FPGAs and FPGA-based boards and systems

To process a massive volume of data faster, you need exceptional speed. To anticipate technological leaps, you need reprogrammability and adaptability. FPGA is the solution.

What is an FPGA ?

 FPGA = Field Programmable Gate Array.
An FPGA is a standard integrated circuit made up of simple logic gates and more complex functions.
It is reprogrammable by each user for its own application.
FPGAs are used to offer high-capacity logic and memory storage, while maintaining a module size suitable for embedded solutions.

What is an FPGA board?

An FPGA board is a hardware platform for implementing FPGA-based electronic projects. These boards offer resources such as programmable logic blocks, integrated memories and various input/output interfaces. They are widely used in prototype development, proof-of-concept, and embedded systems implementation, offering engineers and developers the opportunity to create customized hardware solutions to meet their specific needs.

In the dynamic landscape of digital design, the deployment of FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays) stands out as a pivotal strategy. These versatile devices offer a spectrum of possibilities in circuit design and can be tailored to diverse applications. The process involves utilizing programming languages such as Verilog or VHDL to craft intricate digital circuits, optimizing for power efficiency. Ensuring the security and reliability of these circuits demands meticulous verification processes, encompassing thorough validation of input and code integrity. Rigorous test and testing procedures assess the robustness of the implemented design, addressing potential issues in both hardware and software components.

At reflex ces, we work with Intel® FPGA and AMD FPGA -based boards.

How does an FPGA work?

An FPGA, or field-programmable gate array, operates on the basis of a unique reconfigurable architecture that distinguishes it from traditional fixed-function integrated circuits. At the heart of the device is a vast array of programmable logic blocks and configurable interconnects. These logic blocks consist of look-up tables (LUTs) and flip-flops, which can be dynamically configured to implement specific logic functions. Configuration is performed by loading a program written in a hardware description language (VHDL) onto the FPGA, specifying the desired functionality. This program is then synthesized and mapped onto the FPGA’s resources, effectively transforming the device into a customized digital circuit. The reprogrammable nature of FPGAs makes them highly versatile, enabling engineers to adapt and modify their functionality even after the FPGA board has been manufactured. The FPGA technology is particularly valuable in applications where rapid prototyping, iterative design and flexibility in hardware implementation are crucial.

At the heart of FPGA technology lies the synergy between hardware and software, with programming becoming a focal point in achieving efficient and reliable designs. The programming time is a critical factor, influencing the efficiency and performance of the implemented design. From low-level digital devices to high-level signal processing, FPGAs provide a bridge between different facets of digital design. The ongoing evolution of FPGA technology continues to push the boundaries, supporting a myriad of applications and contributing to innovation across various industries.

What is SoC and MPSoC?

An SoC, or System on a Chip, is an integrated solution that brings together on a single chip all the components required to operate a complete electronic system. This typically includes one or more processors, memory blocks, I/O interfaces, and other essential components.

An MPSoC, or Multiprocessor System on a Chip, goes one step further, integrating not only processors, but also several processing cores, each dedicated to specific tasks. These systems offer considerable processing power and are often used in complex applications such as signal processing, computer vision and other fields requiring intensive parallel processing.

SoCs and MPSoCs are highly effective solutions for reducing the size, power consumption and complexity of electronic systems, while delivering high performance.

What are the benefits of using an FPGA?

An FPGA is a field programmable gate array. It has very specific technical characteristics that enable them to execute certain types of algorithms up to 1000 times faster than traditional software solutions. The benefits of using this technology are significant:

→ Real-time high-volume parallel processing for critical applications such as medical, defense and security
→ Low-latency architecture, ideal for trading
→ Highly adaptable, with many IOs capabilities for instrumentation and industrial applications
→ Flexibility, scalability and fast time-to-market
→ Limitless reprogramming: during design, during the PCB assembly process, during implementation by the end user

Where are FPGA used?

FPGA applications are diverse and varied, thanks to their high level of technology. They are widely used in telecommunications to implement specific communication protocols, in embedded computing for hardware customization and algorithm acceleration, and in imaging for tasks such as computer vision. FPGAs are also present in critical sectors such as aerospace and defense, where their adaptability and reliability are essential. Other FPGA application areas include scientific research, finance and networking, attesting to their versatility and importance in a wide range of industries.

Intel® FPGAs

reflex ces offers a wide variety of Intel® FPGA -based boards:


  • Intel® Arria® 10

Intel® Arria® 10 FPGAs and SoCs use up to 40% less power than previous generation FPGAs and SoCs and feature the industry’s only hard floating-point digital signal processing (DSP) blocks.

This semiconductor also saves board space with integration (with twice the density of the previous generation), increases productivity, and decreases time to market.


  • Intel® Stratix® 10

Stratix® 10 is one of the best-performing and latest FPGA families developed by Intel®. These devices are optimized for FPGA applications that require high transceiver bandwidth and core fabric performance.

Delivering an unprecedented 2X core performance and the highest level of system integration, the Intel® Stratix® 10 microprocessor is uniquely positioned to address next-generation, high-performance systems in the most demanding applications.


  • Intel® Agilex™

Intel® Agilex™ SoC I-Series and Intel® Agilex™ SoC F-Series FPGAs are part of the Agilex™ SoC family.

The Intel® Agilex™ I-Series SoC FPGA is optimized for bandwidth-intensive applications that require a high-performance processor interface, supported by the CXL™ standard interface (an open standard interconnect protocol for high-speed CPU-to-device and CPU-to-memory), the PCIe Gen5 x16 interface, and transceiver tiles with data rates up to 116 Gbps. Intel® Agilex™ I-Series SoC FPGA devices also integrate the quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor to provide high system integration.

The Intel® Agilex™ F-Series devices are general purpose FPGAs built on Intel 10 nm SuperFin process technology. They are ideal for a wide range of applications across many markets.


Our Intel® FPGAs-based modules are developed with an FPGA SoC. The SoC is an integrated circuit inside the FPGA, most often a CPU (central processing unit) processor, that allows the FPGA to better control the board.



reflex ces offers a wide variety of AMD FPGA -based boards:


  • AMD Virtex® UltraScale+™

AMD Virtex® UltraScale+™ FPGAs provide the highest performance and integration capabilities in a 14 nm/16 nm FinFET node. In addition, they offer the highest transceiver bandwidth, highest DSP count, and highest on-chip and in-package memory available in the UltraScale™ architecture.

Virtex® UltraScale+™ FPGAs also provide numerous power options that deliver the optimum balance between the required system performance and the smallest power envelope.


  • AMD Zynq® Ultrascale+™

The Zynq® Ultrascale+™ FPGA is smarter and optimized for differentiation, analytics, and control, thanks to its innovative ARM® + FPGA architecture. It was chosen for its unmatched performance, as well as for its lower system power architecture.

reflex ces boards use an MPSoC UltraScale+™ FPGA. It provides multi-processing capabilities, as the MPSoC (microprocessor system-on-chip) is an SoC that includes multiple microprocessors. MPSoCs usually target embedded applications.


  • AMD Versal® ACAP

AMD Versal® is the latest Xilinx® product family that is based on the ACAP (Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform) heterogenous platform. The objective of this new platform is to speed up a wide range of workloads.

This highly-integrated multicore compute platform can adapt to all your needs using evolving and diverse algorithms. It is dynamically customizable at both hardware and software level to fit a wide range of applications and workloads.