FPGA Engineer

Learn more about the FPGA engineer job: roles, educational background, skills, salary and employment opportunities at ELSYS Design.


FPGA Definition

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) hold a special place in the large family of integrated circuits. They are part of the category of digital integrated circuits, their greatest asset is their programmable logic and even reprogrammable. This allows the design of your own components for specific needs or, as part of the design of an ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit), you can prototype the component by iterating everything on FPGA.

FPGA engineer job

On a daily basis, the FPGA engineer programs with VHDL - VHSIC (Very High Speed Integrated Circuit) Hardware Description Language. At least, in Europe, as in the United States, the description language the most frequently used is the Verilog.

Once its module is finished, the FPGA designer will simulate the code in a virtual environment, for example ModelSim.

Then, the validation part is carried out on a test bench using scenarios. Running them via scripts makes it possible to check the developed functionality, but also the good integration of this new IP with the other modules.

Finally, the designer will document his work, both for the coding part (we are talking about design documentation) and for the validation part.

Become an FPGA engineer

To become an FPGA engineer, it is essential to have completed an electronic training course at a university master’s degree or an engineering school, ideally with a specialization in digital electronics.

For example, Clarisse, FPGA designer at ELSYS Design, is graduated from ENSEIRB MATMECA in Bordeaux. She followed modules in digital electronics and in VHDL programming during the first two years of her engineering school.

Other engineering schools such as ESIEE or ECE also deliver similar courses.

FPGA Engineer skills

First and foremost, an FPGA designer masters the constraints of real time

Then, each FPGA manufacturer offers a suite of tools dedicated to its components, from the VHDL design to the implementation in the FPGA. We can mention Vivado at Xilinx, Quartus at Intel (ex Altera) or Libero at Microsemi (ex Actel). The FPGA Designer must have technical skills in many of these tools.

Finally, the knowledge of scripting languages is very useful, for example the LUA, which is open source.

FPGA Designer Qualities

To be a good FPGA designer, there are many qualities required. It is necessary to :

  • Be rigorous
  • Have a synthetic vision, in order not to lose sight of the objective assigned to its module
  • Follow a precise methodology

In conclusion, there are features common to many engineers!

FPGA engineer salary

It sounds obvious that the position as well as the levels of experience and mastery of FPGA design tools are paramount to set the salary of an FPGA engineer.

For a young graduate in France, it is generally between 33K and 36K €.

Be an FPGA Designer at ELSYS Design

Clarisse, FPGA designer for almost a year, says « When I arrived, before I even started working on my first project, I received VIVADO training. What I appreciate most about ELSYS Design is to be surrounded by experienced engineers, and especially passionate about their job. Thus, I’ve improved quickly my technical competences.»

FPGA Engineer Job Opportunities

ELSYS Design often hires FPGA engineers in France, in the cities of Paris, Rennes, Nantes, Grenoble, Lyon, Nice Sophia Antipolis, Aix en Provence and Toulouse. Find out employment opportunities on our job board, where it is also possible to submit an unsolicited application.

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