Currently, the price of programmable logic devices varies greatly according to their capacities, making it possible to include them in many designs for which they were not viable until recently due to their high price. At the same time, the high-capacity components are vital for performing highly parallel processing, which would otherwise require specific ASIC’s or several processors.
At RBZ we have extensive knowledge of the devices manufactured by Xilinx and Altera; from their low-cost ranges to their most powerful components. Some of the most common uses for these devices are:
- The implementation of specific peripherals which we cannot find in the form of ASIC’s. One example is for the control of multiple ADC's; in this case 16 ADC's are controlled with a single trigger. Taking advantage of the device’s capacities, the sampling frequency can be altered and each channel has a buffer of 512 samples. Digital filters are also incorporated into each channel, freeing the main processor from this task which takes a significant amount of time.
- Complex signal processing. This example is similar to the above, in which the FPGA controls several ADC's and DAC's but several processors are inserted into the FPGA which allow it to perform complex algorithms on the signal. The data are exchanged with an Intel CPU in the COM Express format via a PCIe x1 bus.
RBZ has also successfully developed designs in VHDL for the aerospace industry, including algorithms for decoding and recovering signals for radio receivers under very unfavourable conditions.