The evolution of the programmable logic industry has fundamentally changed the value proposition of FPGAs to include high-volume, low-cost applications. A few years ago, the closest an FPGA could get to low-cost applications was as an ASIC prototyping tool. With the increasing development and production cost of ASICs, FPGAs today are becoming the de facto standard for system design in consumer, industrial, data communications, telecommunications, wireless, medical, and automotive markets. This paper from Altera describes the low-risk, low-cost, and fast-to-market advantages of the Cyclone II device family.

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