FPGAs play a crucial role in any industry. It does not matter if it is modern designs or complex prototyping. They offer reliable design and manufacturing solutions. They do this by offering the best of both worlds. FPGAs have been instrumental to the success of many big organizations. FPGAs are also gaining more and more critical in the medical industry. The medical sector is a multi-billion dollar market. In addition, a vast amount of information needs analyzing. The process of them in real-time is growing at a tremendous rate. It makes FPGA technology in the medical industry an essential factor.
According to a new report published by Persistence Market Research, the global FPGA market valued USD 28.9 billion in 2016. Furthermore, we expect it to grow with a CAGR of 13% over the forecast period (2017–2022). According to a new report published by Persistence Market Research (PMR), this is according to a new report. The report also indicates that North America, Asia, and Europe will emerge as the fastest-growing markets.
Initially, manufacturers developed programmable logic devices to emulate custom computer chips. Xilinx invented the first PLD in the early 1980s. As a result, we often refer to it as the Xilinx device. With Xilinx’s FPGA, many companies produce FPGA, including Lattice Semiconductor and Altera.
The development of FPGAs began in the early 80s. This is with the advent of gate arrays and reprogrammable logic devices. The first commercially available gate arrays were available from Xilinx in 1984. In 1987, Altera developed the EPLD to provide customers with a lower-cost alternative to gate arrays and decoded PLDs. Today, Altera is the FPGA leader, with a market share of 60% in 2016.
Countries where we find FPGA companies
The global FPGA market is around North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World. Among these regions, North America was the leading FPGA market in 2016. It accounts for a market share of 40.8% in 2016. We expect the market to grow at a CAGR of 9% from 2017 to 2022 n projected by 2022.
The revenues from the European region were USD 7.8 billion in 2016. We expect it to grow at a CAGR of 13% during the forecast period.
The Asia Pacific FPGA market will show considerable growth with a CAGR of 17% from 2017 to 2022. This is due to the growing demand for mobile devices and other consumer electronics. It uses FPGAs as semiconductors. In addition, the increasing demand for smart wearables will further fuel the growth in this market.
How FPGA influences technology in the world
FPGA technology is also revolutionizing the gaming industry. Several faster and more powerful gaming platforms are being introduced in the market every year. Newer PC games are now demanding more from their processors and graphics cards. It has led to a huge demand for these technologies
In addition to gaming, FPGA technology also has a huge impact on other industries. The development of new improvements in FPGA has changed the way data center servers are performing. FPGA technology is helpful in high-end supercomputers. Such technologies can conduct calculations and simulations that traditional chips cannot perform. The Financial sector has also used FPGA technology to process large amounts of data. It has led to significant improvements in cryptocurrency mining.
Top 8 FPGA manufacturers in the world
1) Xilinx Inc.
One of the lesser-known companies that produce various products is an Australian company called Xilinx Incorporated. This company has a reputation for being one of the more advanced companies in the production of very high-technology.
Xilinx is a manufacturer that produces integrated circuits. Why are integrated circuits essential, you might ask? They are responsible for making everything work better, faster, and using less power. This is ideal because of the rapid development of technology and because we don’t always want to drain our batteries all the time.
One of the most popular integrated circuits that Xilinx produces is an FPGA. This stands for Field Programmable Gate Array. But, again, what does this mean? We can configure this type of integrated circuit in many different ways and areas.
The company Xilinx has been producing FPGAs for several years now. They have managed to produce different FPGA models, all suited to certain uses. This has meant that even though their FPGAs did not dominate the market for long, they are still very popular.
Another thing that makes Xilinx stand out from the crowd of FPGA producers is that they produce the chips and software and hardware integration tools.
2) Altera Corporation
Another FPGA manufacturer that has been around for several years is Altera Corporation. Just like Xilinx, this company is also one of the top FPGA companies in the world.
The company was founded in 1984 and is in California. Since 1984, they have been continually producing high-quality products and are now one of the world’s best-known companies. Altera Corporation manufactures FPGAs for several different uses. These include the fields of industrial automation, microprocessors, and consumer electronics.
The Altera Corporation is the third-largest FPGA manufacturer globally, after Xilinx and chip giant Intel Corporation. The company holds around 35% of the market for FPGAs in total. For this reason, quite a few technology companies are using their products.
