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How to Choose the Right Multiprocessor for Embedded System

Single processor systems are often used to handle the entire system load. This is mainly done to reduce costs and is figured that fewer parts mean lower costs. However, by splitting up the task among multiprocessors, you can boost the system’s execution speed by often simplifying design which compensates for the added costs.

Choosing a multiprocessor becomes increasingly important as the processors work in parallel to increase the performance of an embedded system’s application environment more efficiently than that of a single processor. The question then arises of how to choose the right multiprocessor for embedded systems.

First, it is important to know the two types of multiprocessing:

Aymmetric Multiprocessors

All processors are not treated equally. This means that for a process, there is a predefined task given by a master processor. This contains a master-slave relation. Asymmetric multiprocessors were available before the advent of symmetric multiprocessors and are still the cheaper option.

Symmetric Multiprocessing

All processors communicate with each other and are in a peer to peer relationship. It is a type of multiprocessing where each processor is self-scheduling i.e., and no master-slave relation exists between them.

Now there come several factors that are crucial to making the right multiprocessor choice for embedded systems: –

1. Cost of Multiprocessors

Cost is the most crucial when it comes to choosing the right multiprocessor and the embedded GUI design software. Designers usually resort to using a single processor to run the whole show, but by using multiprocessors, you can efficiently split and simplify the debugging, software structure, and integration much easier.

The parallel development allows us to speed up the design process and may even promote software reuse that accelerates follow-on designs. The product reaches the market much quicker as that can sometimes be the deciding factor between a market success or failure.

However, you are likely to run into considering the trade-offs for additional processors. These are usually minimal, as many processors are available for less than a dollar in production. Further, in the long run, multiprocessors are cheaper than single processors as the data storage, power supplies, and peripheral devices are shared together instead of having them on multiple different computer systems. This also improves the embedded GUI output as the processes are locally shared.

2. Reliability of Embedded Systems

Even if one processor fails, the multiprocessor for embedded systems will continue to run. For instance, there can be five processors running in a multiprocessor system, and despite one of them failing, the remaining 4 processors will continue to work. While the system becomes slower, it does not completely go to a halt.

Therefore, it makes it crucial to invest in creating a reliable embedded GUI as this would provide you with a guarantee that the assigned processes will continue to function without any interference. Additionally, the load reduces drastically on CPU processing.

There is also the enhanced throughput, meaning when the multiple processors work in unison, the throughput of the embedded GUI increases, and a higher number of processes are executed per unit of time increase.

3. Complications with Operating System

The increased number of processes executed share software structure, integration, and memory. If you are using symmetric processes, the self-scheduling tasks impart heavier resources than a single processor. Multiprocessors then require a more complicated and complex operating system for embedded GUI design software.
It becomes crucial to ensure that your embedded GUI software also supports your chosen OS to run several programs concurrently. For this, UNIX is widely used for several multiprocessing systems. However, OS/2 is also widely used for high-end PCs.

4. Larger RAM Required

The primary objective of using multiprocessors is to boost the system’s execution speed while also being able to fault application matching and tolerance. As much as it is important to have a reliable multiprocessor, it is even so important to have a large random access memory (RAM) required to make sure the processes run smoothly.

Compared to a single processor system, the multiprocessor system shares the memory with all processes simultaneously. So, a much larger RAM is needed as memory consumption is drastically increased when the project includes an embedded GUI with rich animations and graphics.

This is also likely to set off the budget and increase the costs of multiprocessing as a whole. Nonetheless, the efficiency and long-term savings provided by multiprocessors are always a better choice for you. Additionally, the parallelized loops through multiprocessor systems enable a larger extraction and is a flowering area of research.

Determining which of these factors suit your preference for a multiprocessor design depends largely on the importance of each feature for you. The other key factor in choosing the right multiprocessor is the use of interface and its conformance with the standard industry practice. Taking the above factors into consideration would have definitely guided you into figuring out how to choose a multiprocessor for embedded systems. Now it is time for you to start exploring!