Also known as "reconfigurable computing," it refers to a logic chip that can change its physical circuitry on the fly. Evolved from programmable architectures such as CPLD and FPGA, adaptive computing is an order of magnitude faster in rate of reuse (ROR) and can reconfigure itself in nanoseconds.|
Fast Hardware Reconfiguration
Primarily designed for the cellphone and wireless market, adaptive chips use very little power and can process different types of algorithms in the same circuit space. For example, rather than requiring a dedicated circuit for error correction and another for decompression as is common in 3G cellphones, the adaptive chip dynamically reconfigures itself for each algorithm as required. In addition, when new algorithms are invented, instead of designing a new ASIC, the adaptive chip is given new instructions to load.
Although large semiconductor companies are involved in adaptive computing, Quicksilver Technology, San Jose, CA (www.qstech.com) and IPFlex, Tokyo, Japan (www.ipflex.com) specialize in the field. See PLD and ASIC.