System designers gain three benefits when designing systems with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA): reprogrammability, performance scalability and fast time to market. But there are also challenges that designers must overcome. In this post, I will discuss how power-management integrated circuits (PMICs) can reduce the impact of these challenges while still providing the benefits of system-power integration.
FPGAs are popular because of their reprogrammability: designers can configure the same FPGA for many different applications, and FPGAs allow design changes late in the design cycle – even after a product has been released. Although FPGAs are easy to reprogram or reconfigure, PMICs aren’t typically associated with reprogrammability. However, PMICs with external configurability can complement reprogrammability. Externally configurable devices use external hardware such as resistors and enable pins to set the default settings of the device. When you need to change the output voltage or power-up sequence, you can easily swap external components to adjust the settings.