So you’ve built with microcontrollers like Arduino and the Propeller? Check. Got your feet wet with Single Board Computers like Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone? Done. The next step is Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)… learn Hardware Description Languages(VHDL and Verilog) … write code to “create” hardware … allow for true parallel sensing and output. Papilo One 250 is a sub-$40 chance to dabble with FPGAs and learn VHDL.
VHDL = VHSIC Hardware Description Language
VHSIC = Very High Speed Integrated Circuit