FPGA Technology and Software IP in Power Electronics Applications

Altera FPGA and Energy-Efficient Motor Control IP

Here’s a recent article published in Industrial Embedded Systems magazine on the topic of using FPGA to increase flexibility of design, power savings are costs reduction. The article has been written by Jason Chiang, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager Industrial Business Unit, Altera Corporation.

This article has a couple of interesting points regarding the use of Motor Control IP to reduce overall system costs (which is certainly a disadvantage of FPGA chips being more expensive than traditionnal MCU/DSP chips) :

Motor control IP is designed to provide a very high-performance interchangeable platform. The practical motor control IP for an application is achieved by selecting and integrating the right combination of IP. FPGAs are flexible and can support many types of communications protocols, motor control IP, and industrial I/O interfaces on one device or platform.

Another advantage of implementing the motor control IP (and network connectivity) on the FPGA is that it mitigates the risk of product obsolescence. With long product life cycles, FPGAs are built with industrial longevity, system flexibility, and reliability in mind. Designers can modify their systems or migrate to new generations of FPGAs with ease. Contrast this methodology to MCUs or DSPs, which require intensive software resources and involve long development cycles when moving to a new processor architecture to update any hardware features.”

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