In this chapter we have taken a brief look at the future of FPGA-based computing. We have described how current efforts in the area of supercomputing show great promise, and we have touched on their more-recent relatives, reconfigurable computing devices. We have avoided making predictions regarding the actual architectures of tomorrow's devices (we are not qualified to make such predictions), but we have stated what we believe to be true: that the future of FPGA and FPGA-like devices lies in the domain of software applications. It is software that drives the need for increased computing performance, and FPGAs have demonstrated conclusively that they are viable alternatives to more traditional computing platforms.
FPGAs are no longer just the "poor man's ASIC"; instead they have evolved into computing platforms of the highest order. The history of their next 20 years will be one in which software applicationsand software design methodsplay a dominant role.