FPGA design automation: A survey

Deming Chen, Jason Cong, Peichen Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Design automation or computer-aided design (CAD) for field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) has played a critical role in the rapid advancement and adoption of FPGA technology over the past two decades. The purpose of this paper is to meet the demand for an up-to-date comprehensive survey/tutorial for FPGA design automation, with an emphasis on the recent developments within the past 5-10 years. The paper focuses on the theory and techniques that have been, or most likely will be, reduced to practice. It covers all major steps in FPGA design flow which includes: routing and placement, circuit clustering, technology mapping and architecture-specific optimization, physical synthesis, RT-level and behavior-level synthesis, and power optimization. We hope that this paper can be used both as a guide for beginners who are embarking on research in this relatively young yet exciting area, and a useful reference for established researchers in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-330
Number of pages136
JournalFoundations and Trends in Electronic Design Automation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Computer-aided design
  • FPGA design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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