The examples I gave all use device registers which the SoC configures at boot time and can reconfigure at run time. So the logic has volatile SRAM configuration like Xilinx/Altera rather than non-volatile anti-fuse or flash cells like Actel/MicroSemi. The SoCs I mention above all have flash memory for programs and fixed data -- this includes the code and data to configure the logic.
In the PSoC case, there's lots of configuration so there's lots of SRAM -- something Cypress has always excelled at.
What is teh technology behind small programmable blocks in Soc? FPGA requires anti-fuses, which is a special processing step. SoC is done in typical CMOS, so how can you get anything programmable (in a non-volatile sense) there?
A number of ARM-based NXP microcontrollers have a State Configurable Timer block which lets you create state machines for controlling counters and for serial pattern matching. Not anywhere as general-purpose as PSoC, but great for real-time input events and output waveforms from what I can tell from NXP presentations. These functions would otherwise require a CPLD or small FPGA.
Microchip has recently added Configurable Logic Cells to some 8-bit microcontrollers. From what I've seen, they're pretty limited but useful for things like interrupting based on a combination of input conditions. I think the idea is similar to PSoC where you combine various on-chip building blocks to make higher-level real-time functions so you don't have to find a microcontroller with that exact function built in, or else double the cost of your microcontroller by adding a CPLD or small FPGA.
Cypress PSoC does this. PSoC 5 has ARM Cortex-M3, PSoC 4 has ARM Cortex-M0. Both have analog and digital peripherals, including PLAs and 8-bit data path blocks. Very nice architecture IMO, and most configuration registers are fully documented.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.