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Today, industrial production machines must be highly flexible in order to competitively account for dynamic and unforeseen changes in the product demands. This paper shows that field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are especially suited to fulfil these requirements; FPGAs are very powerful, relatively inexpensive, and adaptable, since their configuration is specified in an abstract hardware description language. In addition to the benefits resulting from using an FPGA, the case study presented here shows how FPGAs can be used for implementing a sophisticated multiprocessor architecture. In the course of presentation, this paper furthermore argues that due to the excellent tool support and the availability of reusable functional modules (also known as intellectual properties) this approach can be adopted by almost any industrial hardware designer.
Date of Conference: 6-10 Nov. 2005