The PLD Market
Today the worldwide market for programmable logic devices is about $3.5 billion, according the market researcher Gartner/Dataquest. The market for fixed logic devices is about $12 billion. However, in recent years, sales of PLDs have outpaced those of fixed logic devices built with older gate array technology. And, high performance FPGAs are now beginning to take market share from fixed logic devices made with the more advanced standard cell technology.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, programmable logic is now one of the fastest growing segments of the semiconductor business, and for the last few years, sales for PLDs have increased at a greater pace than sales for the overall semiconductor industry.
Says EDN Magazine, a leading electronics design trade publication: "Programmable-logic devices are the fastest growing segment of the logic-device family for two fundamental reasons. Their ever-increasing logic gate count per device 'gathers up' functions that might otherwise spread over a number of discrete-logic and memory chips, improving end-system size, power consumption, performance, reliability, and cost. Equally important is the fact that in a matter of seconds or minutes you can configure and, in many cases, reconfigure these devices at your workstation or in the system-assembly line. This capability provides powerful flexibility to react to last-minute design changes, to prototype ideas before implementation, and to meet time-to-market deadlines driven by both customer need and competitive pressures." (EDN, "Annual PLD Directory," August 17, 2000.)