February 21, 2011
Multicore microprocessors in embedded defense systems are becoming ubiquitous. Embedded systems have specialized requirements, such as heat dissipation and battery life, that restrict the ability to simply crank up the clock speed of a processor. Embedded microprocessor designers grappling with these physical limitations have turned to multicore architectures as a preferred method for continuing geometric performance improvements. Multicore ARM and PowerPC chips are already available, and Intel is pushing its low-power multicore processors into embedded designs. For defense system architects updating legacy systems with new capabilities, incorporating a multicore processor can require an analysis and development effort that extends well beyond the traditional software port.