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The future of programmable logic

Posted: 01 Nov 2003     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA  logic  CPLDs  programming 

The future of programmable logic

Fifteen years ago, Xilinx and Altera�now the elders of the FPGA industry�were four and five years old, respectively; Actel was just three. In those days, programmable devices consisted of PALs (programmable array logic devices) and CPLDs (complex programmable logic devices), which were essentially small sets of AND-OR planes with crosspoint switches to connect them plus a few registers to actually create something useful like a state machine. These devices contained the equivalent of hundreds of gates of logic and were used primarily to replace glue logic. Well-placed PALs could be reprogrammed to correct design mistakes quickly and easily, without management ever knowing.

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