Altera Corporation had designed chips for NASA to build their Mars Rover. They have also made chips for the European Space Agency and the US Military. This is because of the high quality that Altera Corporation produces.
3) Lattice Semiconductor
Another very influential company in the world of FPGAs is Lattice Semiconductor Corporation. This company was founded back in 1997 and has quickly risen to become one of the top FPGA manufacturers.
Lattice Semiconductor Corporation focuses on making products too complex for individual companies to produce. These include chips made just for the needs of a particular company. However, the lattice has also become very successful at producing adaptable chips to be used in many different applications. This is why they have made such a name for themselves as a top FPGA manufacturer. They make the chips helpful in everything from high-tech medical equipment to workstations and even video cards.
The company has won many awards because of its products used in many different applications. They have won the “Best Products of the Year” award and the “Technology Innovation of the Year” award. This is all because they produce such high-quality products.
Achronix Semiconductor Corporation is an American FPGA manufacturer that has been in the game since 2003. This is not a very long time, but it is certainly sufficient time to become successful.
The company concentrates on producing ultra-small FPGAs used in many different applications. These include use in military and medical systems as well as consumer electronics. As a result, the company has managed to produce some of the smallest FPGAs on the market today, allowing them to compete favorably with other manufacturers.
Achronix Semiconductor Corporation is also one of the few FPGAs manufacturers to produce and sell baseband processors. These are chips used in wireless communication, and they have managed to get themselves an excellent reputation in this industry. It focuses on data center, networking, ML, AI, and 5G, which is why the company has become so successful.
5) QuickLogic Corporation
QuickLogic Corporation is another FPGA manufacturer that has achieved good results over the past few years. However, unlike many other companies on this list, QuickLogic does not produce just high-quality FPGAs. Instead, they also produce high-quality ASICs and other components.
The company originally started as a GLOBALFOUNDRIES spinoff and was started in 2006. Since then, they have grown to become a very well-known and successful company indeed. Their products are helpful in many different applications and many different types of industries. They have been involved with some very high-profile companies in the past, including Google, Cisco, and Marvell.
QuickLogic Corporation is often responsible for designing chips for other high-profile companies. Many chips you will see in the devices you use daily, such as cellphones, have been designed by QuickLogic Corporation. This means that they are one of the most successful FPGA manufacturers on the market today.
6) Microchip Technology
Another very well-known company in the FPGA industry is Microchip Technology. This company was started back in the 1980s and has become one of the top microcontrollers and other microprocessors.
PJ Rodgers, a very successful businessman, founded the company. They have been able to branch out into many different markets to expand their business. Perhaps their most famous product is the hugely successful PIC microcontroller.
Microchip Technology has also produced a range of FPGAs called Microchip’s Multimedia Module. These are chips used in many different types of devices, including set-top boxes and video cards. These FPGAs are known for being very high quality and have won many awards because of their high performance. They have even been able to win “Best in Class” awards from the Electronic Design Magazine.
Microchip Technology has also designed and produced RFID chips. This has allowed them to carve out a niche in this market, which is why they are one of the biggest FPGA manufacturers.
7) Microsemi Corporation
Another FPGA manufacturer which has seen a lot of success over the years is Microsemi Corporation. This company is one of the largest COTS manufacturers globally, so you will see their products in many applications worldwide.
The company was founded back in 1983, making it one of the oldest companies on this list. This means that the company has had plenty of time to perfect their products, which is why they are now so successful.
Unlike Altera and Xilinx, Microsemi does not produce FPGAs for just any use. Instead, they concentrate more on providing their products to military applications and scientific ones. This is why many of their products are often helpful in government contracts and research endeavors.
Microsemi Corporation has worked with Qualcomm, a very influential communication company. They also have their line of FPGAs, which are called SmartFusion. Microsemi Corporation has recently released a new version of this range called SmartFusion2. This is because the technology within these chips has significantly advanced since the release of the first versions.
Efinix Corporation is another well-known company in the FPGA industry. They were founded way back in 2000 and have since become one of the top FPGA manufacturers on the market today.
Efinix specializes in making very small FPGAs complex enough for customers to use as high-level control chips for other chips and devices. They are known for making incredibly tiny components, which means that they can be helpful in all sorts of different markets. For example, they are essential in the manufacturing industry and consumer electronics.
