FPGA vs Microprocessor: Difference and Comparison

The FPGA stands for field-programmable gate array. The FPGA and microprocessors are used in computer hardware. FPGA with microcontrollers is a microprocessor IP, whereas a microprocessor is a central processing unit.

Key Takeaways

  1. FPGA is a programmable logic device, while a microprocessor is a general-purpose computing device.
  2. FPGA is designed for parallel processing, while microprocessors are designed for sequential processing.
  3. FPGA can be reprogrammed for different applications, while microprocessors cannot be reprogrammed similarly.

FPGA vs Microprocessor

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is a type of integrated circuit that can be programmed to perform various digital functions. A microprocessor is a type of CPU that is used as the “brain” of a computer or other digital system and is designed to execute instructions and perform calculations.

FPGA vs Microprocessor
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The FPGA stands for Field Programmable Gate Array. It is an integrated circuit.

The Hardware description language(HDL) is used in FPGA. The Hardware description language is similar to the application-specific integrated circuit.

Due to the advent of design tools that work on electronics will lack circuit diagrams. The programmable logic blocks are present in the field-programmable gate array.

To perform combinational functions, logic blocks are used. The logic blocks act as logic gates like AND and OR.

A combination of the integrated circuit is called a microprocessor. It may be a single integrated circuit or several combined circuits.

The microprocessor needs arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry to perform the computer functions. A microprocessor will do interpret and executing functions.

It also performs arithmetic functions. A microprocessor does a process like a clock-driven, register-based, digital integrated circuit.

It is called a multi-purpose processor.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonFPGAMicroprocessor
Development periodThe development period for FPGA is high.The development period for the microprocessor is low.
ExecutionThe FPGA executes in parallel.The microprocessor executes in sequential.
Power consumptionThe power consumption in FPGA is high.The power consumption in the microprocessor is low.
Data processing throughputThe data processing throughput is high in FPGA.The data processing throughput is low in the microprocessor.
Frequency RangeThe frequency range in FGPA is lowThe frequency range in a microprocessor is high

What is FPGA?

The FPGA stands for Field Programmable Gate Array. It is an integrated circuit.

The Hardware description language(HDL) is used in FPGA. The Hardware description language is similar to the application-specific integrated circuit.

Due to the advent of design tools that work on electronics will lack circuit diagrams. The programmable logic blocks are present in the field-programmable gate array.

To perform combinational functions, logic blocks are used. The logic blocks act as logic gates like AND and OR.

Memory elements are also present in the field memory gate array along with logic gates. To implement different functions, the field programmable array can be reprogrammed.

It allows for reconfigurable computing in hardware. A Field programmable gate array has a significant role in an embedded system. It has a greater capability in the development of embedded systems.

The FPGA can help to develop in the early phase. A large number of logic gates and RAM blocks are available in contemporary field-programmable gate arrays.

A Field programmable gate array in ASIC can implement any logical function. The ASIC can provide many offers to the applications.

FPGA comes with analog features which allow you to set low rates in the light-loaded pins and high rates in heavily loaded pins. If it is not set correctly, the pin will ring or couple unexpectedly.

Only a few mixed signals are used in FPGA for integrated peripherals.

fpga

What is Microprocessor?

A combination of the integrated circuit is called a microprocessor. It may be a single integrated circuit or several combined circuits.

The microprocessor needs arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry to perform the computer functions. A microprocessor will do interpret and executing functions.

It also performs arithmetic functions. A microprocessor does a process like a clock-driven, register-based, digital integrated circuit.

It is called a multi-purpose processor.

Both combinational and sequential logic is present in the microprocessors. The microprocessors will work on the binary number system.

The Very-Large-Scale-Integration greatly reduces the cost of processing power. It consists of a few integrated circuits.

The microprocessors are produced using the metal oxide semiconductor fabrication process method. A 4-bit Intel 4004 is the first commercial microprocessor, and then it is replaced by 8-bit microprocessors.

Due to reliability, single-chip processors could fail in the connections. By Rock’s law, the price of the chip will be the same even if there are slight changes in the design.

The microprocessor will make a great impact on the design of the computer hardware. It may reduce the size and cost of the entire computer.

It is used in embedded systems, mainframes, supercomputers, and handheld devices. A processor with an arithmetic logic unit and a control logic section is called a microprocessor.

Using the AND or OR, it performs the logic functions.

microprocessor

Main Differences Between FPGA and Microprocessor

  1. The frequency range in FGPA is low, and the frequency range in a microprocessor is high.
  2. The data processing throughput is high in FPGA, and the data processing throughput is low in the microprocessor.
  3. The power consumption in FPGA is high, and the power consumption in the microprocessor is low.
  4. The FPGA executes in parallel, and the microprocessor executes in sequential.
  5. The development period for FPGA is high, and the development period for the microprocessor is low.
References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/590366/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5272406/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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