An interesting article below or www.eetimes.eu Embedded processor wars Steve Bitton Industrial Control Designline 06/09/2009 4:29 PM As embedded processors become a bigger focus for Intel, especially with the recent acquisition of Wind River, they aim to do battle with other processor architectures (ARM, Power PC, SuperH, ColdFire, etc.) in that particular market.. With the desktop PC market slowing down, Intel is eyeing the dual consumer biggies of smart phones and netbooks. And of course, nobody can say that ARM is not without their own ambitions, as they look up the processor food chain to those same consumer markets. (Windows vs. Linux is another subplot of the consumer market--I won't get into that here.) Where does that leave the less glamorous world of industrial control? Well neither Intel nor ARM has forgotten about this area. Intel is seen in all sorts of embedded computing platforms, and is actively pushing into that area with the Atom. While ARM's approach seems to be a little different, creating cores of all shapes and sizes for their industry partners to address every possible processor scenario. With their Cortex-M series of microcontroller cores, they are focusing on competition that Intel would never touch, the 8 and 16-bit microcontroller market. In this particular battle, ARM and their partners face microcontroller companies such as Microchip, Renesas, Freescale, among many others. One would have to look at this situation and note that ARM seems to be pushing on two opposite ends of the processor spectrum in order to achieve overall processor dominance. A very daunting task, indeed. Is ARM too ambitious in trying to fight battles on two (or more) fronts? Or will their strategy of partnering with silicon manufacturers to take some of the sales/marketing/manufacturing burden off (so they can concentrate on creating good cores for all applications), pay off? Brings up some more questions for the audience... Will there be a dominant processor architecture? Will there always be many different processor architectures for the many applications out there? Let me know what you think by commenting on this article or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.