Processors come in many types and with many intended uses. While much attention is focused on high-performance processors in servers and workstations, by actual count, they are a small percentage of processors produced in any year. Figure 3.1 shows the processor production profile by annual production count (not by dollar volume).
Clearly, controllers, embedded controllers, digital signal processors (DSPs), and so forth, are the dominant processor types, providing the focus for much of the processor design effort. If we look at the market growth, the same data show that the demand for SOC and larger microcontrollers is growing at almost three times that of microprocessor units (MPUs in Figure 3.2).
THIS CHAPTER AND PROCESSOR DETAILS
This chapter contains details about processor design issues, especially for advanced processors in high-performance applications. Readers selecting processors from established alternatives may choose to skip some of the details, such as sections about branch prediction and superscalar processor control. We indicate such sections with an asterisk (*) in the section title.