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Crypto Terms:  Letter B

What is Bitstream?

Meaning:
Bitstream - is a collection of digital bits of information (ones and zeros) that may be sent from one device to another.
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Let's find out Bitstream meaning, definition in crypto, what is Bitstream, and all other detailed facts.

A bitstream is a sequence of digital bits of data. The data is loaded onto FPGA. To specify, Field Programmable Gate Arrays are micromachined devices that are situated around a matrix of configurable logic blocks.

As an example, the bitstream can transform sound into digital bits, after which the data is delivered from a source device to a receiver, and finally to your ears.

There are two types of bitstreams - full and partial. The full bitstream works on the FPGA and contains a lot of RAM as well as flash memory. This type also manages the I/O pins.

Partial bitstream, on the other hand, has only one task - to complete the part of the design. The program also functions on the FPGA, and it is said that this strategy is less time-consuming because it doesn’t implement the unused parts of the design. It can also be referred to as partial reconfiguration or partial compilation.

A host computer or the parallel interface can be used to write the partial bitstream.

FPGA Bitstream

FPGA bitstream is generated by Hardware Description Language (HDL). Moreover, it’s a file that is mainly employed to set up the internal logic modules and configure the pinout. Therefore, to program an FPGA device, it's required to have a Verilog or VHDL file that explains how the specific integrated circuit should act.

To specify, FPGA can also refer to a path developed to be customized by customers or designers. It can be molded and adjusted according to specific requirements, using either hardware or software.

Software configuration takes more time than hardware. However, hardware consumes more energy and requires more programming work, making it too difficult to achieve for larger projects.

All in all, a bitstream file contains more than just the bits needed to set up an FPGA, it also contains human-readable fields that characterize those bits. It does, in fact, have an assembly-like instruction set for describing the FPGA setup process.