This paper looks at the trends in the multi-service access node (MSAN) equipment market that are forcing developers to re-examine the architectures they have used in the past, as well as driving more and more MSAN OEMs to move to field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to create scalable platforms for MSAN applications. This paper also looks at some of the key features of the low-cost Cyclone III FPGA family that make it an optimal solution for 5- to 10-Gbps MSAN applications.