Just like other products, having a consistent and long-term FPGA board supplier enables an environment of growth and mutually beneficial arrangements between both parties. Currently, the FPGAs market is just around 1% of all the semiconductors sold worldwide (according to fpgarelated.com), with less than 20 recognized manufacturers. This finding, therefore, indicates there are some hidden reasons why you should get your FPGA board from a supplier rather than all the fatigue of contacting the manufacturer yourself at www.directics.com/xilinx-fpga/.
But how do suppliers become a better choice?
Utilization of Parties
Accept it or not, the suppliers have an extensive network of individuals and parties related to the FPGA under question. They are regularly in touch with the field application engineers and other salespeople in the chain. This enables them to access all the vital information and guidance which you may need before and after purchasing the FPGA board. They have information about the latest hardware and would be the best to consult about products and services details, temporary licenses, arranging the demos and performing software trials. Although most of the suppliers appear pushy and somehow nagging, you will not dispute the direction of their counsel.
Providing Evaluation Boards
FPGAs complexity depends on the language used to program them. In most cases, the buyers/users are not conversant with programming field, making it necessary to use manuals in most applications. For users’ purposes, most manufacturers and other third-party organizations offer evaluation boards. Although the information about these boards is mostly available on the manufacturer’s website, suppliers have direct access to them. In case you lose yours, the supplier will be ther to offer you another one. For loyalty, most suppliers are always willing t give it for free.
If you are planning to buy an FPGA board which is embedded to a processor, an evaluation board should
be on top of your list. Your supplier will advise you more about it, and that is the main reason why you should get your FPGA board from a supplier.
Taking Advantage of Perks
Xilinx and Altera are the two major manufacturers of FPGA boards, having approximately 49% and 40% market shares respectively. Often, they have free offers and trials. The suppliers access this information probably before anybody else in the market do. Having a close relationship with a supplier will give you a massive opportunity for experimenting and discovering what you like or don’t like about the offers. The suppliers are also in the best position to advice on whether you should take the offer or wait for the next one.
Especially when you are buying FPGA boards occasionally or in large quantities, the cost can be high. These costs would be regarding re-tendering or re-negotiating. Having a constant supplier will keep these burdens at bay since the terms are not likely to vary significantly. In case the board fails to perform as promised, it is easier for the supplier to follow up on the warrant policy with the manufacturer.
Efficiency and Communication
The more you interact with a supplier, the better the supplier understands your needs and that of your business. Most businesses which have a compelling business, Financial and ICT integration are those whose suppliers have been constant and consistent for quite a substantial length of time. Together, they can achieve the desired improvements while accessing new information and tools that are changing their respective industries.
Those are just a few benefits that accrue to a person who values getting FPGA board from a supplier. However, you will need to study your supplier thoroughly before engaging them.