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who uses fpga's

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I'm just a GPU nut, I've doing it with direct compute ever since I was 21 doing direct x 6 win32 tutorials watching Martin Short on tv back in the olden days possibly 10 years after inner-space came out.  I loved that movie, it was absolute magic and the robot suit's were fricken amazing! and as I think back terrify the absolute shit out of me now if it ever became a reality. curse the singularity.

So the biggest mystery to me now is, now I'm old,40 sick still feel and look like an immature teenager and just about carked it in the head, what the hell are FPGA's and who uses them -and what do they use them for?

They seem to be a step up from GPU's in what I imagine about them, but thats only a fantasy because I never got the guts to work on them.
One thing that put me off was the cheap ones seem to only go to a megahert for some reason and that ruins the performance interest somewhat of what I thought they could do for me, so I put them off and just kept going with GPUs because they apparently hert quicker. and whats the difference between any type of physical parallelization, isnt it all equally as good as itself? 

But has anyone here got some real experience with them - is there any forums to go to get tips off guys that have been doing it for ages?

The only implementations I've scarcely heard about is people use them to emulate old computers perfectly,  but that is to me so uncreative and not even capitalizing on the power to do some original logic with them, at a modern performance,    as long as it fit on the FPGA, isnt it as good as an ASIC - its just with a little wasted space here and there - that seems more like what I'd like to do with it.

GPU's are what I know, and they are good for AI because you can do lots of brute forcing with them,  when it comes to FPGA's is the brute forcing ability higher than a GPU?

FPGAs can be anything you want them to be. They are programmable logic, on a large scale. They are very different from GPUs and I don't really think you can compare the two in any meaningful way.

There is a whole section on this forum dedicated to FPGAs where you can see what people are doing with them. I've used them for custom I/O bridges myself where I need to work with a parallel interface and turn it into a serialized form or vice versa but that is a very trivial usecase.


--- Quote from: Capernicus on March 31, 2021, 11:14:06 am ---GPU's are what I know, and they are good for AI because you can do lots of brute forcing with them,  when it comes to FPGA's is the brute forcing ability higher than a GPU?

--- End quote ---
AI and neuronal networks are based matrix multiplication. You do not need any flexibility of a FPGA hier.
An ASIC with a large amount of matrix multiplier units, like nVidia A100 GPU, will do the job better then any FPGA existent on the market today.


Crypto mining is apparently a popular application...

Most of my applications for programmable logic were small enough that I preferred to use CPLD's instead of FPGA's. The biggest difference for me was that a CPLD 'is what it is' directly on power up. An FPGA generally requires some time to 'get educated' from a serial eprom and with EMI glitches an FPGA can suddenly go stupid and lose its programming. A CPLD is more robust and they both can usually use a similar JTAG programming device. FPGA's can be huge and a real workhorse, CPLD's tend to be much smaller in flop capacity and are more for simple logic steering, lookup matix 'corn cob' lookup tables or simple clock signal buffering, steering and dividing.


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