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Short for programmable logic device, a generic term for an integrated circuit that can be programmed in a laboratory to perform complex functions. A PLD consists of arrays of AND and OR gates. A system designer implements a logic design with a device programmer that blows fuses on the PLD to control gate operation.

System designers can use development software that converts basic code into instructions a device programmer needs to implement a design.

PLD types can classified into the following groups

  • PROMs (Programmable Read Only Memory) - offer high speed and low cost for relatively small designs
  • PLAs (Programmable Logic Array) - offer flexible features for more complex designs
  • PAL/GALs (Programmable Array Logic/Generic Array Logic) - offer good flexibility and are faster and less expensive than PLAs

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