Most of those papers were concerned with improvements in the placement and routing of HDL designs onto an FPGA, not with improvements in the FPGAs themselves. As Max pointed out, the capabilities of FPGAs are increasing at an amazing pace.
@DrDSP "FPGAs are just being tweaked these days"
Actually I would disagree -- look at the Xilinx chips using 2.5D to get 20M ASIC gate equivalents -- or the Altera and Xilinx chips with FPGA fabric and dual core ARM Cortex-A9
What about the Tier Logic technology -- although they failed it was a really great idea. What about Achronix and Tabula. What about the Xilinx radiation-tolerant SRAM-based FPGAs?
Also, I saw some pretty amazing things (with regard to using FPGAs -- reconfiguration and genetic algorithms) at the University of Oslo in Norway last week -- I'll be talking more about these in my next Norway blog...
As a note: these papers highlight the best papers published in this conference (FPGA). There are a lot of other conferences with important FPGA papers, e.g. FPL, FPT, as well as a lot of VLSI or hardware related conferences.
Clearly 1999 was the year of the FPGA with 5 of the 25 papers published in that year. It is also interesting to look at the topics that year vs. the topics in the last 5 years. FPGAs are just being tweaked these days- no sign of a break thru on the horizon that I can see. Any other thoughts on this?