I'm trying to get a broad view of embedded stuff.
I got a series of (what I hope are not) 12 silly questions which I'm hoping to clear up. Here goes :1) Are FPGAs essentially scaled up microcontrollers? That is they differ from microcontrollers in that they have more programmable gates and more memory space (?)
2) Why would someone use an FPGA over say a minil ATX form factor motherboard with a Pentium chip? What advantage does an FPGA offer over a regular mini motherboard with a microchip?3) I keep calling it "mini motherboards with pentium chips". What is the proper term for it? PC/104 boards ??
4) How do FPGA differ from ASICS. I'm thinking FPGA are for more general purpose whie ASICS are for more specific purposes.5) Is the method of programming an ASICS and FPGA radiacally different or similar?
6) Will FPGAs eventually drop in price and replace microcontrollers for many functions? (assuming size is not important)7) Is DSP (digital signal processing) done on FPGAs or some other type of board?
8) Is embedded linux mostly loaded onto those mini boards with Pentium chips?9) When people talk about embedded systems, are they mostly talking about microcontrollers, FPGAs, ASICS or mini motherboards with pentium chips?
10) Are mini motherboards often used in conjunction with custom designed boards with microcontrollers? e.g. the microcontroller board collects data and feeds that back to the mini motherboard. The mini motherboard processes data spits that info out to another board with a microcontroller which moves a stepper motor.11) What kind of board are they using in my cable modem, DVD player, LCD screen?
12) Once I get comfortable with using a microcontroller, what would be the next step in learning? I'm thinking of learning more about using embedded linux on those mini mobos with pentium chips.
Last but not least, thank you for your time!