Daniel Wilding
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Re: March 21 - Day FOUR: When to Use FPGAs to Accelerate Embedded Vision Applications
Daniel Wilding   3/21/2013 9:04:40 PM
@Don H

Is there any advantage to using an FPGA over ASIC's?  My understanding is that the trade off is at about 1,000,000 units between the two to pay off the costs of development.

Low-quantity cost and time-to-market are two advantages of FPGAs over custom ASICs.  I think you've got the price trade-off point about right, although it could vary by a few factors of 10, depending on your volumes and the technology of ASIC.  As far as time-to-market, you can begin prototyping with an FPGA as soon as you can get an evaluation board.  Conversely, with an ASIC it will be only AFTER all your development that you can see how it works in hardware.

Also, since FPGAs are reprogrammable, they are significantly lower-risk than an ASIC (the cost of making a mistake in an FPGA is just a few hours; a mistake on an ASIC costs $$$ and months of time).

Thanks for taking the time to listen.

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