FPGA engineers are engineers that are responsible for working with Field-programmable gate arrays – boards which can be initialised and programmed to do a range of different jobs, including managing the operation of heavy machines and more delicate electronics as well.
Highly Specific Jobs
FPGA microcontrollers are intended to do highly specific jobs. They are not the same as full processors. A standard computer with a CPU runs an operating system, and works in a slightly different way. FPGAs are initialized and then run a specific set of logic intended for the job that they are doing. Because they are coded to do a specific job, this means that they can perform very well without you needing to have overly powerful hardware.
Worjking With Instruction Sets And Logic Used By FPGA
FPGA engineers specialize in working with the instruction sets and the logic used by FPGA devices. Each manufacturer has its own logic and its own way of operating, and this means that engineers may spend a long time learning the quirks of, say, Xilinx devices.
Nature Of The Devices
FGPAs have been available for decades, and the nature of the devices has not changed all that much in that time. They are faster and more powerful now, and the price has come down significantly – meaning that it is possible for people to buy FPGAs for personal use for education and prototyping, and basic boards can be purchased for very low fees in bulk for use in manufacturing as well. FPGAs can be configured after manufacture, which is where the ‘field’ part of the name comes from, but it does take a degree of computing knowledge and an understanding of electronics to make the most out of them. The job is one that offers many challenges, and is an interesting career for those who want to work in development but find the idea of writing apps for phones or for the desktop mundane. When you work with FPGAs, what you are doing is tangible, and you can see the results in a different way to when you simply watch pixels on a computer screen change. For this reason, many people who study engineering, programming and computing at college are finding that they are interested in moving into the field of engineering, and working with boards and circuits. It is an exciting field and one that is likely to be more future proof than many other technologies. Find more information at http://www.directics.com/fpga-programming/