Don Harbin, Mentor Graphics Corporation
embedded.com (February 18, 2014)
You are a software/systems development lead on a complex embedded development project. There are many requirements to be met in order to satisfy the project specifications as well as an aggressive delivery timeline. The project is entering the integration phase. The functionality seems to be working well and you’re feeling pretty good about things.
But then it happens: initial tests show that your system is performing at 1000% over the requirements! Or as you progress through the integration of the disparate components and begin to apply stress tests on your system, resets are occurring at a frequency that makes your system look like a re-boot test.
More functionality into faster, more powerful devices
With the exponential growth in the complexity of embedded systems, the above scenario is becoming all too common. Consider current mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets now hitting the market that have four processor cores (and an additional GPU core) such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, with other suppliers such as Samsung advertising eight (heterogeneous) core devices for next-gen mobile devices.
Then there are higher-end devices such as the LSI Axxia Communication Processors (supporting 16 ARM Cortex A15 cores) for use in networking/telecom applications. It’s safe to assume this trend for more functionality will not slow down any time soon.
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