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Copyright Ó 2001 Microcontroller.com. All Rights Reserved.
March 2001
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At present, there are few implementations of MSPs commercially available. Because of
the high cost of developing a core of the complexity of an MSP, only the top processor
companies have the capability to develop these devices.
CONCLUSIONS
So, a brief review of history demonstrates that the two divergent paths of Microcontroller
and DSP can cross occasionally with each performing both tasks. Barriers to entry
depend on configuration of the peripheral set, ability to move multiple pieces of data,
and quality of the development tools. Designers of today's emerging systems that
require both real-time control as well as analog signal processing are looking for ways
to reduce cost and speed development time in a market that becoming increasingly
competitive. Both technical and personal considerations rule. For a microcontroller
engineer to consider a DSP or for a DSP engineer to use a microcontroller three strict
criteria must be met: price/performance, peripheral set, and development tool quality.
The absolute convergence of these two architectures are being met by MSPs, which are
a joining of the most advanced features of both, as well as the fastest clock rates in the
embedded market.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The support and prior research of Olivier Garreau of Infineon Technologies is gratefully
appreciated.
REFERENCES
[1] Olivier Garreau & Robert Owen, "Merged Architecture Approach Embeds Digital
Signal Processing and Improves Real-Time Performance of Microcontrollers",
Proceeding Paper #407 Embedded Systems Conference 1998, Fall Session
[2] Texas Instruments, "Migrating m© - Based Control Systems into the New
Millennium", Technical Overview, 1998
[3] William A. Giovino, "Microcontrollers and DSPs - Will the Two Worlds Ever
Intersect?", Online position paper, www.icspat.com, 4Q98
[4] Jennifer Eyre, "Diverging Architectures for Digital Signal Processing" RTC
Magazine, September 1998
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