I have gone to the SVFIG ForthDay meeting yesterday, and was utterly impressed. Real silicon for the SeaForth chips were showcased, including the prototype "thumbdrive" demo/development product, apparently due out in Q2 2008. Real applications were running on the chip. Perhaps the most impressive, though, was real-time, 10-voice, waveguide-synthesized, nylon guitar music, playing a bit of Bach as well as fractally composed music (the latter in real-time, on the same die as the synthesis). The chip was stupifyingly powerful.
I predict that this chip will offset the use of FPGAs in homebrew projects. Although not as
fast as an FPGA for super-complex logic, it comes awfully close. And, it has the benefit of being trivially programmed over an openly documented interface.
My full report can be found at http://tinyurl.com/23pqgt