Infrared Processing Chips- FPGA and ASIC

When we learn about infrared detectors and cores, we should have encountered English abbreviations such as FPGA, ASIC, SoC, MCU, etc. In fact, they are various infrared processing chips, which take the responsibility of processing infrared image and temperature data. Since SoC appears in the infrared field in recent time, this article will compare and introduce FPGA and ASIC.

1. Definition

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is a processing chip with a hardware reconfigurable architecture, and its logic modules and connections can change as needed.
ASIC ((Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is an integrated circuit designed and manufactured to meet specific user requirements and electric system needs. Its algorithm energy efficiency can be customized according to needs, and it is a product of fixed algorithm optimization.

2. Application development

FPGA requires programming to modify internal logical links and configurations in order to achieve corresponding functions, and it has a technical threshold. And ASIC has already prepared specialized functions and can be used as soon as you get it.

3. Reprogram

We can program the FPGA framework according to the display requirements, but ASIC cannot be changed once the design is finished.

4. Manufacturing costs

As a fixed functional specialized integrated circuit, ASIC needs fewer electronic components, so the cost is relatively low. As long as sales quantity is sufficient, the cost of ASIC per chip is much lower than that of FPGA.

5. Dimension

In the same function, the size advantage of products based on ASIC is more obvious.

6. Power consumption

Due to itself framework, FPGA is not suitable for ultra-low power design. And in the same logic function, ASIC consume less power.

7. Application direction

APGA is more suitable for small and medium-sized projects that need to enter market quickly and support remote upgrades. On the contrary, ASIC is more suitable for large projects or products with very mature technology, such as consumer electronics. The specific application should also fully consider the positioning of the products to decide.  

It is worth mentioning that in the ASIC design process, FPGA is commonly used for prototype verification, which is an important part of ASIC design. Therefore, FPGA is often used as a low-volume replacement for ASIC.

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