FPGAs have played a critical role in the development of emerging technologies for SAN infrastructure products such as hubs, switches, RAID arrays, and storage appliances. In these products, FPGAs have been used in data compression, encryption, protocol translation, RAID striping, and virtualization.

In today’s SAN market, a company’s main value-add is in the software. Most emerging and established companies turn to software instead of hardware to give them cost and feature advantages. FPGAs allow companies to keep their intellectual valueadd in software and still offer the hardware benefits of increased performance and scalability to meet requirements for current data-center products. An FPGA-based design allows you to create value-add in software that enables using license keys for adding product features and functionality-without having to rip and replace products to support additional functionality.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / First Quarter 2006. Article © Xcell Journal.