Programmable logic devices have become increasingly attractive for new design starts, as complex devices incorporating embedded processors, memory blocks, and DSP functions are now replacing entire ASICs. Design starts using ASICs have plummeted from a high of over 11,000 in 1997 to below 4,000 in 2003 (Source: Gartner Dataquest). This is because FPGA architectures not only provide excellent reprogrammability, reduced risk and lower development cost benefits compared to ASICs, but also enable quicker design turnarounds with a sufficiently competitive edge in the market and minimal compromise in terms of performance.

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