The company also manages several other subsidiaries, including a chip design company, a design services and research center, and an RFID supply services business. They have also branched out into the Semiconductor Open Source Hardware (OSHW) market. This allows people to build their own FPGA boards legally.
How to select a good FPGA company
Let’s face it. It is not easy to choose a supplier of embedded FPGA solutions. First of all, finding a good FPGA company is a lot like choosing an investment advisor. For example, you can pick one of the top companies above based on price, quality, and reputation. However, this approach has some obvious advantages.
The best advice to selecting the right embedded FPGA solution is to pick a business partner, not a product provider. This means you should know what sort of company you are dealing with and how it operates.
1. SOC-based board or an FPGA?
An integrated SOC-based board. It includes an FPGA that can sometimes provide a higher level of performance than an FPGA on its own. However, the performance difference may be small.
A good FPGA board can sometimes offer better performance in certain applications than a good SOC. For example, an excellent FPGA-based wireless modem might perform better than an off-the-shelf SOC modem. Unfortunately, no company has integrated SOC and FPGA that provide better performance. This is why most FPGA companies are also selling SOCs. It is because many customers want both the SOC and the FPGA.
Some embedded FPGAs provide an integrated processor and SoC in a single chip. Still, they provide a poor level of performance. This is due to high power consumption. Also, it is due to a lack of flexibility in integrating the processor with other components in an SoC design.
2. Interfaces and IOs
The number of interfaces and IOs must be sufficient to support the application. Some FPGA companies provide FPGAs with over 1000 IOs. However, if the application only requires a few IOs, it would be a waste of money to use an FPGA with over 1000 interfaces and IOs. The optimal number of IOs will also depend on the software used.
Some FPGAs provide greater flexibility by supporting interface standards. Examples include PCI, PCIe, or USB 3.0, which are not commonly available in SoCs and SOCs.
3) Ease of use
It is not easy to program an FPGA, whether it is a SOC-based board or just the FPGA on its own. Therefore, some companies provide a software development environment for their product. This removes some of the complexity in programming embedded FPGAs. Others provide a set of libraries that simplify programming embedded FPGAs.
Using an existing software development environment to program an FPGA may be possible. Some FPGA companies provide free development tools or host code. But, these tools and libraries do not always work well with all embedded applications.
The ease of use will also depend on the FPGA company’s software and hardware support.
4) Technology (FPGA architecture)
The most flexible FPGAs depend on a multiple-core approach. It has multiple configurable logic sections. The logic sections include an FPGA fabric. In addition, it provides programmability and an embedded processor core. This approach allows you to program a single chip to perform multiple tasks.
The best FPGAs have an FPGA fabric that supports high-performance logic and embedded processor cores. So, the embedded processor core improves performance. However, we can achieve this through extensions. We can also do it through optimized versions of standard cores that the company sells in standalone FPGAs.
5) Open source or closed source?
Some FPGAs are open source, which means that the code for the FPGA is available on the internet. The most common FPGAs in a SOC-based product is open source. However, some companies also provide closed-source FPGAs. An example is the Synopsys 21Gbit Coherent Accelerator Platform.
Most FPGA companies sell their FPGAs through distributors. In addition to selling the hardware, the distributor will also support the end-user. They may also provide training on how to use the hardware and software. But, this is not always possible due to time and travel constraints.
The best-embedded FPGA suppliers provide end-users sales, technical support, and training. A company’s distributors can provide these services.
6. Buttons, LEDs, and Displays
Some embedded FPGAs provide buttons and LEDs. Others have more advanced user interfaces. If you need more buttons, LEDs, and displays, it is easier to use an FPGA that supports the standard user interfaces already present on a computer. Knock-on effects of supply chain security and reliability
If you are having trouble picking an embedded FPGA company, it may be because of:
• The lack of information that is available to compare these companies. This can make it challenging to choose the right product and company.
7) Memory and Resource Count
The application determines the resources required for embedded FPGA solutions. Some applications need very large amounts of memory, while others do not. It is also possible to find embedded FPGAs. They provide higher performance than standalone FPGAs. They do not need as much memory and limited resources.
