LONG BEACH, Calif. – Intel is in and DSPs are history when it comes to single-board computers and embedded systems, according to vendors at the recent Embedded Tech Trends 2013 show here.
Most of the dozens of vendors who spoke to EE Times were longtime PowerPC and Freescale customers. Most were increasingly adopting the x86 while rolling out their first products with ARM and Atom cores. Most saw a rise in the need for communications in embedded markets, but generally at data rates of a gigabit/second.
A handful of vendors are pushing into Ethernet and Infinband at 40 Gbit/s rates. These board makers were also driving into high performance apps using general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs) from AMD and Nvidia. Some are even starting to talk about a new category of embedded supercomputers.
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Embedded board makers are poised for slow growth, mainly in the xTCA form factors.
Meanwhile DSPs have been on their way out of embedded boards. Increasingly they are being replaced by FPGAs at the high end and x86 chips with their latest SIMD instructions in other markets.
All took with a grain of salt budget cuts under the U.S. sequestration. Their highly fragmented markets and programs will help shield them from at least some of those cuts--they hope.
It is really uncompleted description.
Even today no one produce single DSP but multi-core DSP which typically integrated with ARM devices.
There is also the issue of the prices and specifically price/performance ratio which hardly achieved using Intel Embedded devices.
note for example that TI ARM+DSP multicore based device is only about 10-25 Watt comparing to almost 90 Watt for Ivy-Bridge (8 cores).
Additional advantage is that DSP device are completely SOC (system on chip) which reduced significantly the total price for processing unit.
See HP moonshot project .
An application using a TI ARM+DSP would never be moved to a 8-core Ivy Bridge targeted for servers. But what about a 17 Watt 4 core Ivy Bridge like that in the Macbook Air coupled with a GPGPU? And a similar Haswell processor will soon be less than 10 Watts.
Could you kindly explain definitions of embedded processors and of embedded systems
Intel (computing), Freescale (communications), AMD (gaming) - they all offer embedded processors
I am quite lost in definitions used and would appreciate your guidance. Many thanks in advance.
Sure, the traditional definition of embedded is any sort of computer system that is not a PC/notebook/server in itself but is a computer/comms element built into (embedded) in something else.
Thus the field is an all-others, catch all that includes all sorts of military systems (radars, satellites, signal intelligence, missile guidance, etc.) as well as industrial (machine vision, process control, process automation), medical (various implants or external monitors and pumps including hospital test systems and monitors) automotive (drivetrain and infotianment) and much more.
They are generally similar in that they have more hard requirements in terms of operation at broader temperature and weather conditions, need for longer use life time, rugged conditions, better real time operation (lower latency) and higher safety requirements etc. that traditional PCs.
It's an old term that may need a marketing refresh, but its still a market reality.
The market pie charts showed xTCA, cPCI, VME, VPX, and Other. Does the Other category include IBM Blade Center? My company works with that ecosystem, even though it has a relatvely small number of vendors.
The market rank chart for VITA also mentions Extreme Engineering at the bottom. It would be good to include their trends, since they are a strong competitor to GE, Mercury, Emerson and others.
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.