You may have seen modern day PCs off-load 3D graphics and physics engines to hardware accelerators via external graphics cards with enormous speed lifts. SLI's pushes this idea to the extreme making the entire device hardware based. SLI has designed and built a couple of technology demonstrators detailing the steps necessary to build sensor and motor control algorithms, as well as decision making statemachines. All this is part of an autonomous educational robot designed to help other enthusiasts interested in the idea get a jump start on building their own hardware based autonomous robots.
Unlike the traditional microprocessor (CPU) which executes its instructions sequentially in one-at-a-time fashion, FPGAs can do hundreds of tasks simultaneously.
Modern FPGAs now have internal RAM blocks that can be fully customized with digital signal processor (DSP) slices, and integrated high speed transceivers. When combined with its virtually unlimited logic combinatorial possibilities, FPGA internals can be assembled like silicon legos into some very powerful hardware.
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