The introduction of Spartan-3™ devices has created multiple changes in the evolution of embedded control designs and pushed processing capabilities to the “almost-free stage.” With these new FPGAs falling under $20, in volume, with over 1 million system gates, and under $5 for 100K gate-level units, any design with programmable logic has a readily available 8- or 16-bit processor costing less than 75 cents and 32-bit processor for less than $1.50. This white paper explores the benefits, system requirements, cost, design process, software and hardware architecture, and expansion strategy, along with many details of these systems.