The compiler enables folks to compile [a subset of] F# code to an HDL netlist output suitable for running on an FPGA.
From Avalda's home page:
- compile parallel F# scripting code to FPGA netlist format
- run your code on an FPGA chip with true fine-grained parallelism
- learn FPGA programming ...
- support for Xilinx and free VS 2008 F# shell IDE
Stephen had some nice things to say about F# too over on his blog, snippet below:
Functional programming languages like F# (and its cousins OCAML and SML) have evolved over the decades through the tireless work of a great number of outstanding computer scientists. Similar to writing in html, they tend to be declarative - which means that you describe your solution in a manner that does not force the compiler to follow detailed steps meant to closely relate to the concrete rendering of the solution. Their design makes them naturally express parallelism and they were built with the mathematical rigor required to tackle and solve the intricate problems inherent in parallel programming. The best way to see why functional programming is fun, natural, and easy is to do it! With F# Microsoft has produced a great innovation and its designers' love of software programming shines through their work.