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Design and Demonstration of a Fully Integrated Multi-Technology FPGA: A Reconfigurable Architecture for Photonic and Other Multi-Technology Applications

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3 Author(s)
Mal, P. ; Microprocessor Res. & Dev., Intel Corp., Hillsboro, OR ; Patel, P.D. ; Beyette, F.R., Jr.

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have revolutionized programmable/reconfigurable digital logic technology. However, one limitation of current FPGAs is that the user is limited to strictly electronic designs. Thus, they are not suitable for applications that are not purely electronic, such as optical communications, photonic information processing systems and other multi-technology applications. While a wide variety of multi-technology devices ranging from microelectromagnetic systems (MEMS) devices, analog devices, photonic information processing devices, telecommunication and digital data processing systems to biological and chemical sensors have been implemented, research in this area has for the most part been limited to systems built with application-specific devices. While these designs are well optimized for a specific application, they do not provide the flexibility associated with reconfigurable/programmable hardware. As with any application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), this approach is very costly, and the turnaround time between design iterations may be several months. The difficulty of using custom designed multi-technology VLSI components is overcome in the present research with the introduction of a multi-technology FPGA (MT-FPGA) with innovative system architecture. The proposed new class of field programmable device will extend the flexibility, rapid prototyping and reusability benefits associated with conventional FPGA technology into photonic and other multi-technology domain and give rise to the development of a wider class of programmable and embedded integrated systems.

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Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 6 )