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05 Sep 2022

Different Types of Processors in Embedded Systems

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Skill-Lync

A computer hardware and software combination known as an embedded system is created for a particular purpose. Additionally, embedded systems may operate as part of a bigger system. The systems may be programmable or may only perform certain functions. 

An embedded system's CPU serves as the system's brain. Processors take in user data, process it, and then return an output based on the function they were programmed to perform. Instructions are retrieved, decoded and processed by the processor.

 

Different Types of Processors in Embedded Systems

 

Processor control unit performs data selection and retrieving tasks . Each processor has an execution unit, made up of an ALU, which contains a circuit for running the instruction sets needed to carry out a particular task.

The distinctive qualities of the Embedded Systems such as their lower power consumption, smaller size, and lack of a graphical user interface,  are well known. These traits help a microprocessor based system to perform consistently alongside a real-time OS.

Embedded processors come in many shapes and sizes and are made by various companies. Those processors can be utilised for a variety of embedded system applications. Based on the applications embedded processors are classified into many categories.

 

General Purpose Processors (GPP)

When a computer is used for general purpose applications, it uses embedded processors known as general-purpose processors (GPPs). The general-purpose instruction set processes the input data and creates the output data. Typical general-purpose processors include the CPU in your computer or laptop.

 

Microprocessor

Registers, caches, floating-point processing units, memory,  and other advanced processing units, such as superscalar processing and pipelining are all part of the microprocessor. 

A general-purpose instruction set decodes and executes the instruction obtained by the CPU. Data transfer, control, and other functions are all included in the collection of education for the processor.

Zilog's Z80, the company's first commercial product, is an 8-bit microprocessor. In March 1976, Intel introduced the 8085 microprocessors, an 8-bit microprocessor. An 8-bit processor was updated to a 16-bit processor known as the 8086.

Intel now has a wide range of CPUs, as they are the world's leading manufacturer of processors for personal computers and laptops. SAMA5D2, SAMA5D3, and SAMA5D4 are Microchip's 32-bit SAMA5D processors. Many processors are available for various uses, produced by industry leaders, including Intel, Texas Instruments, ARM, Altera, and NXP.

Memory, registers, caches, timers and interrupt control units are all integrated into a single chip. The microcontroller-based system is sometimes referred to as a microcomputer. The microprocessor occupies a large portion of the embedded system since it contains all the functional blocks necessary for its operation.

 

microprocessor skill-lync

 

Microcontroller

During the 1980s and 1990s, Intel's 8051 microcontrollers were widely used. The 8051 microcontrollers were commonly used in embedded systems at the time. Later, the embedded sector saw significant advancement in microcontrollers, thanks to numerous producers.

In addition to cellphones, audio accessories, video game peripherals, and advanced medical gadgets, the PIC microcontroller is employed in various new applications. A microchip is promoting the PIC16 and PIC18 families.

The performance, power efficiency, and adaptability of AVR microcontrollers are unmatched. Because of this, they can be used in a wide range of embedded system designs. Microchip's AVR microcontroller lineup includes the AVR DB, AVR DA, ATmega4809, and ATtiny1607.

NXP semiconductors produce ARM-based microcontrollers for automotive purposes, such as the S32K, EA microcontroller series, and MAC57Dxxx Microcontrollers. Industrial and automotive applications benefit from the real-time control and high-precision analogue integration provided by Texas Instruments' ARM-based MCUs, C2000 Real-time MCUs, and MSP430 MCUs.

 

Digital Signal Processor

Digital signal processors (DSPs) are specially built for communication applications, both audio and video. Compared to the general-purpose embedded processor, these are either 8-bit, 16-bit, or 32-bit microprocessors.

The usage of Digital signal processors (DSPs) have grown tremendously in the last decade, as they are deployed in everything from smartphones to high-tech scientific equipment. Parallelism and reduced power dissipation are the hallmarks of modern digital signal processing (DSP) architectures.

Some of the activities performed by digital signal processors include convolution, sum of products (SOP) calculation, Discrete Fourier transform, Fast Fourier transform, Finite/Infinite Impulse Response (FIR/IIR), etc.

NXP Semiconductors has released two new families of digital signal processors: DSP56Fxx and MSC8xx. Processing for audio/video receivers (AV), home theatres and surround sound decoders, remote stereo systems, and digital TV audio is the primary focus of their processors.

For example, ARM has created DSP processors such as the ARM cortex-A, the ARM Cortex-R, and the ARM Cortex-M with enhanced DSP instructions to improve arithmetic execution performance. Their processors provide high-quality signal processing.

Texas Instruments' programmable DSPs are ideal for embedded real-time signal processing applications, such as audio and aerospace/defence. They range from low-power, single-core processors to high-performance, multi-core DSPs and ARM SoCs. ' A couple of their most popular DSPs include TMS320C6748, TMS320C6657, and TMS320C6678.

Other leading DSP processor makers include ST Microelectronics, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic, and Infineon Technologies.

An embedded system is created to carry out one or a few specific duties, frequently under real-time computing limitations. Here, we notice the primary difference between an embedded system and VLSI

In an embedded system, single-purpose embedded processors provide only one specific task, as its name implies. They are entirely self-contained and only communicate with the host CPU when information is required. One of the most critical components is a coprocessor that handles floating-point computations, network and graphics processing units, pixel processors, and other components.

As opposed to this, very-large-scale integration (VLSI) is the technique of building integrated circuits by fusing hundreds of transistor-based circuits onto a single chip. VLSI systems covers a wide range of academic fields, such as semiconductor devices and processing, integrated electronic circuits, etc.

 

Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs)

Co-processors for floating-point operations speed up the computations. NXP's floating-point co-processors, MC68881 and MC6882, are available for purchase.

 

Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs)

 

Sending and receiving acknowledgement messages, sending transmission requests and checking for data faults are some of the functions of the network processor. NXP semiconductors manufactures the C-5TM NP network processor. And Microchip's WinPath line of network processors is specifically built and optimised for use in access networks.

A graphics processor is needed for high-quality video and image viewing and processing. Graphics processors from AMD and Intel are among the best in the industry.

 

Conclusion

It is good to narrow down your processor search by a variety of parameters, such as Clock Frequency, RAM Size (512 B or 4kB), Data Bus Width (from 16 to 32 b), and I/O Voltage (up to 5 V) to name a few. You can find a suitable processor for your application using these parameters to narrow down your processor search. Today there are several advantages of embedded systems across various industries. 

  • These systems offer portability owing to their size.
  • Consume less power.
  • Incur lower purchase and maintenance costs.
  • Loading time considerably gets cut down as there are fewer elements on this semiconductor material.

 

If you wish to learn more about IoT and embedded systems, you can always opt for a course from Skill-Lync.


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Anup KumarH S


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