The embedded systems conference is going wild this week and I’m not there, I do hope to get there some day, but meanwhile I can’t help thinking about the number of CPU cores that an attendee is exposed to in this event. There are omnipresent cores like the everpowerful ARM, so many MCU/MPU providers have a flavor of it, I dare say it’s like the 8051 of our times. Then there are, of course, the very specific cores of which only a specific company has full ownership, and everything in between like the Power Architecture core, not as omnipresent as ARM, but still favored by many silicon vendors . Oh! And the 8051 is still amazingly around.
I love the fact that there are so many cores around, I believe this is a reflection on our humanity, on our ability to create. If the world were eventually dominated by computers, I bet the world would eventually only have one core (to rule them all, pun intended), it would be gray and boring. Lucklily the chaos that ensues having so many cores is probably avoiding computers of becoming interested in dominating us…maybe we are already dominated by them, I’m not sure (pun intended?).
Anyway, cores are cool. Apart from the inminent information overflow from trying to understand each of their architectures I think it’s important for the industry to keep investing in many options instead of settling for one single core (single core, multicore…well, you get it). I just hope I get to work with as many of them as I can get my hands on…what’s the count now? 11 cores, I’ve worked with 11 cores in my lifetime so far…how about you?