Sun. Jan 22nd, 2023

Features of embedded and mobile CPU architecture

Both embedded systems and mobile devices are constrained in terms of the power available to them. This means that they tend to be extremely efficient when compared to desktop or server CPUs.

Since embedded devices are often powered on continually, and mobile devices need to be small and light, they must be cooled passively, which restricts the amount of electrical power that can be consumed (more power leads to more heat).

Some changes include:

  • Manufacturing is completed using smaller processes – the smaller the transistors, the smaller the CPU and the less the power you need
  • Clock speed – reduced compared to desktop and server CPUs.
  • Instruction set – generally RISC or custom silicon, whereas desktops and servers are usually CISC
  • Physical size – the CPU package includes other components such as GPU, in order to reduce size, and increase efficiency (having multiple functions within one CPU lowers the power requirement for data transfer compared to separate items with external connections)