You have a diverse set of silicon resources to choose from, and vendors are tailoring their building-block portfolios to meet your needs.
By Brian Dipert, Technical Editor -- EDN, 9/18/2003
So, you've decided that buying and hooking together off-the-shelf ASSPs (application-specific standard products), such as embedded controllers, peripheral chips, and the like, and then writing your own software, will fail to provide your design sufficient differentiation from competitors' products. As a result, you elect to tackle chip-level design. The two leading silicon-platform contenders and their respective trade-offs have by this time been extensively debated in a variety of industry forums, but if you're new to the game, here's a summary.