Software for Test, Measurement and Control
Applications, System Design, Network, Data Management
FPGA Design High speed measurement systems often make use of FPGA in their designs. Advances in FPGA design allow more functionality to be contained in one FPGA. FPGA vendors provide predesigned IP cores which can be combined with the test system specific functionality on one FPGA. The core functions provide standard functionality such as PCI or PCI-X bus logic, leaving the programmable portion of the FPGA for test equipment specific functions.

Both Verilog and VHDL are very powerful design languages for FPGAs. Design at the RTL level produces a straightforward synthesis into FPGA gates. Performance of the two languages is comparable. Choice of which HDL to use is most affected by EDA tool availability and the need to exchange design data with other organizations or groups.

There are several varieties of microprocessor, DSP chips, and DSP cores that are suitable for test equipment design. The choice of which to use depends on cost, accuracy and throughput goals. DSP chip vendors supply libraries of standard DFT and filter algorithms. However using these libraries to create good system level performance requires extensive knowledge of the DSP mathematical foundations.

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