The shortage of FPGA engineers is leading many companies to outsource FPGA development. Outsourcing has many benefits, but it also carries risks. Here are ten questions to consider before outsourcing.By Mark D. Wecht, Embedded Systems Design pldesignline.com (February 12, 2009)
FPGAs are an ideal solution for many applications. They offer an appealing mix of high performance, low cost, and low power. On the other hand, many companies find it hard to do FPGA design. The technology is constantly advancing, and there is a shortage of skilled FPGA designers. As a result, an increasing number of companies are outsourcing FPGA development to an engineering services provider. Outsourcing can reduce risk and cost, but only if done carefully. Here are ten questions every company should consider before outsourcing FPGA development.1. Can the effort be outsourced?
Software, hardware, and firmware efforts selected for outsourcing should result in deliverable components with well defined interfaces. There must be a technical point of contact (TPOC) with sufficient skills to manage an outsourced effort. The TPOC must understand the requirements, development budget, schedule, and interdependencies. The TPOC must be able to assign tasks to the engineering services provider and determine whether delivered components meet the outlined requirements. 2. Are there clear requirements for the effort to be outsourced?
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