The project FPGA 4.0 deals with special aspects of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays that appeared on the semiconductor market about four decades ago.
One of these special aspects are security issues that are more and more important for a number of everyday life applications. As a prominent example, an ordinary production car was hacked and remotely controlled by two U.S. technicians in 2015. This example also shows how aspects of security as well as functional safety are often heavily intertwined when, e.g., electronic systems engage into such vital car components as brake systems or steering ECUs. At the same time considerations with respect to security and data privacy are soaring and cannot be neglected in future cars. These challenges require radically new approaches and disruptive ideas together with a structured approach of applied research in order to find architectures and technologies that satisfy not only today’s but also future requirements of electronic based systems with respect to security and safety.
FPGAs are basically configurable digital circuits. However, analog components such as ADCs or DACs are also found in today's FPGA devices. Moreover, some semiconductor vendors have developed devices that integrate configurable analog resources on a chip which are sometimes referred to as FPAAs (Field-Programmable Analog Array). As another research goal (besides security aspects) the project FPGA 4.0 investigate how industrial applications can benefit from these analog resources (e.g., in the area of rapid prototyping), compares them with other implementation options as well as evaluates existing limitations.
Through the FPGA 4.0 project the Research Group Embedded Systems at the Department of Electronic Engineering likes to maintain and increase competences in the field of FPGAs in order to attract students for a technical study program and, finally, to provide qualified specialists in the area of engineering to companies in Vienna and its surrounding area.