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Armed and ready …

Larger memory and more powerful processing capabilities are the armoury of choice in the embedded design sector. By Vanessa Knivett.

The pc as we know it might be driving less of the microprocessor market than it once did, but it’s a new generation of pc oriented micros that could be at the root of one of the notable technology trends playing out over the last few months.
It’s by no means a new technique, but multithreading on multicore designs is growing in popularity as the conflict between processing power and power consumption reaches new heights in applications such as networking and multimedia content delivery.
Confirming a surge in popularity of multicore designs, it was the first time that no papers were presented about single core high performance processors at ISSCC this year – instead, five approaches to multicore processing were under discussion. Meanwhile, the first Multicore Expo was held in California in March, profiling some of the latest multicore, multiprocessing, or multithreading implementations.
Multithreading, whereby a cpu shares tasks (or threads) to make the most of the processor, combined with multicore processors can mean less aggressive transistor scaling and more ‘power friendly’ transistors, leading to power, performance and cost gains compared to single core designs.

Vanessa Knivett

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