In my last blog, I mentioned that we aren't going to limit ourselves to discussing only FPGAs on PLdesignline.com, because while interesting there's a lot more to programmable logic than just FPGAs. One area of particular interest for myself is that of field-programmable node arrays (FPNAs), which perhaps not surprisingly are devices containing an array of programmable processing nodes.
Depending on the device in question, these nodes can range from algorithmic elements, through ALUs, all the way up to full processors. For example, the picoArray from picoChip is a device containing an array of programmable heterogeneous processors embedded in a "sea" of programmable interconnect. The ensuing processing power is enough to make ones eyes water!
In a column I penned for EEDesign toward the tail end of 2002, I noted that a single picoArray running at only 160 MHz could deliver almost 20x more processing power (measured in 16-bit ALU MOPS) of a state-of-the-art DSP processor such as a TMS320C6415 running at 600MHz. And that was close to three years ago, so goodness only knows what they can do now (although I'm sure they'll be calling me to tell me when they hear about this blog).
The point is that I've been watching picoChip with interest since those days when they were running silent and deep in "secret squirrel" mode, so I was interested to read that they have just extended their family of WiMAX reference designs to include both fixed (802.16-2004) and mobile (802.16e and WiBRO) versions for subscriber terminal and basestation designs. You can read more about this in the "Products" section of PLdesignline.com. Until next time, have a good one!