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Hard or soft?

Should your next peripheral be hard or soft? This is only one of the questions facing embedded designers when choosing a processor. By Philip Ling.

The processor market seems to have as many different flavours as there are op amps in the analogue world, but that doesn't necessarily make the task of choosing and using one any easier.

Differentiating between microcontrollers has historically been related to the peripherals offered, but more architectures are adding greater flexibility in this area by creating soft peripherals using general purpose I/O. We asked some industry experts if this perception was valid, if there has been a significant uptake in using processors with 'soft' peripherals.

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Graham Pitcher

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