Re: Lust after this stuff
The cost of FPGAs are insignificant when used only for product development. After developing the hardware in the FPGA, you can build a few prototypes using them to field-test, and it costs virtually nothing to make incremental changes - hardware updates are distributed and implemented in the same way as firmware updates. This greatly improves time to market, because you can develop your hardware almost empirically. Once your hardware is running correctly and reliably in the field, you can invest in an ASIC to bring the unit cost down for mass production. Sure, you need to do some simulation and testing to ensure that the logic will not suffer from race conditions etc., but that is nothing compared with the exhaustive specifications, simulations and test vector generation required to design an ASIC based product completely from scratch.