This article in a german computer magazin describes -embedded in an article about reconfigurable computing (Eine Revolution in Silizium - a revolution in silicon) of Frank Fremerey - the view of an hardware designer on the development of digital designs for FPGAs.
Implementing designs into hardware is a time consuming process but it's worth doing it. Comparing the speed of software (running on a microprocessor) vs. hardware shows the big advantage of dedicated hardware in terms of speed and power consumption. Nowadays the development of digital circuits is a complex procedure due to large algorithms which implies lots of different possible solutions (design space exploration). The article shows the standard top-down design flow from high (specification-level) to low abstraction levels (layout-level), respecting both ways: the typical ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) and FPGA (field programmable gate array) flow. The main focus is on econfigurable computing (FPGAs) and their functionality resp. internal structure.