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The aim of this paper is to review the state-of-the-art of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technologies and their contribution to industrial control applications. Authors start by addressing various research fields which can exploit the advantages of FPGAs. The features of these devices are then presented, followed by their corresponding design tools. To illustrate the benefits of using FPGAs in the case of complex control applications, a sensorless motor controller has been treated. This controller is based on the Extended Kalman Filter. Its development has been made according to a dedicated design methodology, which is also discussed. The use of FPGAs to implement artificial intelligence-based industrial controllers is then briefly reviewed. The final section presents two short case studies of Neural Network control systems designs targeting FPGAs.
Date of Publication: May 2011