Acronym for “field-programmable gate array”. This is a computer chip which is intended to be customized by the end user; miners in the case of Bitcoin. A FPGA can be configured with custom functions after it has been fabricated. Think of it as a blank silicon slate on which instructions can be written. This was the next evolution in Bitcoin mining hardware after GPU miners. FPGA offers far greater hashing power and efficiency than GPUs. Because FPGAs can be mass produced and configured after fabrication, manufacturers benefit from economies of scale, making them cheaper than ASIC chips. However, they are usually far slower. FPGA technology is being superseded by ASIC mining rigs.
Malone, J.A (2015). Glossary of Bitcoin Terms and Definitions. United States: Lulu Press, Inc