When I was involved in mainframe design, we dealt with logic gates that would be packed a few dozen per chip. Comparable designs now occur within ASICs and FPGAs. These days, designers turn to off-the-shelf, high-performance microcontrollers because they assume that FPGAs are too power-hungry, expensive, and hard to program. This is especially true for embedded FPGAs that are integrated with custom IP (see “11 Myths About Embedded FPGAs” on electronicdesign.com).
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