I take your point about the package and the connector spacing. But that's what the majority of the market wants. As a sidenote, in a BGA_484 package the -7000 part has 335 I/Os.
I don't know the exact timeline of this, but Ross Freeman invented the FPGA after a few years as a math teacher in Ghana in West Africa. I like to imagine him looking at the multiplication tables printed on the back cover of some old exercise books, and thinking to himself "if I replace the multiplication results with other numbers I can change these tables into addition tables or subtraction tables or ... tables." And off he went to invent FPGAs besed on lookup tables.
Children getting into hardware design via something invented by a high school math teacher would be neat.
BTW, the PIF has a couple of flashing LEDs. The default configuration programs them to pulse with growing/fading intensity, rather than simple flashing. That sort of thing only takes up a small corner of the FPGA, but I would really like to see an elegant minimal design of the sort that was produced by the late and much missed Peter Alfke.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.