November 22, 2010 -- For the past several years, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have been getting large enough to compete with microprocessors in floating-point performance. Using the theoretical peak performance numbers, the FPGA's floating-point performance is growing faster than microprocessors. This article calculates the peak performance for several FPGA devices from Xilinx and compares them to a reference microprocessor for equivalent time periods and shows that this gap in performance is growing. More realistic predicted performance numbers are also calculated for these devices and those results show equivalent trends.
By Dave Strenski, Prasanna Sundararajan and Ralph Wittig. (Strenski is with Cray, Inc. and both Sundararajan and Wittig are with Xilinx, Inc.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.