EE-446: Embedded Systems Design

Embedded Technologies

Awais M. Kamboh

Slide 1

or knowledge • Three key technologies for embedded systems – Processor technology – IC technology – Design technology Awais M.Embedded Systems Technologies • Technology – A manner of accomplishing a task. especially using technical processes. methods. Kamboh Slide 2 .

Processor technology • The architecture of the computation engine used to implement a system’s desired functionality • Processor does not have to be programmable – General-purpose – Single-Purpose – Application Specific Awais M. Kamboh Slide 3 .

Processor technology • Processors vary in their customization for the problem at hand total = 0 for i = 1 to N loop total += M[i] end loop Desired functionality General-purpose processor Awais M. Kamboh Application-specific processor Single-purpose processor Slide 4 .

Kamboh Slide 5 .General-purpose processors • Programmable device used in a variety of applications – Also known as “microprocessor” Controller Control logic and State register Datapath Register file • Features – Program memory – General datapath with large register file and general ALU IR PC General ALU • User benefits – Low time-to-market and NRE costs – High flexibility Program memory Assembly code for: total = 0 for i =1 to … Data memory • Drawbacks – High Unit Cost for large quantities – Low performance. large size and power Awais M.

k. coprocessor. accelerator or peripheral Controller Control logic State register Datapath index • Features – Components needed to execute a single program – No program memory total + • Benefits – Fast – Low power – Small size Data memory • Drawbacks – Large Design Time and NRE Cost. Kamboh Slide 6 .Single-purpose processors • Digital circuit designed to execute exactly one program – a. No Flexibility Awais M.a.

less size and power than General Purpose Processors Awais M. Special functional units Program memory Assembly code for: total = 0 for i =1 to … • Benefits – Some flexibility. Kamboh Slide 7 .Application-specific processors • Programmable processor optimized for a particular class of applications having common characteristics – Examples: Micro-controllers. good performance. DSP Processors – Compromise between general-purpose and single-purpose processors Controller Control logic and State register Datapath Registers Custom ALU IR PC Data memory • Features – Program memory. Optimized datapath.

Kamboh Slide 8 .IC technology • The manner in which a digital (gate-level) circuit is mapped onto an IC (chip) – IC’s consist of numerous layers (perhaps 10 or more) • IC technologies differ with respect to who builds each layer and when IC package IC source gate oxide channel drain Silicon substrate Awais M.

Kamboh Slide 9 .IC technology • Three types of IC technologies – Full-custom/VLSI – Semi-custom ASIC (gate array and standard cell) – PLD (Programmable Logic Device) Awais M.

low power • Drawbacks – High NRE cost. long time-to-market Awais M. Kamboh Slide 10 .Full-custom/VLSI • All layers are optimized for an embedded system’s particular digital implementation – Placing transistors – Sizing transistors – Routing wires • Benefits – Excellent performance. small size.

good size. less NRE cost than a fullcustom implementation • Drawbacks – Still require weeks to months to develop Awais M.Semi-custom • Lower layers are fully or partially built – Designers are left with routing of wires and maybe placing some blocks • Benefits – Good performance. Kamboh Slide 11 .

power hungry.PLD (Programmable Logic Device) • All layers already exist – Designers can purchase an IC – Connections on the IC are either created or destroyed to implement desired functionality – Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) very popular • Benefits – Low NRE costs. expensive. almost instant IC availability • Drawbacks – Bigger. Kamboh Slide 12 . slower Awais M.

Kamboh Semi-custom/ ASIC Full-custom/ VLSI Slide 13 .to-prototype Time-to-market Cost (low volume) Generalpurpose processor ASIP Singlepurpose processor Customized. providing improved: Power efficiency Performance Size Cost (high volume) PLD Awais M. custom – With respect to processor technology or IC technology General.Independence of processor and IC technologies • Basic tradeoff – General vs. providing improved: Flexibility Maintainability NRE cost Time.

Kamboh Slide 14 .Design Technology • The manner in which we convert our concept of desired system functionality into an implementation Awais M.

Design Technology Awais M. Kamboh Slide 15 .

1 0.01 0.001 Awais M.Moore’s law • The most important trend in embedded systems – Predicted in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore IC transistor capacity has doubled roughly every 18 months for the past several decades 10.000 1.000 Logic transistors per chip (in millions) Note: logarithmic scale 100 10 1 0. Kamboh Slide 16 .

Kamboh Slide 17 . single-purpose – IC: Full-custom. test/verification Awais M.Summary • Key challenge: optimization of design metrics – Design metrics compete with one another • A unified view of hardware and software is necessary to improve productivity • Three key technologies – Processor: general-purpose. PLD – Design: Compilation/synthesis. application-specific. libraries/IP. semi-custom.