I tried to use FPGA in quick search of original Oracle RDBMS account passwords extracting their hash values from database.
Relatively simple hashing algorithm used there, involving DES crypto algorithm.
I used three FPGA developer kits for this.
There also relative speed of software Oracle password crackers.
It was showed that using mid-range FPGA chips like Altera Cyclone is cheaper in terms cost/speed. Probably, Xilinx Spartans may show the same results.
Also, the interesting thing is that, although FPGA hardware is expensive, practically any board from ebay.com may be taken for this task, if it, of course, contain some useful FPGA chips + power supply + some memory for booting, etc.
I tend to sell source files, e.g., FPGA "firmware", then ready-to-use hardware. Feel free ask me any questions.
This open sourced site and this page in particular is hosted on GitHub. Patches, suggestions and comments are welcome.
→ [list of blog posts, my twitter/facebook]Please drop me email about any bug(s) and suggestion(s): dennis(@)yurichev.com.