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Top 10 Fpga Design Engineer Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications for FPGA design engineers, including information on their requirements, benefits and value.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for a FPGA design engineer in the job market because they demonstrate to potential employers that the engineer has the necessary knowledge and skills required for the job. They can also be used to showcase technical skill sets, as well as provide evidence of commitment to continuing education and professional development. Certification also helps candidates stand out from other applicants by showing that they have taken the initiative to gain additional qualifications. Finally, certifications can help open up opportunities for advancement within a company or industry.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the best certifications for FPGA Design Engineers and how they can help enhance a FPGA Design Engineer's career.

What are Fpga Design Engineer Certifications?

FPGA Design Engineer Certification is a professional certification program that provides engineers with the knowledge and skills to design, develop, test, and deploy Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based systems. The certification program is offered by leading FPGA vendors such as Altera and Xilinx, as well as organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The certification program consists of a series of courses covering topics such as FPGA architecture, VHDL programming language, logic synthesis, timing analysis, board design and verification. After completing the courses, participants must pass an exam to earn their certification. This certifies that they have developed the knowledge and skills required to design and implement FPGA based systems.

The certification can be beneficial for those who are interested in pursuing a career in FPGA design engineering or for those looking to advance their current career in this field. It helps employers identify qualified professionals who are knowledgeable about FPGA technology. It also allows engineers to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in FPGA technology so they can remain competitive in the job market. Additionally, it demonstrates commitment to professional development which can lead to new opportunities.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to become a certified FPGA design engineer, it is important to have a strong understanding of the different FPGA architectures and components. Additionally, having hands-on experience with various development tools and platforms can be beneficial in preparing for certification exams.

Related: What does a Fpga Design Engineer do?

Top 10 Fpga Design Engineer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Fpga Design Engineers today.

1. Xilinx Certified FPGA Design Engineer

Xilinx Certified FPGA Design Engineer is a professional certification program offered by Xilinx, Inc., a leading provider of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. The certification program is designed to validate the knowledge and skills of engineers working with Xilinx FPGAs. It demonstrates an individual's ability to design, develop, and deploy Xilinx FPGA designs in various applications.

To become a Xilinx Certified FPGA Design Engineer, applicants must pass two exams: the Core Exam and the Advanced Exam. The Core Exam covers topics such as basic FPGA architecture, design flow, device configuration, and system integration. The Advanced Exam covers more complex topics such as optimization techniques for high-performance designs, embedded systems development using Xilinx tools, and advanced debugging techniques.

The exams are administered online through Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide. Applicants can register for the exams directly on the Pearson VUE website or through their local Xilinx representative. Each exam costs $150 USD and takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

Upon successful completion of both exams, applicants will receive a certificate from Xilinx recognizing them as a Certified FPGA Design Engineer. This certification is valid for three years before needing to be renewed by taking additional courses or passing recertification exams provided by Xilinx.

2. Mentor Graphics FPGA Design Certification

Mentor Graphics FPGA Design Certification is a professional certification program designed for engineers who are interested in developing their skills and knowledge in the field of FPGA design. The certification is offered by Mentor Graphics, a leading provider of software and hardware solutions for the development of embedded systems. This certification program covers topics such as FPGA architecture, design flows, synthesis, timing analysis, verification methods, and more.

The duration of the program depends on the individual's experience level and background. Generally speaking, it takes approximately six months to complete all the requirements for this certification. To get certified, individuals must pass an online exam that tests their knowledge and understanding of FPGA design principles. Additionally, they must also demonstrate their ability to use Mentor Graphics' tools to develop an FPGA-based system through a hands-on project.

The cost of the Mentor Graphics FPGA Design Certification varies depending on the specific course chosen by the individual. Generally speaking, most courses range from $1,000-$2,500 USD.

3. Altera Certified FPGA Design Engineer

Altera Certified FPGA Design Engineer (ACFDE) is a professional certification program offered by Altera Corporation, a leading provider of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology. This certification program is designed to validate the knowledge and skills of experienced FPGA design engineers in the use of Altera’s Quartus II software. The ACFDE certification requires passing an online exam that tests the engineer’s ability to develop, debug, and optimize designs for Altera FPGAs.

The ACFDE certification process typically takes about two weeks from start to finish. First, you must register for the exam through the Altera website and pay the associated fee ($200 USD). Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access and complete the exam. The exam itself consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. After completing the exam, your results will be available immediately in your account on the Altera website.

