The main difference between ASIC and FPGA is that ASIC is used to perform a specific task while FPGA is used to perform different tasks.
An electronic circuit is a structure or a pathway that connects multiple electronic components such as resistors and transistors using wires or traces. An electric current flows through the components of this circuit. ASIC and FPGA are two technologies to build electric circuits.
Key Areas Covered
What is ASIC
ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit. It is possible to customize it to use for a particular task. It consists of around 100 millions of logic gates. Designers of ASCI use Hardware Description Languages to describe its functionalities.
Most ASICs consist of microprocessors, memory units, (ROM, RAM, EEPROM) etc. System On Chip (SoC) is an ASIC with those components. Usually, ASIC is more suitable to apply for devices with large production volumes. Usually, it is a better practice to design and test the circuit using FPGA before implementing it on an ASIC.
What is FPGA
FPGA stands for Field Programmable Gate Array. It provides a large number of logic resources to implement circuits. There are around 330,000 logical blocks with 1100 inputs and outputs available in modern FPGAs. Users can reprogram an FPGA according to the requirements and specification of the circuit.
Usually, an FPGA consists of programmable logic blocks, interconnections and IO blocks. FPGA has an array of programmable logic blocks. Most logical blocks also contain memory elements such as flip-flops. Reconfigurable interconnects allows connecting these blocks together. Furthermore, the IO blocks help to make off-chip connections. We can configure the logic blocks to perform a simple functionality such as AND operation as well as to implement a complex system such as multi-core processor.
Difference Between ASIC and FPGA
ASIC is an integrated circuit customized for a particular use rather than for general purpose tasks. FPGA, on the other hand, is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or a designer after manufacturing. This is the main difference between ASIC and FPGA.
The long form for ASIC is Application Specific Integrated Circuit while FPGA stands for Field Programmable Gate Array.
Furthermore, modifications are a major difference between ASIC and FPGA. After creating, it is not possible to modify ASIC. On the other hand, it is possible to modify FPGA.
Moreover, ASIC can be applied for devices with large production level volumes while FPGA is suitable for prototyping and devices with low production volumes. This is another difference between ASIC and FPGA.
Besides, ASIC requires fewer materials compared to FPGA, so the recurring cost is low in ASIC.
ASIC is an integrated circuit that can be customized to perform a certain task while FPGA is an integrated circuit which contains logic blocks and interconnections. The main difference between ASIC and FPGA is that ASIC is used to perform a specific task while FPGA is used to perform different tasks.
1. “Application-Specific Integrated Circuit.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Dec. 2018, Available here.
2. “Field-Programmable Gate Array.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Jan. 2019, Available here.
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