Continued rapid semiconductor technology advances bring with them some great benefits. But the trends of designer productivity continuing to fail to keep up with transistor budgets, the explosive growth in mask costs, the huge increases in the minimum dice quantities created by 300 mm wafers and small geometry chips, and the relentless time to market pressures will have a major impact on the choices SOC designers will be making in the next few years. Programmability and high performance will increasingly take center stage as desirable elements in future SOC designs.