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FPGA vs. GPU vs. CPU: Which Is the Best Choice for Your Application?

Field Programmable Gate Arrays

Generally speaking, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are highly configurable. They can be configured using a hardware description language (HDL). The HDL commands used to configure gates and interconnect enable the programmer to use advanced logic operations. The programmers can also assign boolean operators to individual gates. Field programmable gate arrays can support four-level logic, including logical, arithmetic, and digital.

Reconfigurable hardware

Reconfigurable hardware is a promising way to augment conventional CPU-based systems. Until now, it is translating applications into hardware requires a manual process. But with the advancement of nanotechnology, the application translation process will be automatic, and the CPU will relegate to supporting tasks. The problem with conventional reconfigurable hardware is slow and bulky and lacks density. Nanotechnology promises to provide high-density reconfigurable hardware.

Reconfigurable hardware combines customizable logic gates and configurable connections between those gates. Reconfigurable hardware fabrics contain a memory cell, which implements universal gates. These cells control the configuration of the switches in an interconnection network. A configuration is a program indicating how the logic gates should operate. An FPGA is the most common type of reconfigurable hardware. The world market for FPGAs reached 2.6 billion dollars in 1999.


Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are specialized integrated circuits with a reprogrammable design. Their configuration has a hardware description language (HDL), similar to an application-specific integrated circuit. Previously, engineers outlined FPGA configurations in circuit diagrams, but electronic design automation tools have replaced this manual approach. This low-cost approach has numerous benefits, including high scalability and increased versatility.

Low-cost FPGAs are an advantage in many applications, including machine learning and artificial intelligence. These devices are also compatible with security and reliability-sensitive environments. This makes FPGAs an excellent option for low-cost consumer applications. The price of a single FPGA is about $0.50 or less. In addition, the cost of an entire board can come down by almost half with the ForgeFPGA family.

While ASIC-based systems require high-level skills and expertise, FPGAs offer high-speed processing and programmability. They also support parallel processing and can process larger data with fewer clock cycles at high frequencies. In addition, a significant advantage of FPGAs over ASICs is their ease of reconfigurability and low cost. These features make them an appealing choice for many industries. However, FPGAs have a steep learning curve – they require a significant investment to develop, but the long-term benefits outweigh the costs.


The physical routing of multiple control streams in a flexible field-programmable gate array (FPGA) allows each subarray to select a different control stream. In the prototype array, the nearest neighbor interconnect is sufficient. Larger arrays will need a more robust interconnect scheme, including hierarchically distributed interconnect lines. The interconnection scheme for a larger array will differ from a prototype array. However, the benefits of a flexible FPGA are clear and well worth a closer look.

Field programmable gate arrays are semiconductor devices that we can reconfigure after manufacturing. The configuration uses hardware description language (HDL) files, similar to an application-specific integrated circuit. Previous generations of FPGAs used circuit diagrams to specify the configuration, but the advent of design automation tools makes this process less common. To avoid a circuit diagram, designers can use a graphical programming interface called OpenCL.


As power efficiency becomes a top concern for FPGA vendors, understanding how the devices use power is the first step. Developers can better design power-efficient FPGA architectures by utilizing a flexible power model integrated into the VPR CAD tool. In addition, the flexibility of this model enables designers to evaluate the efficiency of power-aware CAD tools, including those that are free and open-source.

How to Make the Most of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)


A GPU is a powerful computing component that can speed up tasks such as 3D rendering and video encoding. However, these processing units can only perform so well if users know how to make the most of them. Today’s PCs feature discrete and integrated GPUs, but discrete does not mean they are out of sight. Instead, these components are separate from the rest of your computer. The latter is preferred when we need more horsepower for a specific task.

GPUs render images faster than CPUs

The central processing unit (CPU) performs various tasks, such as converting data input to output. On the other hand, the graphics processing unit (GPU) is a separate microprocessor explicitly designed for image rendering. As its name implies, it specializes in rendering images and can perform many tasks in parallel. A GPU’s architecture allows it to perform thousands of parallel operations on multiple data sets.

Generally speaking, GPUs render images faster than CPUs on most tasks, thanks to their increased processing power and memory bandwidth. CPUs have up to 64 cores, while GPUs have more than 10,000 cores. However, these Cores are much smaller than the CPUs. This is because it breaks down the nature of image rendering into a series of small tasks. As a result, GPUs can handle these tasks in a snap, while CPUs are better at executing complex ones.

