In this paper, an efficient mapping of the pipeline single-path delay feedback (SDF) fast Fourier transform (FFT) architecture to field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) is proposed. By considering the architectural features of the target FPGA, significantly better implementation results are obtained. This is illustrated by mapping an R22SDF 1024-point FFT core toward both Xilinx Virtex-4 and Virtex-6 devices. The optimized FPGA mapping is explored in detail. Algorithmic transformations that allow a better mapping are proposed, resulting in implementation achievements that by far outperforms earlier published work. For Virtex-4, the results show a 350% increase in throughput per slice and 25% reduction in block RAM (BRAM) use, with the same amount of DSP48 resources, compared with the best earlier published result. The resulting Virtex-6 design sees even larger increases in throughput per slice compared with Xilinx FFT IP core, using half as many DSP48E1 blocks and less BRAM resources. The results clearly show that the FPGA mapping is crucial, not only the architecture and algorithm choices.