Software defined silicon (SDS) offers programmability, and the associated flexibility it brings, that was previously out of reach for designers of high volume and cost-constrained consumer and industrial systems. By developing a very low cost, simple, and easily useable multi-threaded processor, XMOS allows the designer to integrate hardware interfaces with software processing, eliminating the drawbacks associated with traditional hardware design. This paper discusses challenges of today’s industrial and consumer design, such as parallel programming and implementation of traditional hardware tasks using only software, and explains how SDS solves these problems and gives the designer a new degree of freedom and flexibility.