They are more programmable than ever before

Today’s GPUs are more programmable than ever before. The latest GPUs can interpret hundreds of thousands of very small programs. They also support high-precision color spaces. And because GPUs perform most of the compute work, they are especially good at rendering complex scenes in high-definition graphics. Here are some ways to make the most of your GPU. This article will provide you with a detailed description of GPU programmability.

The NV10 is one of the first consumer GPUs. Its architecture is capable of supporting scalable vertex processing horsepower. GeForce 6 Series enables vertex programs to obtain texture data. A high-end GPU can have six vertex units, whereas a low-end model may only have two. As a result, a GPU with high-frequency branch changes may be faster. However, this doesn’t mean that it will improve performance.

They accelerate machine learning

When used to speed up machine learning, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) can dramatically improve performance. For example, training tasks on a small dataset can take a few minutes, whereas large ones can take days or weeks. GPUs are also highly flexible, and some of the world’s biggest cloud providers have implemented GPU servers in their datacenters. Below is a list of the essential benefits of GPUs in machine learning.

First and foremost, GPUs are fast and efficient. However, utilizing their power effectively requires special software. Developers recently learned specialized programming languages, such as OpenGL, to use GPUs. This created a barrier to usage. The introduction of NVIDIA’s CUDA framework broke this barrier by providing a C API that makes GPU processing accessible to all developers. This accelerated the development of deep learning, making it possible to apply these powerful computing capabilities to various machine learning tasks.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality is an increasingly popular form of gaming, and its performance depends on the graphics processing unit, or GPU, on the video card. Like those featuring realistic scenery, graphics-intensive games require a GPU with higher-than-average performance to provide an authentic virtual reality experience. Virtual reality processors are similar to traditional computer games, emphasizing graphics and increased user inputs.

While the global graphics processing unit market will increase in the next few years, the region will likely experience significant growth, particularly in North America. This is primarily due to the popularity of virtual reality games, which use high-end graphics systems. Meanwhile, the market for GPUs in Japan will expand at a double-digit rate over the next few years, primarily due to a growing number of gaming consoles and PCs.

Self-driving cars

The graphics processing unit (GPU) is the engine behind self-driving cars. It crunches images and compares them to the road surface to discern objects such as traffic lights and lane markings. Although GPUs did not have an initial design, car engineers began taking advantage of their parallel processing capabilities about six or seven years ago. So while this might seem like a new concept, it has been around for several years.

The NVIDIA Drive PX 2 programme aims to enable self-driving cars to process 360-degree views of their surroundings. In addition, it will improve decision-making capabilities. The company, specializing in GPUs, is staking its claim on the self-driving car market. It promises to accelerate the adoption of this new form of mobility. This GPU-driven tech is a game-changer for carmakers and engineers alike.

What are Central Processing Units?

When reading a computer manual, you probably want to know what central processing units do. If not, you can start by looking up terms such as arithmetic unit, Instruction pointer, and Control unit. Next, you’ll learn about the CPU cache and the differences between these three components. These components work together to control all the parts of the computer.

Instruction pointer

A program counter (also known as an instruction pointer or PC) is a part of a central processing unit. It holds the address of the current instruction and the next instruction to be executed. This counter is automatically incremented for each instruction cycle, ensuring sequential memory access. Unlike data structures in a single register, instructions can be interrupted by subroutine calls and branches. In such cases, a return will place the new value of the instruction pointer.

When we execute an instruction, the instruction pointer identifies the memory address in which we store it. The CPU then loads the corresponding instruction from this location. Since the CPU never has direct access to the RAM, this method is extremely fast and makes it possible to calculate more information faster than RAM can feed the CPU. A modern CPU typically includes one or more cache layers to keep track of this data and speed up instruction execution.

Control unit

The control unit is the heart of the central processing unit. This unit regulates and integrates the operations of the computer and receives and interprets commands from the main memory. It also controls the many execution units, data buffers, and registers within the computer. The control unit can perform multiple tasks simultaneously, including fetching and decoding data, handling execution, and storing results. Here are some of the most common functions of the control unit.

