Integration isn't new: It's been the game plan of IC vendors since "back in the day." At first, it was done the obvious way by adding direct support functions around a core, such as providing digital I/O buffers and analog signal buffers to bare-bones ADCs and DACs.
This was hardware integration, plain and simple. You just looked at the block diagram and you knew what the integration was, and what it could do for you. Sure, there was software, but it was used for set-up, initialization, and defining thresholds and limits, but not for establishing the basic operating functions.
But that was then, and times have certainly changed. Integration now has a new approach of using software to tie together different ICs to make them an application-specific set. It's taken me quite a while to accept the software-based integration.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.