Articles - Xilinx
Technology is an incredible thing. In the modern world that we live today we have items that were not available less than a decade ago let alone a century ago. The people living in the 19th century would be amazed at we have at our disposal to make life easier. But what many people forget is that many of the devices and conveniences that we have these days are made possible by companies like Xilinx and Tektronic Inc. They offer the complicated components that make many of our modern devices possible and without them even the personal computer - arguably one of the most complex devices that we have today - would not be possible.
Take, for example, the FPGA that companies like Xilinx are responsible for. Unless you happen to be in that specific field, you probably have not heard of it. A FPGA or field-programmable gate array is a very important piece of technology that used a lot in many applications. It is a semiconductor that contains programmable logic components. These components are also known as logic blocks. These blocks can be programmed to perform the basic functions that most people are familiar with such as 'AND' and 'OR'. They can also be programmed to perform more complex functions that are often necessary today. These include things like decoders and various mathematical functions. Your typical FPGA also has memory that might be complete memory blocks or simple 'flip-flops that are, for all intents and purposes, a form of 'short-term electronic memory.'
The FPGAs also use interconnects that allow these blocks logic to be connected to one another. The system designer decides and programmes how these blocks are connected to one another. The blocks and connections can be programmed to a custom design after the FPGA has been made to have any logic function that is required by the designer. That is why they are called field-programmable. While they may be a little slower than your other circuits and draw a little more power than most semiconductors, they have the big advantage of being able to reach the market much faster than their counterparts. Some are even designed so that they can be reprogrammed even after they have been sold allowing you to customize them even further even after Xilinx has designed them to their specification.
Companies like Xilinx and Tektronics are responsible for the manufacturing and design of items like the FPGA mentioned above. Despite the complexity of these items many people are not even aware of their presence or the usefulness. It is only those people in the business of electronics or people who work with these items that are aware of their existence and how useful they are to the everyday tasks that people perform. It is sometimes hard to remember just how far down technology goes when it comes to making the various items that we use without really thinking about them. Luckily companies like Xilinx and Tektronics are there to ensure that these bits and pieces keep being produced.
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