The control unit is responsible for controlling the movement of data and instructions in and out of the computer. It generates a steady stream of clock pulses that determine the speed of the instruction cycle and other computer functions. In addition, it controls the flow of data into and out of the CPU and directs the ALU to perform operations on the data fetched into the CPU’s registers. While executing instructions, the control unit also generates and stores control signals.


The ALU performs arithmetic and logical operations on a computer. It has direct access to the processor controller and its main memory. It receives the instructions and stores the results in an accumulator. Inputs flow to the ALU through an electronic path called a bus. They contain an operand and operation code. An accumulator can also store one of two operands during an ALU operation.

The arithmetic and logical units are the heart of the central processing unit. They perform arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, division, and logical operations, like finding the logic behind a statement. The two major components of the CPU are the arithmetic and logical units (ALUs).

CPU cache

The central processing units (CPUs) have two kinds of caches: the data and instruction caches. While the data and instruction caches are in a hierarchy, the latter is closer to the CPU, allowing faster processing of requests. As a result, data and instruction caches are usually larger than the main memory, but the latter may be less efficient in some cases. This means that CPUs need to use both caches to provide a better user experience.

The CPU cache is a small amount of memory located closer to the processor core than the RAM. It helps to store data and instructions that are frequently accessed temporarily. A CPU control unit checks the cache to determine whether the requested data or instruction is stored there. Transferring data from RAM to the cache is relatively slow, but transfers to and from the cache take significantly less time than those between RAM and the processor. The more memory a CPU has, the less data it needs to retrieve from RAM.

Comparison Between FPGA, GPU, and CPU

Here we compare CPUs and FPGAs’ performance, flexibility, energy efficiency, latency, etc. Let’s start with CPUs. CPUs and GPUs are co-processors that need each other for proper functioning. For example, FPGAs can connect to real-time diagnostic logic and iterative feedback loops. On the other hand, GPUs can perform all the same tasks as CPUs, but they need the assistance of the CPU to run them.


Both GPUs and CPUs exhibit similar results in these applications, with the FPGA achieving significantly better performance. However, the advantages of GPUs over CPUs remain compelling.

In addition to traditional CPU and GPU-based systems, FPGA-based systems can optimize traditional system architectures by selecting the most appropriate hardware for a task. Three kernels can operate simultaneously in an FPGA-based system, each with its custom computes pipeline. For example, the GPU is better suited for Gzip compression, as it can handle multiple threads simultaneously. For instance, a CPU-based system may not be able to handle multiple threads of parallel code, while an FPGA-based system can perform several thousand threads at once.

Energy efficiency

The energy efficiency of FPGAs and conventional processors has become an essential metric for performance in recent years. The problem and application scale grows exponentially every year, resulting in the enormous data processing. As a result, conventional processors are not suited for targeted applications, while GPUs are programmable but use even more energy. FPGAs offer a happy medium between energy efficiency and programmability.

Typical applications that require floating-point performance on a GPU or CPU are low-power tasks. For example, a Tesla V100 GPU with a maximum theoretical performance of 15 TFLOPS (TeraFloat-Level Opaque-Processors Per Second) requires 250 Watts of power. On the other hand, a Nallatech 520C GPU uses a Statix ten chip from Altera/Intel. As a result, this GPU/CPU system can perform the same tasks while consuming only 225 Watts of power.


In a recent paper, Nakahara et al. compared a few GPU and FPGA implementations for image recognition. They analyzed the performance of a well-known image recognition algorithm known as YOLO v2 on both FPGA and GPU platforms. Interestingly, the GPU proved to be much faster than the FPGA. The authors also noted that GPUs have higher energy consumption. The latency comparison between FPGA and CPU is not as easy as it sounds.

The difference in latency between the two types of hardware lies in how they process data. While the FPGA can process data packets at high speed without a network card, a CPU needs a network card to receive data. AFTER PROCESSING IT, the CPU must process the data and transmit it to the network card. While the latter is much faster, the delay is still significant. Therefore, GPUs must continue to innovate to stay relevant.


Among the main benefits of the FPGA is its flexibility. It can be reconfigured and can serve various functions throughout its life cycle. On the other hand, GPUs are more suitable for high processing power workloads. However, they haven’t yet become mainstream in commodity systems. Nevertheless, they continue to make excellent computing systems. Here are some of the reasons why. These factors make the FPGA the better choice for supercomputing applications.

