I am now back from an absolutely exhausting trip to Embedded World 2010 and remain incredibly excited about the ARM Partnership’s prospects in this space. Cortex-M4 is less than two weeks old, fits perfectly alongside the wildly popular Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M0 (the M1 is all about FPGA), and the people I spoke with have grand plans for its future. 5 licensees are already in place, with 2 in the shadows, and you can imagine many more in the future pipeline. On top of that, I spotted a few Cortex-A8 boards in several booths, well outside of mobile phone applications. The ARM Partners are ramping up big-time and I think the world will be completely different this time next year.
Last month I observed that Intel’s booth at Mobile World Congress was both uninspiring and comparable in size to Tensilica’s, which felt rather odd. I thought latter’s booth quite nice, by the way (e.g. no offense!). Last year I understand that the Intel presence at Embedded World was somewhat overwhelming with banners touting the next 15 billion intelligent, connected devices by 2015. This year I found Intel’s Embedded World booth smallish and uninspiring. Something is happening here…could they be beginning to pull back?
Anyway, the key questions I pondered throughout Embedded World included:
- Why is the embedded world so fragmented?
- Why/where will proprietary architectures (Intel and many others) be successful?
- Why/where will the ARM architecture (through the Partnership, of course) be successful?
- Is one model inherently better than the other in this space?
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