the demands of modern applications like thermal imaging in the defense industry and space industry due to their fast computing speed and highly secured features. Commercial soft processors are unable to effectively exploit the data parallelism present in many embedded systems workloads whereas FPGAs are strong enough to exploit data parallelism because of the nature of the HDLs.
FPGAs can be programmed for different kinds of workloads, from signal processing to deep learning and big data analytics
Q5) Key drivers behind the increasing adoption of FPGAs in various applications and industries?
The requirements and turn-around time itself are drivers to use the FPGA industry.
Some salient features of FPGAs are already discussed in previous questions.
Q6) Sectors that stand to benefit the most from FPGA integration, and why?
Many sectors stand to benefit from FPGA like aerospace and defense, data center, medical, etc.
The main reason to use FPGA is their key feature like speed, performance, and power.
Q7) The role of FPGAs in accelerating AI applications and advancements expected in the near future.
FPGA technology shows great potential for accelerating AI-related workloads.
One more plus for that FPGAs are less power-hungry than standard GPUs.
Ultra-low latency can be expected in the near future.
Q8) Ensuring the security and integrity of FPGA designs, especially in sensitive applications like finance and defense.
The field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is a mainstream technology in financial markets. FPGAs are currently used for performance-sensitive workloads such as network I/O acceleration, market data processing, execution of real-time trading logic, and pre-trade risk computation.
Bitstream data integrity is the capability to ensure that a design has not been inadvertently altered. Big FPGA designs can include valuable IPs. IP encryption and Bitstream restrict a competitor from stealing that information. However, encryption can also deliver trust assurance by requesting a suitable key to access the FPGA designs.
Q9) Advice for students and professionals interested in pursuing a career in FPGA development to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies.
If you are passionate about FPGA design, then Buy any FPGA that you can afford and start practicing. The main important thing is your digital electronics must be strong enough if you really want to get into the FPGAs domain. Download free available tools like Vivado, Quartus, etc., and start playing with FPGAs and enjoying experiments.