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FPGA's

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sdk32285:
I have been experimenting with FPGA's lately. they seem to be very effiacint and fast. Also i can use it for signal procesing (ie PWM). Any one else have experiance or advice for FPGA's.
thanks

Admin:
I know almost nothing about FPGA's but . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FPGA
(doesnt really explain it well, but lotsa links at the bottom)

I once went to this AI talk where a guy was saying you can build a human brain by taking a bunch of modern FPGA's and link em in parallel. Interesting though, if you can get a FPGA to be self reconfiguring . . . you could emulate brain neurons . . . or so his theory goes . . .

I am curious about your project . . . what are you doing with them? Are they cheap or easy to work with?

JesseWelling:
From what I hear they are best used for digital signal processing like filtering for images and preprocessing for robotic vision because they are faster than doing it in software. So if you only had a micro C and a decent camera you could use the FPGA to do preprocessing on the image data so you wouldn't burn up alot of cycles with the micro C.

sdk32285:
currently i am designing individual components. but my eventual goal is to create a a miniature train station/city. I have already designed traffic lights and train crossings using FPGA's using Xilinz( a free simulator/synthesizer) with relative ease. Currently I'm looking into adding an FGPA core so that i can emulate a PIC.
Using FPGA's could be a good step towards AI since it can truly do parallel tasks without resorting to multiple threads/time sharing.

JesseWelling:
well Stanford got around this by using about 7 full fledged computers in thier Darpa Grand Challenge entry.

I don't see FPGA offering more performance than that.....but for hoby robotics that have limited processing capeabilities for things like visual and audio...yea I can see that working.
Although I still plan on using a black-board type system on my linux based robot, which is of course going to use threads....it would be silly not to.

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