What is a typical job scope when FPGAs are involved?

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Hi all,

I am looking at some FPGA related jobs and am finding that very few involve
100% FPGA design.

Typically I am finding that current jobs will involve additional activities
such as DSP processor programming as well.

I was wondering if you guys would be able to comment on whether your jobs or
jobs of people you know involve mostly (or 100%) FPGA design?  Or are you
required to do other stuff as well?

Many thanks for your time,

Dave





Re: What is a typical job scope when FPGAs are involved?
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If you are doing DSP, I would expect a reasonable knowledge of DSP
either programming DSP processors and or converting algorithms to HW
flow.

If you are working on any bus interface, that would likely mean knowing
that bus pretty well and use of analyzers etc, and pretty likely
writing a driver esp if usb,pci.

If you are doing DRAM interface same thing (but no SW driver there).

And if you are crazy enough to do some projects like a cpu design, you
also get to write the compiler too and the cpu ISA simulators and the
memory interface and..., but thats pretty unusual, but atleast a few
have done this.

I don't think you can do FPGA design just because you have digital HW
knowledge, there has to be an application area and knowledge base. Mind
you if you can complete a project in 1 area, it should help when moving
to an entirely different application, just more book reading along the
way.

And the usual drudgery of verification, testing, documentation, endless
(& pointless) meetings, custommer interface will be there too.

my 2c

johnjakson at usa dot com
transputer2 at yahoo dot com


Re: What is a typical job scope when FPGAs are involved?

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Why do you want to stick to FPGA ?
You won't make a complete product anyway.
What is wrong with doing what is connected
to it too ?
There was recently a one-man company here
advertizing that he's doing VHDL and Verilog,
none else. No pcb, no software on no cpu, nothing.
Yes, if that is sufficient for a product...

Rene
--
Ing.Buero R.Tschaggelar - http://www.ibrtses.com
& commercial newsgroups - http://www.talkto.net

Re: What is a typical job scope when FPGAs are involved?

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The larger the company is that you work for, the more specialized you can
potentially be.

In a small company, there is no way that doing "just FPGA design" will be
enough. You will probably need to design the whole board the FPGA goes
into. You may have to lay the board out, too, or at least deal with the
people who DO lay it out. (Of course, if it is a small company who does
FPGA design by contract, that is different. I'm envisioning a small
company which produces some kind of end-product which is not just IP.)

And you will then have to bring those boards up and test or characterize
them and so on.

In a large company, it may be possible to spend most of your time doing
FPGA design. But even then, much of the design work will be writing a
design spec, interfacing with board designers, as well as marketing and
test people, and so on.

IMO if you think you can spend more than half your time, on average,
writing code and running simulations, you are probably out of line with
reality. Of course, YMMV. And I have more experience working with small
companies than big ones, so my experience may be skewed.

--Mac


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