To become certified as an Altera Certified FPGA Design Engineer, you must pass the ACFDE online exam with a score of at least 70%. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will receive a digital certificate confirming your status as an ACFDE and a printed wallet card for easy identification.

The cost for taking the ACFDE online exam is $200 USD.

4. Lattice Semiconductor FPGA Design Certification

Lattice Semiconductor FPGA Design Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes the technical knowledge and skills of experienced FPGA designers. It validates an individual’s ability to design and develop complex FPGA designs using Lattice Semiconductor’s devices and tools.

The certification consists of two levels: Associate Level and Professional Level. To receive the Associate Level certification, applicants must pass the Lattice Semiconductor FPGA Design Exam, which covers topics such as device architecture, coding techniques, timing constraints, simulation and debugging. To receive the Professional Level certification, applicants must have completed the Associate Level exam as well as two additional exams covering advanced topics such as system design flow, embedded systems development and high-speed design techniques.

It typically takes around 6 months to complete all three exams required for Professional Level certification. The exams are administered by Prometric Testing Centers located throughout the world. Applicants can register for the exams through Prometric’s website or by calling their local center directly.

The cost of taking the exams varies depending on location but generally ranges from $100-200 per exam.

5. Actel Certified FPGA Design Engineer

Actel Certified FPGA Design Engineer (ACFDE) is a certification program offered by Actel Corporation, a provider of FPGA solutions. The certification provides assurance to employers that the certified engineer has the necessary skills and knowledge to design, develop and deploy complex FPGA-based systems.

The ACFDE certification requires the completion of two exams: one on the fundamentals of FPGA design and one on advanced topics related to Actel's ProASIC3/E and SmartFusion families of FPGAs. The exams are administered online through Prometric Testing Centers.

It usually takes between 6-12 months to complete both exams, depending on your experience level with FPGA design. In order to prepare for the exams, you can take advantage of Actel's self-study materials or attend an instructor-led training course.

The cost for taking both exams is $600 USD plus applicable taxes.

6. Microsemi Certified FPGA Design Engineer

Microsemi Certified FPGA Design Engineer is a professional certification program offered by Microsemi Corporation, an American semiconductor company. It is designed to recognize the expertise of engineers who design and develop field-programmable gate array (FPGA) solutions using Microsemi's FPGA technology. The certification requires successful completion of a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as FPGA architecture, design flow, design implementation, verification and debugging.

The exam typically takes two to three hours to complete and costs $100 USD. To become certified, applicants must have at least one year of experience in designing with Microsemi FPGAs and must pass the certification exam with a score of 80% or higher. Additionally, applicants must renew their certification every three years to remain current.

To prepare for the exam, applicants should review the official study guide provided by Microsemi and take practice tests available online. They should also familiarize themselves with the features and capabilities of Microsemi’s FPGA products as well as industry standards for best practices in design development.

7. Synopsys Certified FPGA Design Engineer

Synopsys Certified FPGA Design Engineer is a professional certification program for engineers who design and develop FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). This certification demonstrates the engineer’s expertise in designing, simulating, verifying, and integrating FPGA designs. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of Synopsys tools and technologies used in the development process.

The Synopsys Certified FPGA Design Engineer program consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical lab exam. The written exam tests the candidate's knowledge of digital design principles, HDL coding techniques, synthesis strategies, timing analysis, and debugging skills. The practical lab exam requires the candidate to create a working FPGA design from scratch using Synopsys tools.

It typically takes 6-12 months to complete the certification process depending on how quickly the candidate can complete the exams. To get certified as a Synopsys Certified FPGA Design Engineer, candidates must first register with Synopsys and pay an application fee. Once registered, they will receive study materials that include sample questions and practice exams to help them prepare for both exams.

The cost of getting certified as a Synopsys Certified FPGA Design Engineer varies depending on where you take your exams. In general, it costs around $1,500 USD for both the written exam and practical lab exam combined.

8. Cadence Certified FPGA Design Engineer

Cadence Certified FPGA Design Engineer (CFDE) is a certification program offered by Cadence, a leading provider of electronic design automation tools and services. The CFDE certification is designed to recognize engineers who have achieved a high level of proficiency in designing and developing complex field-programmable gate array (FPGA) designs.

