We breathing new air. We are working at the edge of the research in the area of reconfigurable computing. What was considered the future is the present. FPGAs have been included into the cloud infrastructures. They are now used both to accelerate infrastructure/backend computations and exposed as-a-Service that can be used by anyone. There is still room for research and improvements and the time cannot be better under this perspective. We need new platform creation tools, monitoring & profiling infrastructure, better runtime management systems, static and dynamic workload partitioning, just to name a few possible areas of research. Just to give you an example of the reasons why I’m so excited to be a researcher in this field nowadays, let’s go back to 2009 and in doing this I’d like to propose a scenario that we had already encountered. In this picture we can see a set of six functionalities, A to F, and a FPGA that we are willing of using to implement our system. We know that, to be able of using the six functionalities, we have to properly implement them onto the FPGA. In other words, this means that we have, among the other things, to assign them an area that will be used at runtime to host them. This is bringing us to situation where we have a set of implementations that are going to be used to configure the FPGA. How, when are we going to do this? Well, as proposed in this example, we won’t know this at design time, because this will be decided by the users of our system. They’ll be in charge of deciding when to “configure” the system by asking for a specific functionality. Now, let me play a bit with this “old” scenario... What if, instead of a generic FPGA device, we are going to decide the technology we are interested in using? By doing this, we may say that we are interested in using Xilinx FPGAs. Now, so far nothing new. This is not something extraordinary or unusual, but I won’t stop here... Now, what if, instead of the previous implementations, we are going to add Amazon to the context? Why Amazon? Quite simple. They are integrating Xilinx FPGAs in their cloud infrastructure and they are providing F1 Instances through their Amazon Web Services. Do you see where I am getting? We have been among the first in envisioning a scenario where FPGAs were not only used for “private”, personal or corporate objectives but to serve the needs of others, exposing them as a service. This is super exciting! This is what science is all about, being able to forge the future, to see where the tomorrow will bring us. Well, our scenario is getting definitely more interesting, but it’s not yet done. I want to add more... What? A mirror? Am I joking? No, I’m not joking I’m not joking at all, I’m hundred per cent serious! Do not take the mirror per se, but take it as a symbol. I’m not adding a mirror to the context... I’m adding YOU! Yes, you got it right! You are now part of the game! With the F1 instances, there are no excuses any longer in not using FPGAs. This is huge! This is revolutionary! You are a player in the market! You can sell you designs to everybody! You can help other to use FPGA-based solutions because of the designs you are making! Ok I got you! You are not ready yet to make your implementations available to others. You think you want to know more. You need to lear more. Well, this is exactly the new piece of the puzzle we are composing. This is exactly what we are doing now! This is this class! A joint effort of several partners like Xilinx, Politecnico di Milano, Metid, the NECSTLab at PoliMi, Coursera...and you! This is the future becoming the present! This is what this class is all about! Making you more confident in your possibilities, allowing you to explore systems’ opportunities because of FPGAs integration, learning how to design novel solution by taking advantages of FPGAs. Finally, I need to add you once more into the picture. You are now attending this class. Right now you are among the people who are asking for functionalities. But we need to move from this context to the one in which, as I said, you are going to play a key, active role into this scenario. So... at the end... it is all about you! Motivated people, trilled about the idea of learning and experiencing. I can teach you what an FPGA is and how to design your system based on it. I can show you the path, but you have to make it and I can ensure you... it’s super exciting and rewarding! I cannot wait to see what will be the next breakthrough innovation because of you!