Software Development for Parallel and Multi-Core Processing

Kenn R. Luecke

The embedded software industry wants microprocessors with increased computing functionality that maintains or reduces space, weight, and power (SWaP). Single core processors were the key embedded industry solution between 1980 and 2000 when large performance increases were being achieved on a yearly basis and were fulfilling the prophecy of Moore's Law. Moore's Law states that "the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years." With the increased transistors, came microprocessors with greater computing throughput while space, weight and power were decreasing. However, this 'free lunch' did not last forever. The additional power required for greater performance improvements became too great starting in 2000. Hence, single core microprocessors are no longer an optimal solution.