An FPGA with a higher memory capacity may be more suitable. However, some embedded FPGAs depend on a very large internal memory and do not need much memory at all. The best-embedded FPGA companies overcome these issues. You can do this by providing access to external memory through an interface.
8) Power Consumption
It is possible to find FPGAs that consume very little power. Examples include Cypress CY8C27x25 and Green Hills GLCM2-6XC57-E). The best suppliers can provide up to 10 W of power consumption. In addition to its power consumption, we can determine the power rating of an FPGA by its technology. Other factors to consider
Most FPGA suppliers provide support for their products. However, if you need help with the development, Rayming PCB & Assembly offers free or paid software development tools and libraries. In addition, some FPGAs provide a variety of interfaces. They include USB, Ethernet, and PCIe.
Via the xPort family of high-performance connectivity FPGAs, Xilinx provides the Xilinx iGate. It enhances the flexibility and performance of existing embedded memory designs. It connects them to the I/O interfaces, an SoC or SOC. The high-performance interface enables easy communication between microprocessors and embedded memories. This enables customers to develop systems with enhanced performance and increased cost savings.
9. The Toolchain
The toolchain will also determine which FPGAs you can use. For example, running the software on a standalone FPGA may be necessary. Especially if a set of libraries from your software development environment is not compatible with an FPGA.
Some embedded FPGAs have a simplified toolchain that works with an existing embedded platform. However, we need other tools, which often cost more than the basic toolchain.
It will also be necessary to choose the correct FPGA for your system. Usually, there is a trade-off between area space and the number of logic elements (LEs) in the FPGA.
The number of LEDs available in an FPGA can vary from 4K LEs to over 1M LEs.
10. Programming Interfaces
The programming interface will determine how easy it is to program your FPGA. The best companies provide programming interfaces compatible with industry-standard tools. The most popular programming languages for embedded development. This allows designers to use the same programming tools and libraries.
Some embedded FPGAs provide an industry-standard programming interface. Others may need to buy a tool or software development kit. Buy a tool that allows access to the internal hardware of the FPGA.
11. Learning Resources and community support
While some embedded FPGA suppliers provide technical support and training, others do not. Some suppliers provide a forum where users can ask questions. However, suppose you do not receive any support from the supplier. In that case, it may be necessary to hire a consultant. One that can help you with your development or troubleshooting issues. For example, Xilinx HW-Acceleration Center.
The best-embedded FPGA companies know that customer support is essential. So they use it to create robust and reliable products.
12. Operating Temperature
The operating temperature of an embedded FPGA will depend on the physical environment. For example, some environments need the use of an embedded FPGA. Therefore, they should have a higher operating temperature.
We can measure this with the help of a thermal camera. This is to determine if the device is working under stressful conditions. If your FPGA is essential in a warm environment, it might be possible to use it in a cooler area by using heat pipes. However, be careful not to overheat your FPGA.
13. Security and cross-platform support
Some embedded FPGAs will have some security features that are not compatible with other platforms. Therefore, it is essential to determine if you can use the same security libraries and tools for other platforms with an embedded FPGA.
Some embedded FPGAs use security features that are not compatible with other platforms. For example, most suppliers provide a TPM or secure boot option enabled by default.
The cost of an embedded FPGA depends on the design and implementation of the product.
Some FPGAs are very expensive, while others are cheaper.
To help reduce the cost of your embedded FPGA, some companies provide a similar product for less.
15. Availability and longevity
The FPGA life expectancy will depend on your application. While some will live for a long time, others may only last for a few days or even weeks. Therefore, you should determine the expected life expectancy from the FPGA supplier.
16. Environmental Factors
Your embedded FPGA will operate in various environmental factors. These factors might affect its performance and operation. The quality of the material used for the FPGA will affect its durability.
The embedded FPGA market is growing. This is because more companies and individuals appreciate the benefits of using FPGAs. So, the number of suppliers should also increase. As a result, the embedded FPGA market is expanding. It will be interesting to see how these markets develop soon.
Suppose you are looking for an embedded FPGA development kit. In that case, you should look for a supplier that supports their products. They should also provide a way to overcome embedded FPGA development challenges.
Altera and Xilinx are already integrating FPGAs into their application development toolchains. This means that we can program FPGAs alongside other processors and microcontrollers. Therefore, if you are working on a new embedded application, you should consider using an embedded FPGA development kit.