Stephen Olsen, Software Architect in the Embedded Systems Division at Mentor Graphics Corp
EETimes (04/13/2010 2:36 PM EDT)
Predicting trends is difficult even by the most connected industry experts, but one trend that's easy to spot is the widespread acceptance of multicore SoC. This is happening for a number of reasons.
First, it's been years since the workstation first adopted the multicore processor architecture to solve such issues as increasing performance and power concerns. While the adoption rate in workstations is now saturated and is fully supported by General Purpose OSs (GPOS), the embedded world is just now looking at ways to adopt multicore architecture.
Second, several SoC vendors have been providing multicore solutions including Cavium, Freescale, MIPS, and ARM; but up until now, these solutions have been limited to networking and used for performance enhancements rather than for low power.
The rest of the embedded industry has had limited hardware options available as low-power design is a driving factor. While the ARM 11 MPCore was ahead of its time, the Cortex-A9 MPCore design is ready for primetime and is gaining acceptance in the embedded marketplace.
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