The flexibility of an FPGA allows it to host multiple functions simultaneously and assign parts of the chip to different tasks. This design also reduces energy consumption and latency. In addition, FPGAs can accommodate non-standard data types. Aside from their flexibility, FPGAs are also compatible with many types of software. As a result, they can be a great addition to any computing project. This article will focus on the advantages of an FPGA GPU.

Rapid prototyping

Accelerate your product development with rapid prototyping with FPGA GPU and CPU. This hybrid platform uses a dual-FPGA configuration to build FPGA-based chips. This allows you to simulate complex scenarios in a simplified way and to access CPU subsystems easily. In addition to creating a realistic simulation, hybrid prototyping helps you avoid the risk of expensive mistakes, allowing you to focus on the essential details of the product development.

A typical FPGA-based prototype uses a processor, memory, and I/O array. It also uses a host interface controller to interact with the host. This interface controller interfaces with the host using SATA, NVMe, or serial-attached-SCSI. Many of the points in this article apply to other uses of an FPGA. For example, a prototype can emulate a smartphone using several Xilinx VU440 FPGAs. Besides the HAPS-80 system, an FPGA-based prototype can combine real-world connectivity and performance.

Applications of FPGA, GPU, and CPU

CPUs and GPUs are powerful computing devices, but their performance is vastly different. CPUs are more standardized, widely available, and often contain a significant amount of local cache memory. This cache memory helps the CPU process more complex linear instructions and perform system operations. However, CPUs do not perform as well in parallel processing as GPUs. This means that CPUs choke when forming large tasks. An FPGA chip can perform a greater number of simultaneous computations than a CPU.

NVidia V100

NVidia has introduced the latest generation of its data center GPU, the V100 Tensor Core. Powered by NVIDIA’s Volta architecture, it can deliver the performance of 32 CPUs in one GPU. In addition, its innovative design allows it to scale to hundreds of petaflops. These high-performance devices are ideal for accelerated general-purpose applications such as computer graphics, video processing, scientific research, and gaming.

NVidia Xeon Phi

Intel has announced two new Xeon Phi co-processor families, each using a 22-nanometer process size. The Xeon Phi 3100 delivers more than one teraFLOPS of double-precision floating-point instructions and 240 GB/s memory bandwidth. The Phi 5110P offers 1.2 teraFLOPS and 352 GB/s of memory bandwidth. The Xeon Phi 7120P will deliver the same performance with 1.2 teraFLOPS of double-precision floating-point instructions and 300-watt power consumption.


Inspur is an HPC systems vendor with a portfolio that includes a broad range of FPGA, GPU, and CPU applications. Rayming PCB & Assembly is also collaborating with iFLYTEK to develop an intelligent speech technology for speech recognition. These companies build an ecosystem to help developers build Inspur’s solutions software applications. Inspur’s FPGA solutions are ideal for HPC heterogeneous computing applications.

Inspur’s heterogeneous architecture

Inspur will further develop FPGA-based system solutions, including full rack computing and internet servers, and plans to extend its software collaboration with Altera and IFLYTEK. The company expects more HPC applications to move to this architecture in the future. Further, the company will enhance the functionality of its systems by developing Internet and storage solutions. Finally, as the world moves toward a more parallel and unified computing environment, this new architecture will probably become a common solution for HPC.


When designing a complex electronic device, the first step is to decide on the processing units to use. For example, a CPU can compute everything, but a GPU is faster and more energy-efficient. On the other hand, FPGAs can accelerate nearly any kernel, but their spatial nature limits the number of resources used. In addition, CPUs are more flexible and have a wide range of libraries. But an FPGA has some unique advantages that make it the ideal choice for specific applications.


There are numerous benefits of using FPGA over CPU or GPU. The first is its speed. A GPU can perform general computing calculations at high speeds, while an FPGA can process workloads massively parallelly. The second is its cost. Typically, an FPGA costs up to four times more than an equivalent CPU. Therefore, a comparison of the two can help you decide which is the right choice for your needs.

Energy efficiency

In exascale systems, energy efficiency is critical for many applications. In the same way, GPUs and FPGAs are not mutually exclusive; some applications require different hardware configurations, and some are optimized to perform well on both hardware types. For this reason, the first generation of exascale systems will most likely use GPU technology. However, it is still unclear which architecture will be most efficient for which application until then.




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