13.1. From ASIC to System and Network on Chip

The ITRS roadmap [540] predicted that by 2000 most application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) would include at least one embedded instruction-set processor, which meant that most ASICs would be systems-on-chips (SoCs). Some existing designs confirm and strengthen this prediction; many applications include several processors with different instruction sets: mobile terminals (e.g., GSM [541]), set-top boxes (e.g., PNX8500 from Philips [542]), game processors (e.g., PlayStation2 from Sony [543]), and network processors [544]. Most system and semiconductor houses are developing platforms involving several cores (microcontroller unit [MCU], digital signal processor [DSP], Internet protocol [IP], ...

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