8 Most Important Milestones in Embedded in 2013

December 19, 2013

Jack Ganssle-December 19, 2013

2013 was a big year for embedded systems; a lot of products came out that will shape the future of this industry. Here's some that I found interesting.

NXP's LPC4370 microcontroller
NXP's LPC4370 microcontroller is the first in what I expect to be many inexpensive MCUs with multiple, and dedicated, cores on board. Though other parts have more than one core the 4370 is a bit different. It has a Cortex-M4 for the heavy lifting, with hardware floating point and SIMD instructions. A Cortex-M0 is there to provide general co-processing, or to take over in a lower-power mode when the M4 is sleeping. Nothing really new here; that's like their 4350. But there's a second M0 dedicated to controlling just the SPI and SGPIO peripherals. Neither general processor needs to be bothered with these devices, and using an M0 means very high speed and generalized access to the I/O. Even better is that the second M0 has its own memory so is running off the main bus. The desktop processor business has been abuzz about multicore for some time, but I think in the MCU world the landscape is shifting to the use of many dedicated small CPUs for I/O control.

Click on image to enlarge.

The LPC4370

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