All About Altera FPGA

As aerospace and defense contractors pursue higher levels of system performance while addressing the realities of budget constraints, system engineers have turned to Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) solutions as a way to create a new generation of increasingly complex electronics systems. Unlike general-purpose processor arrays in which a very large number of gates must switch to perform even the simplest decisions – FPGA computing modules use a minimal set of gates to make basic logic decisions. This ability to achieve higher processing speed, combined with lower power dissipation per logic element, enhances system reliability and reduces cooling requirements, ideal in telemetry systems. Read more

Advanced FPGA technology also makes it possible to replace multiple Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) or Application-Specific Standard Product (ASSPs) with a single programmable device that can be tailored via programming to a specific end-user application. Telemetry systems, deployed on government test ranges or on board military aircraft, are a prime example. Telemetry System Requirements: Integrated security features, High performance and reliability, Low-power for longer battery life, Smaller footprint and lighter weight, Ruggedized board and system packaging.

Such FPGA-based solutions significantly reduce total system Size, Weight, Power and Cost (SWaP-C), as well as address stringent government security requirements specified within directives and regulations which pertain to Information Assurance (IA) and Anti-Tamper (AT) programs. Integrated computer systems which incorporate high-end PCI Express 2.0 I/O cards minimize bottlenecks and dramatically improve data throughput to the benefit of demanding aerospace and defense applications such as radar, software radio, telemetry and signals intelligence.

How can you write programs in FPGA? FPGA programs are called HDLs (Hardware Description Language). It is very different than the normal code you may have already seen. FPGA coding required parallel-programming knowledge and extensive experience in Digital Design. VHDL and Verilog are the main languages used to create applications in this technology. You can search for their tutorial on Google, and rest assured, you will find many.