Modern electronic devices perform a wide variety of functions, such as displaying the user interface and responding to the user actions via interface elements, receiving, transmitting, processing, storing data from various sensors and sensors, controlling external actuators and mechanisms. To ensure the required functionality in modern electronic devices processors and FPGAs are used as the main calculator.
Processors have become very popular and earlier they could easily be divided into groups by purpose, at the current moment the interfaces are very blurry and the specific type of processor for the device being developed is determined by the results of the issued technical requirements. However, in view of the fact that the main processor of the processors is its core, it is possible to split the processors into several groups: general-purpose processors, specialized processors, microcontrollers, and hybrid processors.
General-purpose processors are used primarily in devices where reception, transmission, storage of data, user interaction through a graphical interface and control of external executive units are required. Examples of general purpose processors: Atmel SAMA5D3, Atmel SAM9X, Intel Atom E6xx, Intel Atom E3800, Sitara ARM, Xilinx Zynq-7000, Freescale i.MX6, Samsung Exynos
In addition, a number of general-purpose processors have built-in hardware blocks for encoding / decoding video and audio data, which allow with great success the use of these solutions, namely multimedia systems-on-chip in multimedia devices. Usually in systems with general-purpose processors, additional RAM chips (random access memory) and PROM (programmable read-only memory) are required.
Multimedia systems-on-chip. In fact, these systems are general-purpose processors with built-in hardware modules for encoding / decoding video and audio data. The presence of such interfaces as Ethernet, WiFi, 3G / 4G / LTE allows to apply these solutions when developing such electronic devices as: smartphones, tablets, multimedia set-top boxes, STB set-top boxes, HTPC home theaters, etc. Examples of multimedia systems-on-the-chip: Freescale i.MX6, Samsung Exynos, TI Davinci / Jacinto4
Specialized processors can be conditionally divided into:
+ Digital signal processing processors are used in devices where there is a dependence of the subsequent data on the previous data in the data sequence and / or implementation of specialized algorithms for processing the received data, such as noise reduction, signaling of a certain frequency range, allocation of certain patterns in the data. Examples of digital signal processors: ADI Blackfin, TI Davinci / Jacinto4, OMAP4, TI KeyStone
+ Multi-core processors are used for multithreaded processing of a large number of input data, where there is no dependence of subsequent data from previous data in the data sequence. Examples of multi-core processors: TI KeyStone, Xilinx Zynq-7000, Adapteva Epiphany, Intel Atom E6xx, Intel Atom E3800, Freescale i.MX6, Samsung Exynos, XMOS xCORE
As usual in systems with specialized processors, additional RAM chips (random access memory) and PROM (programmable read-only memory) are required. Also into this group can be also included calculators, which are usually implemented on FPGA.
Microcontrollers are usually less efficient computers in comparison with specialized processors and general-purpose processors, but they have a much lower level of power consumption and contain a chip of RAM, PROM in a single chassis, a large number of modules for capturing analog, digital data supporting various interfaces, with the ability to work with wired Ethernet interfaces, wireless interfaces WiFi / BT and others. Examples of microcontrollers: TI MSP430G2xx, TI Concerto, TI Tiva-C, STMicro STM32F4xx, NXP LPC43xx, Freescale Kinetis
Hybrid processors include processors that can functionally correspond to several designated categories, i.e. have several cores, both general and specialized. Examples of hybrid processors: TI KeyStone, Xilinx Zynq-7000, ADI Blackfin, TI Davinci / Jacinto4, OMAP4, TI Concerto