by Dan Mandell, with Chris Rommel, February 2016
The continued proliferation of embedded processors featuring third-party core IP combined with growing design and competitive pressures is forcing vendors to expand their support of different architectures. Supporting multiple core architectures or migrating to new ones is no easy undertaking for suppliers; they must align product roadmaps, software development tooling and resources, engineering talent, training, and more. However, this level of support is necessary when adapting to the evolving architectural landscape as prompted by the heterogeneous needs of engineering organizations across industries.
The use of in-house or proprietary processor cores has dwindled in recent years, even within low-cost microcontrollers (MCUs). Meanwhile, ARM has greatly expanded its footprint among embedded processor vendors with its rapid growth in MCU-class designs, as well as through its developing portfolio of 64-bit CPU architectures.