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25 June 2004 Development of a multitechnology FPGA: a reconfigurable architecture for photonic information processing
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Over the years, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have made a profound impact on the electronics industry with rapidly improving semiconductor-manufacturing technology ranging from sub-micron to deep sub-micron processes and equally innovative CAD tools. Though FPGA has revolutionized programmable/reconfigurable digital logic technology, one limitation of current FPGA’s is that the user is limited to strictly electronic designs. Thus, they are not suitable for applications that are not purely electronic, such as optical communications, photonic information processing systems and other multi-technology applications (ex. analog devices, MEMS devices and microwave components). Over recent years, the growing trend has been towards the incorporation of non-traditional device technologies into traditional CMOS VLSI systems. The integration of these technologies requires a new kind of FPGA that can merge conventional FPGA technology with photonic and other multi-technology devices. The proposed new class of field programmable device will extend the flexibility, rapid prototyping and reusability benefits associated with conventional electronic into photonic and multi-technology domain and give rise to the development of a wider class of programmable and embedded integrated systems. This new technology will create a tremendous opportunity for applying the conventional programmable/reconfigurable hardware concepts in other disciplines like photonic information processing. To substantiate this novel architectural concept, we have fabricated proof-of-the-concept CMOS VLSI Multi-technology FPGA (MT-FPGA) chips that include both digital field programmable logic blocks and threshold programmable photoreceivers which are suitable for sensing optical signals. Results from these chips strongly support the feasibility of this new optoelectronic device concept.
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Prosenjit Mal, Kavita Toshniwal, Chris Hawk, Prashant R. Bhadri, and Fred Richard Beyette Jr. "Development of a multitechnology FPGA: a reconfigurable architecture for photonic information processing", Proc. SPIE 5363, Emerging Optoelectronic Applications, (25 June 2004);

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