I guess I am probably pushing the limits of this forum, but I like getting the straight dope from you guys. FPGAs seem like a very interesting subject. I see there are some very cheap kits out there for anyone who wants to experiment with FPGA programming:
$300 if you email them a 7 year old student ID you used to attend a course at a community college. A current one at MIT probably works just as well. A nice kit.
It seems like for the hobbiest and student market Altera is the leader But I know that Xilinx is the overall leader and the inventor of the FPGA. What differentiates the product offerings of these two companies? Why is Xilinx so huge and Altera second fiddle? At first glance, Altera's product line looks every bit as good as Xilinx, maybe just not at the top top end, but those FPGAs cost more than a new car so how many of them are being sold?