Tushar Rastogi and Subbarao Lanka, Cypress Semiconductor
embedded.com (March 30, 2014)
In this series we will cover several facets of designing multicore-based system-on-chips (SoCs), including the typical architecture of an SoC; how the design of mixed signal embedded systems is simplified; how design changes can be easily implemented without negatively impacting time to market; the tools available for developing complicated applications; and key business advantages of using SoCs.
We will use ARM Cortex M processor cores as our basic building blocks, widely used because of their low cost, low power operation capability, configurable processors, and simple design. They are based upon a RISC architecture that requires a low transistor count, resulting in reduction of power dissipation, thermal dissipation, and cost. And while most of our discussion will deal with issues that could apply to all system-on-chip designs, it will also make reference to features only available on programmable SoCs, such as the Cypress PSoC architecture.
The system-on-chip (SoC) architecture
A system-on-chip (SoC) is an integrated circuit which packs multiple peripherals of an electronic system (memory, connectivity, analog, and digital peripherals) on a single substrate with a processor at its heart. The processor can be a microcontroller, microprocessor, or DSP core. SoCs are becoming popular because of their smaller size, reduced power consumption, and reduced assembly costs compared to traditional microcontroller architectures..
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