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FUNCTION BLOCK ORIENTED FIELD PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC ARRAYS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006731D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jan-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 101K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Bob V. Lazaravich: AUTHOR

Abstract

Today's hardware designer has a multitude of devices to choose from when beginning a new design. In recent years the use of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA's) has drastically changed the way that designs are implemented. Designs so complex that they were considered nearly impossible just a few years ago can now be attained using several of the larger programmable devices. Still, many designs require the higher densities and speeds that can only be obtained using the large custom standard cell logic arrays. This is one of the prob- lems with the FPGAs currently available; they cannot approach the density of the standard cell custom gate arrays.

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MOTOROLA INC. Technical Developments Volume 10 March 1993

FUNCTION BLOCK ORIENTED FIELD PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC ARRAYS

by Bob V. Lazaravich

   T&y's hardware designer has a multitude of devices to choose from when beginning a new design. In recent years the use of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA's) has drastically changed the way that designs are implemented. Designs so complex that they were considered nearly impossible just a few years ago can now be attained using several of the larger programmable devices. Still, many designs require the higher densities and speeds that can only be obtained using the large custom standard cell logic arrays. This is one of the prob- lems with the FPGAs currently available; they cannot approach the density of the standard cell custom gate arrays.

When complex designs containing several FPGA's are examined, several things become evident:

* Most designs are MPU baaed, yet no MPU-oriented

FPGA's exist.

* Designs must begin at a very low level, usually at the single gate level.

* Designers are spending the greatest portion of their design time, and gates, to design common circuits.

* All currently available FPGA's are generic in nature. They are equally unsuited for all possible applications.

* Some FPGA devices are unusable because the interconnection delays that build up when designing a function become so great that system perform- ance is degraded.

  With a different approach to FPGA design many of these problems can be overcome. Designers don't need FPGA devices full of simple gates, they need FPGA's containing pre-built, high-speed FUNCTION BLOCKS, connected and ready to use. With such a device, many unique FPGA's with different FUNCTION BLOCKS and connection methods would be possible. Some font- tions would be impossible to reproduce using currently

10

available FPGA-type devices. Some examples of func- tion blocks are included below.

* 8,16,32 bit Read/Write registers. * High-speed 32-bit counters (100 Mhz). * 32-bit countdown timers, some with just a termi- nal count output.
* N-bit serial to parallel and parallel to serial converters.
* Multi-bit shift registers.
* 32-bit high-speed (10 bs) Adders.
* Input signal de-boon&s.
* Multi-bit comparators.
* D/A and A/D circuits.
+ FIFO blocks.
* Oscillators.
* Output blocks w...