The field programmable gate array is an integrated circuit that is programmed in a field are manufacturing. It contains the arrangement of programmable logic blocks, and reconfigurable interconnects hierarchy which allows blocks to be attached mutually. Logic blocks can be programmed to perform simple as well as complex functions like AND & XOR. FPGA’s are used in the design of dedicated IC’s by the engineers and are later used to produce hard-wired in bulk amount for end users and delivery to computer manufacturers. They add up a considerable percentage of shares in the telecommunication industry and are present in routers, gateways, base stations, and switches. Besides telecommunication, they are used in wide variety of devices.
Field programmable gate arrays have large parallel data processing capacity, higher performance gain in software application and the ability to processing real-time data are the key driving factor resulting in boosting the demand in the market. The time to market is extremely short from supplier prospect. In the past few years, the time required for prototype hardware design has substantially reduced owing to the implementation of IP core design in hardware development process. The overall development periods of FPGA has decreased owing to the end of time taking process such as debugging and start up. The rigid rise in the non-recurring engineering of application specific integrated circuit has increased the cost of ASIC units over the years. The cost for designing standard ASIC cell is estimated to be up to millions of dollars. FGPA are becoming an attractive alternative for many ASIC-based applications owing to increase in the mask cost which has subsequently raised the unit cost.
By application, the market can be segmented into military & aerospace, data processing, consumer electronics, industrial and telecom. Further, the industrial & telecom sector is subdivided into wireless and wired communications. Consumer electronics can be classified into other consumable devices, entertainment device, and mobile devices.
Telecommunication is the largest application market for FPGA and is likely to be the same in near future owing to provide compatible networks from 2G to 3G and 3G to 4G or LTE. Moreover, increasing demand for tablets and smartphones is also expected to contribute a substantial share in the growth of the market. Due to environmental norms and safety & security reasons automotive industry witness an increase of electronic content. In addition, demand for hybrid and electric vehicles owing to increasing fuel prices in the global market is forecasted to drive the automotive market. Rising application of FPGA in automobile and medical imaging for high performance is also fuelling the growth of the market.
Countries such as India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China are the key market for automotive, industrial and consumer electronics application in APAC and have subsequently led the global FPGA market share. Increase application in an automotive and industrial sector in North America is anticipated to serve as a driver in this region. In the European market, strict norms for safety in vehicles including an installation of an anti-lock braking system, electronic stability program, and electronically controlled suspensions are anticipated to impact the market growth positively.
The key players in the market include Atmel Corporation, Microsemi Corporation, Aeroflex Inc, Xilinx, Cypress Semiconductor, Altera, Lattice Semiconductors, etc. Xilinx offers devices based upon functions and performance such as VirtexUltrascale, Spartan, KintexUltrascale, Kintex, Artix, and Virtex. Altera offers devices based upon the cost such as high end, mid end, and low-end FPGA devices. Both the companies offer a wide variety of products and finds application in military & aerospace, medical imaging, consumer electronics, automobile industry and telecom industry, etc.
Research Support Specialist, USA