Programmable Embedded Peripherals Simplify Complex Tasks
Modern Microcontroller (MCU) embedded systems design have seen leaps and bounds of growth in the form of smart peripherals which reduce the burden on the main CPU and free up the bandwidth for routine processing. Today’s measurement world has more and more complex tasks thrown at these MCU’s that even smart peripherals do not catch up with the growing complex requirements. The answer to this problem is a new incarnation of smart peripherals that makes them flexible by way of programmability. The challenge is how to design a programmable peripheral. One could think of CPLD’s and such but an even more innovative approach would be to have another set of CPU and memory attached to the smart peripheral. Now this is an MCU inside an MCU! The good news, the embedded function is programmable and very flexible. Changing the peripheral function is to simply change the embedded software of the peripheral. What do we achieve by this? Low power operation with high processing capabilities. This paper presents this approach and highlights an embedded processor that incorporates this scheme and an example application for the same.
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