Field-programmable analog array
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A field-programmable analog array (FPAA) is an integrated device containing configurable analog blocks (CAB) and interconnects between these blocks. Unlike their digital cousin, the FPGA, the devices tend to be more application driven than general purpose as they may be current mode or voltage mode devices. For voltage mode devices, each block usually contains an operational amplifier in combination with programmable configuration of passive components. The blocks can, for example, act as summers or integrators.
FPAAs usually operate in one of two modes: continuous time and discrete time.
- Discrete-time devices possess a system sample clock. In a switched-capacitor design, all blocks sample their input signals with a sample and hold circuit composed of a semiconductor switch and a capacitor. This feeds a programmable op amp section which can be routed to a number of other blocks. This design requires more complex semiconductor construction. An alternative, switched-current design, offers simpler construction and does not require the input capacitor, but can be less accurate, and has lower fan out - it can drive only one following block. Both discrete-time device types must compensate for switching noise, aliasing at the system sample rate, and sample-rate limited bandwidth, during the design phase.
- Continuous-time devices work more like an array of transistors or op amps which can operate at their full bandwidth. The components are connected in a particular arrangement through a configurable array of switches. During circuit design, the switch matrix's parasitic inductance, capacitance and noise contributions must be taken into account.
Currently there are very few manufactures of FPAAs. On-chip resources are still very limited when compared to that of an FPGA. This resource deficit is often cited by researchers as a limiting factor in their research.
- CPLD: Complex Programmable Logic Device
- FPGA: Field Programmable Gate Array
- PSoC: Programmable System-on-Chip
- "A Programmable and Configurable Mixed-Mode FPAA SoC" Jennifer Hasler et al., Georgia Tech, January 7, 2016.
- "Analog's Answer to FPGA Opens Field to Masses" Sunny Bains, EE Times, February 21, 2008. Issue 1510.
- "Field programmable analog arrays" Tim Edwards, Johns Hopkins University project, 1999.
- "Field programmable analog arrays" Joachim Becker, et al., University of Freiburg, Department of Microsystems Engineering. Hex FPAA Research Project.
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