Duane Benson decided to make interesting comparison between actual Arduino UNO and Papilio FPGA configured to run soft Arduino. We all know that plain FPGA would beat Arduino in no time, but what happens when you need run software Arduino. You can get all you need here to setup Papilio board and even run custom Arduino IDE to program Arduino. Just for the record Papilio running Arduino was configured to run at 32MHz while Arduino runs at 16MHz. It would be different result if FPGA would run at 300MHz.
And here are the results. Simple square signal without delay on a single pin:
Papilio Arduino: 106kHz;
Arduino Uno: 115kHz;
and for reference PIC12F1822 gave 1MHz square.
Arduino library really slows digital I/O compared to raw AVR performance (this is why PIC beats test here). Another test was measuring program/sketch upload time. Arduino took 2s while Papillio Arduino 6s. Once again, using Papilio FPGA to run Arduino isn’t great idea. FPGA is different concept and is meant to do complex tasks in hardware level.