A problem with FPGA's is that you have to program them
Like a micro-controler.
For that you need somekind of an IDE
It is a true IDE with editor, compilator, schematic editor, simulator
but a programming dongle may cost something
You can find at less than 10 €.
you have to buy a demo board.
Arduino boards are demo boards. On Ebay you can found demo-board around 15/20 €
I am not an expert in this, so if I am wrong, I am happy to hear it.
It will be no correct to say you are wrong, but you are not totaly right :grin: .
Programming an FPGA is very nice.
The language is close to the syntax of C, but it is not a programming language but description language.
You have to think in terms of hardware so a minimum knowledge of digital electronics is desirable although the possibility of using ready to use libraries exist.
FPGA / CPLD is actually multitasking.
Change output level with an avr take 7-8 clock cycles with direct register manipulation (8 more time with arduino function), change 10 output take 10 more times as operations are done in series.
Change output level with a FPGA or CPLD take ONE clock cycle whichever the number of outputs. The level of all outputs changes in the same clock cycle.
You can find open core to produce a micro-controller with a FPGA :grin: .
FPGA and CPLD need an external true oscillator not a simple cristal. The program must be loaded in EEPROM. With CPLD EEPROM is internal, with FPGA you must add EEPROM in external package.
The mixed Digital / Analog FPGA (op amp) are rare and expensive.