In 1994, demand for our products made Xilinx the number one supplier of programmable logic products in the world. Our innovations have resulted in a five year compound annual revenue growth rate in excess of 48%. They also have led to ever increasing profits and market share.
Xilinx's success can be attributed to one fundamental reason: we help our customers get to volume production faster. In today's competitive technology marketplace, it is not enough to bring products to market rapidly. Time-to-volume production has become the new imperative for technology leaders.
In 1985, Xilinx's introduction of the world's first Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) fundamentally altered the landscape of the logic semiconductor industry. Before the FPGA, there were two basic logic alternatives, both of which still exist today. At the low end, standard, discrete logic products often lack the complexity required for many of today's sophisticated electronic systems, since they offer low levels of integration. By contrast, FPGAs integrate numerous standard, logic devices into a single semiconductor device - a much more economical option.
The other logic alternative is mask programmed gate arrays: customized devices that are programmed during the manufacturing process. Gate arrays require long lead times and burden the manufacturer with upfront engineering charges. In addition, gate arrays impose risks of cost escalation due to possible system design errors or misjudgment of market demand. These risk factors give customers strong incentive to look for a better solution. Because Xilinx semiconductor devices are customized by the end user, we can solve our customers' needs for maximum flexibility through the benefits of reprogrammability.
The Xilinx logic solution has clearly benefited our customers. The quick time-to-volume production advantages, ease of design, and ultimate flexibility have provided tangible, competitive advantages for our customers, several of whom are featured in this report.
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