FPGA prototyping is more successful for structured ASICs compared to standard cell ASICs when the structured ASIC mirrors the resources available on the FPGA.By Rob Schreck, Altera
August 24, 2006 - pldesignline.com
More and more engineers are considering structured ASICs when they are designing advanced systems, because these components offer low unit cost, low power, and high performance along with fast turn-around.
In a structured ASIC, the functional resources – such as logic, memory, I/O buffers – are embedded in a pre-engineered and pre-verified base layer. The device is then customized with the top few metal layers, requiring far less engineering effort to create a low cost ASIC (Fig 1). This reduces not only the time and development costs, but also the risk of design errors, since the ASIC vendor only needs to generate metallization layers. With 90-nm process technologies, structured ASICs offer the density and performance required to meet a wide range of advanced applications.
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