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The authors review various design options available for open architecture CNC systems. The current trend towards software only motion control is contrasted with the more traditional approach using a separate processor. A rather different approach integrating the real time activities, including interpolation and position measurement, within an FPGA is the focus of the paper. The system approach described is based upon the integration of the stateline architecture developed over the past 12 years in the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory at the University of British Columbia with Theseus, a new innovative modular design for industrial electronics developed by Sitek SPA.