FPGAs for Software Programmers pp 1-21
FPGA Versus Software Programming: Why, When, and How?
This chapter provides background information for readers who are interested in the philosophy and technology behind FPGAs. We present this from a software engineer’s viewpoint without hiding the hardware specific characteristics of FPGAs. The chapter discusses the architecture and programming models as well as the pros and cons of CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs. The operation of FPGAs will be described as well as the major steps that are needed to map a circuit description on an FPGA. This will provide a deep enough understanding of the characteristics of an FPGA and how this helps in accelerating certain parts of an application.
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