How to learn designing FPGA's themselves? (Not with)

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 22, 2018
Hi friends!

I am interested in learning how to design FPGA's. Where can I get an introduction to how they operate and work?

Are there any books on designing FPGA's?

Please note I don't mean using them. I mean creating them.

THanks a lot!


Joined Mar 10, 2018
There are books. Courses, I know UC Berkley had a lot of process design
activity and internal circuit design impact. Reflected in a lot of IEEE papers.

Regards, Dana.
Last edited:


Joined Mar 10, 2018
I think OP is looking for silicon design level information, not application
of a device, rather design of the actual device.

Regards, Dana.


Joined Oct 29, 2013
check out the curriculum for some university computer engineering degrees and take a look at the books they use. There were a few processor design classes when i was in school, I've forgotten it all now, but maybe that would be a good starting point.


Joined Feb 6, 2013
One of the most popular sources of information on FPGA architecture and design is FPGA Architecture: Survey and Challenges, both in terms of content (a great review of existing FPGA architectures) and for its bibliography, which has almost 250 citations to papers, books, and datasheets that are useful for designing FPGAs. It's also one of the first items to pop up from googling "FPGA architecture", and there are many other good sources when you do that, so I'd recommend it. Springer seems to publish a few books on the topic, such as Tree-Based Heterogeneous FPGA Architectures by Farooq, and the older Architecture and CAD for Deep-Submicron FPGAs by Betz, Rose, and Marquardt (1999). Low-Power Design of Nanometer FPGAs: Architecture and EDA also seems to be appeal to the design of FPGAs, though I haven't really looked into it.

Most of the work in learning to design FPGAs will be learning high speed digital design, VLSI techniques, and other underlying technologies. The silicon-level development of the technologies is probably derived from selecting an architecture and following a typical digital design process such as one you would find for developers of processors. The FPGA architectures themselves are likely developed with the aid of research papers published e.g. by the IEEE, as well as in-house research and development and planning. Perhaps the most time-consuming aspect of FPGA design is the software required to use it. Supplying reliable tools that can troubleshoot the incredible complexity of FPGA routing and layout, in HDL and graphical layouts, is no simple task. On an architectural level, providing programmability and debugability in conjunction with the software team is essential, I would imagine.

The industry is changing rapidly and finding an up-to-date book on the topic is challenging, especially one that covers all aspects of FPGA design. Much of the challenging parts are in particular subjects in the design, such as clock distribution and timing, or silicon processing and quality control, or JTAG debugging support. FPGAs are a challenge to work with, and developing FPGAs means you need very, very careful validation of your design at every level. Hopefully this gives you an idea of what to expect! Note that I'm not involved in developing FPGAs, I've only used them. I'm just speculating from experience in hardware.


Joined Mar 31, 2012
I might start with the databook for an FPGA. Use an old one if you can get your hands on it -- the designs were a lot simpler and so easier to come up to speed on. That will give you a lot of information about how they work and why things were done the way they were and how they are physically organized.