By far one of the best ways to develop home-brew hardware.
Shown below is the Xilinx XUPV5-LX110T
This Virtex system is without the embedded PPC cores, but still allows the use of embedded CPU systems such as the powerful Microblazesystem, most of the Virtex evaluation boards can be updated by the removal of the existing FPGA and substituting in the same model but with the required additional features, these additional features cover technology such as embedded PPC cpu’s or additional gate counts.
The only down side is the cost of a new part and the use of the BGA array by Xilinx/other manufacturers dictates that the replacement part has to be installed by a company specializing in BGA replacement (when a single pcb costs $2000US you don’t do it yourself)
Additional features of this XUPV5-LX110T board include dual USB connections and the 10/100/10000 TCP/IP functionality plus VGA and PCI interface subsystems.
Such prototyping/research systems are Ideal for development of forensic tools, because they have sufficient speed to emulate various logic systems,(Nand-Flash, I2C,SPI ) that would normally present problems to forensic examiners.