FPGA configuration memory

The configuration memory in FPGA devices can be organized differently.

  1. Most of the FPGAs are SRAM-based. They are volatile, that is, it is needed to configure them after each power-up. They usually have plenty of configuration modes.
  2. There are also nonvolatile SRAM-based FPGAs with integrated Flash. They are internally similar to plain SRAM-based FPGAs, the only difference being that they have internal Flash memory which can store configuration data. During the power-up the SRAM can be configured from the internal Flash, eliminating the need of external configuration memory.
  3. Flash-based FPGAs include ProASIC3 and Igloo families produced by Actel. Unlike the previous type, they don't contain configuration SRAM. Therefore, they consume much less power than ordinary SRAM-based FPGAs. They are also considered to be more tolerant to radiation.
  4. Antifuse-based FPGAs include Actel's Axcelerator and RTAX families. They are the least vulnerable to radiation effects. Their main drawback is that they can only be programmed once.

The FPGA tutorial has been created by 1-CORE Technologies, an FPGA design services provider.

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