The CFDE program consists of two exams: the Core Exam and the Advanced Exam. The Core Exam tests knowledge of FPGA design principles and techniques, while the Advanced Exam tests more advanced topics such as timing analysis, optimization techniques, and system-level design considerations. Both exams are administered online through Cadence's Certification Portal.

It typically takes around two months to complete both exams and become certified as an FPGA Design Engineer. To get started, you must first create an account on the Cadence Certification Portal and purchase the exam vouchers for both exams. The cost of each exam voucher is $250 USD, so the total cost for both exams is $500 USD. After purchasing the vouchers, you can register for each exam using your voucher code within 90 days of purchase. Once you have passed both exams, you will receive your certificate from Cadence via email within 7–10 business days.

9. Atmel Certified FPGA Design Engineer

Atmel Certified FPGA Design Engineer is a certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to design, develop, and deploy FPGA-based applications. The certification requires candidates to demonstrate their expertise in designing and developing FPGA-based applications using Atmel’s development tools.

The certification exam consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as the fundamentals of digital logic design, the Atmel FPGA architecture, the Atmel development environment, and the Atmel FPGA programming language. The practical exam evaluates the candidate’s ability to design, develop, and deploy an application using Atmel’s development tools.

The certification process typically takes about six months from start to finish. Candidates must first register for the certification program with Atmel. After registration is complete, candidates will receive access to training materials and other resources that will help them prepare for both parts of the exam. Once they have completed their studies, they can then register for the exams at an authorized testing center.

The cost of becoming an Atmel Certified FPGA Design Engineer varies depending on which country you are located in but generally ranges from $500 - $1000 USD.

10. QuickLogic Certified FPGA Design Engineer

QuickLogic Certified FPGA Design Engineer (QCFPGA) is a certification program offered by QuickLogic Corporation that recognizes the expertise of engineers in designing and implementing Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) designs. The QCFPGA certification is designed to validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of FPGA design engineers who have demonstrated their proficiency in the field.

The QCFPGA certification requires passing an online exam consisting of multiple-choice questions related to FPGA design fundamentals and QuickLogic’s tools and technologies. The exam typically takes between 1-2 hours to complete depending on the individual's experience level.

To get certified, applicants must first register with QuickLogic Corporation and then purchase an exam voucher from QuickLogic's website. Once purchased, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to access the online exam. After successfully passing the exam with a score of 70% or higher, applicants will receive their QCFPGA certification.

The cost for taking the QCFPGA certification exam is $199 USD.

Do You Really Need a Fpga Design Engineer Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. For someone who is already an experienced engineer in the field of FPGA design and wishes to further their career, a certificate may be beneficial. It could show potential employers that the individual has taken the initiative to learn more about the technology and has dedicated time and effort into becoming certified.

For someone just starting out in the field, a certificate may not be necessary. However, it could still be beneficial for them to take courses or workshops related to FPGA design, as this will give them a better understanding of how to use the technology. The knowledge gained from these courses could help them succeed in their job by allowing them to create better designs and understand how different components work together.

Ultimately, whether or not someone needs a FPGA Design Engineer Certificate depends on their level of experience and what they hope to achieve with their career. If they are looking for higher-level positions or want recognition for their expertise, then pursuing certification may be worthwhile. Otherwise, taking courses or attending workshops can still provide valuable knowledge without needing an official certification.

Related: Fpga Design Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Fpga Design Engineer Certifications

1. What is a FPGA Design Engineer Certification?

Answer: A FPGA Design Engineer Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s competency in the design, development, and implementation of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). It also indicates an understanding of circuit board layout, logic simulation, and software coding.

2. What are the requirements for a FPGA Design Engineer Certification?

Answer: The requirements for a FPGA Design Engineer Certification typically include passing an exam on topics such as digital circuitry, logic design, system architecture, and programming languages. Additionally, applicants may need to demonstrate prior experience with hardware and software engineering principles.

3. How much does it cost to get certified as a FPGA Design Engineer?

Answer: Fees vary depending on the certifying organization and the level of certification desired; however, they generally range from $100 - $1000 USD.

4. How long does it take to become certified as a FPGA Design Engineer?

Answer: The time required to become certified depends on the certifying organization; however, most organizations require at least 12-24 months of study and practice before taking the final exam.

5. Is there continuing education required after becoming certified as a FPGA Design Engineer?

Answer: Yes, many certifying organizations require continuing education credits in order to maintain certification status. This can involve attending workshops or online courses related to new technologies or advancements in the field of FPGAs.