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Embedded Computing - Medical, Industrial and ePOS applications.

ARM defines "Embedded Computing" as equipment that performs computing functionality, yet is provided as a "black box". This means preloaded applications, and no capability for the users of the equipment to add new hardware functionality or new applications. Applications include digital signage, ATM (cashpoint) machines and factory automation. Unlike personal computers, these systems are have significantly higher levels of reliability, which places tighter demands on the system architect in terms of thermal considerations (typically no mechanical fan to disipate heat can be tolerated), temperature range of operation, form factor and power. Increasingly, several of ARM's silicon partners are viewing this as an adjacent market segment to the tablet area, providing an opportunity to sell existing devices (potentially qualified to ensure operation over a wider temperature range) and software solutions to additional customers.
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Optimized ARM Embedded Computing Block Diagram

 


Computing platforms are at the heart of a range of systems, including digital signage, industrial control and medical platforms. Many of these platforms are locally and remotely connected to other systems. Unlike PCs where there is a toleration of hardware or software failure, many of these embedded platforms must have a higher tolerance to failure and immunity to security attacks.

A number of ARM's silicon partners are investing in silicon and software to pursue the mobile computing space with end products such as tablets and eReaders. The increased adoption of open source software is enabling this same technology to be applicable for embedded computers that are at the heart of ATM machines, ePOS equipment and factory automation systems. The combination of ARM's business model and technology brings the user five main benefits:
  • A spectrum of software-compatible, single and multi-core processors that span a spectrum of performance points enable OEMs to utilize their software investment across a broad range of products - and improves the development cycles for the release of new platforms
  • The availability of highly integrated, power-efficient single chip solutions allow OEMs to reduce system power, board footprint and system cost
  • Choice: A range of software-compatible devices from which to select that can run the same processor software; help OEMs to select the component that best fits their specific application. Likewise, from a software perspective, there is wide variety of software options, including a range of real-time operating systemsLinux and Microsoft solutions from which to select
  • ARM-optimized web browser and content plug-ins to deliver the identical web experience to those seen on higher power, higher cost PC platforms
  • High performance kits provides by ARM's Physical IP division provide a jumpstart for semiconductor companies that wish to extract maximum performance and/or power benefits from ARM processors while minimizing use of internal design resources

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