Embedded Systems November 2000 Vol13_12

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• r------------------------------------1 I I-Cache I I The SoC edge Three cutting edge applications are driving the sea-change in embedded devices. Looming largest is the thrust towards third-generation wireless telecommunications. This has taken off like gangbusters in Japan, and is also revving up 111 Interrupt + 110 32 -bit Timer Watchdog, etc. Europe. Domestically, however, things are mov- ing at a slower pace. The other two apps at the top of the list are the Internet appliance and the cabl e-television set-top box. Interestingly, as a side note, it was 1 j 1 Power d~-.;,.;] ,.· - :--=-----:.::- Sleep mode PLL ------------------J I ... . ....... ~lit I l ~==·:=-·--------- Memory-Mapped"'' 110 f>'·' ~ ~ \.-.....---•• ib! ~ impossible at this year's ESC to pin down any single factor as shaking up the embedded arena. That stands in stark contrast to two years ago, when the show was dominated by real-time Java, and last year, when the confab was atwitter with news of Linux. However, what matters most of all are the chips and cores that will fill up engineers' toolboxes in the coming months. Let's take a look at a few of the offerings. Hyperstone Electronics has entered the embedded world from a hybrid slant. The German-based com- pany makes a combined RISC/ DSP processor (see Figure 1) . The part has been licensed by Hyundai for use in DVD and arcade-game applications. Though Hyperstone says they Instruction Decode expect to sh ip more than one million off-the-shelf parts this year, the compa- ny is actually taking a three-prong marketing approach. The second leg offers the processor in the form of in tellectual property (IP) that can be implemented on an ASIC. Thirdly, said Matthias Steck, vice president of Hyperstone, "We offer our IP also as a standard compone nt, so the customer doesn 't need to take all the risk of designing an ASIC right from the start." Despite dreams of SoC glory, Steck remains well aware that cost continues to be the leading criterion in device selection. "At the end of the day, it's always a matter of the system costs and the development costs," said Steck. "If an 8-bit or 16--bit controller is suffi- 148 NOVEMBER 2000 Embedded Systems Programming

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