Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) are widely used in networking and telecom systems. Both FPGAs and ASICs allow system designers to use silicon devices that implement their own designs rather than using merchant silicon that may not match their particular requirements. Most FPGAs are configured in the target system when the power is applied. This allows system designers to develop the hardware before the FPGA logic is finalized and to implement rapid updates to fix system issues or add new features. ASICs give system designers access to the same silicon technology that is used for many merchant silicon designs. This can deliver significant competitive advantage but requires a large investment in engineering time and development costs.
This report details and analyzes FPGA and ASIC solution from 10 vendors. The report profiles the vendors, reviews platform architectures and analyzes important devices for networking and telecom applications, identifying key features and highlighting the advantages they hold for system developers and service providers.