Today the ever-growing demand for feature-rich multimedia-savvy, context-aware, and transmit/receive-capable embedded devices is accompanied by development cost reduction pressures from increasingly streamlined global competition. This trend has ushered in a higher reliance in design on malleable software instead of rigid hardware. Moreover, In order to amortize the design and development investment over a suitable unit-production volume, the final realization platform must be programmable and flexible enough to support a range of envisioned applications instead of being application-specific as in years past.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 4, No. 3, 2005