In embedded multicomputer systems the use of FPGAs alongside more traditional microprocessors and digital signal processors (DSPs) has moved from novelty to necessity. For certain classes of problems, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) deliver dramatically better performance than microprocessors. And while custom ASICs also offer this performance advantage, FPGAs deliver additional flexibility because they are programmable.
High performance and operational reconfiguration form a compelling argument for the use of FPGAs in modern embedded systems. However, the difficulties in writing code for FPGAs and integrating FPGA-based modules into larger multicomputer systems tends to temper developers' desire to use them. There remains a dichotomy between FPGAs' high performance and flexibility, and their issues regarding integration and ease of use. There are also numerous architectural issues that system designers face when integrating FPGAs into embedded multicomputer systems.
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