TI E2E Community
Anyone up for LEGOS
This summer has been very eventful for me. From the scorching heat to the derecho that struck my area last week – there hasn’t been a dull moment!
Meanwhile, at home my kids are enjoying their summer vacation. I decided to buy my kids some LEGO® products to keep them occupied and satisfied with their creations. I wanted to try out LEGO’s “Technic” product line, which allows kids to make vehicles and instruments that they can build and play with as a toy. I read blogs and reviews on it, and was very satisfied that this was the answer to keep my son busy for hours and hours. So off I went to get him two LEGO Technic kits. Each kit consisted of about 200+ pieces and was designed to make two toys from one set. Well it worked! He was busy for close to two hours building each toy; followed by playing with it and then destroying it to build another one toy option.
While he was building his LEGO toys, I inspected the kit and the pieces that came with it. I looked at the similarity of the basic kit pieces – almost 90 to 95 percent of the pieces were the same between both kits and still the end product that they enabled my son to build was totally different. LEGO must have put a lot of thinking into designing these kits to address the demand of the market with differentiated products, while at the same time doing it in a way so that each product can be made using the same building blocks (architecture).
That prompted me to look at our industry and its demands. We all are surrounded by a wealth of applications built with multicore processors. From phones to TVs to set top boxes to base stations to personal computers to tablets–the list is a never ending string of applications. Each of these applications needs differentiated multicore processors in terms of performance, IOs, accelerators and compute nodes. Some applications need two cores while others need eight cores. Some applications need compute cores while other applications need cores for signal processing. Some need Ethernet as IO while others need PCIe or sRIO as IO. And still some applications need dedicated acceleration while others need cores to do all of its processing without any need for acceleration. Now think about the possible permutations these combinations present and you understand the task faced by semiconductor companies like Texas Instruments. Well yes, it is not for faint hearted to think about solving this challenge as it is not just about engineering. To an extent, it is art to come out with a solution that enables the creation of differentiated multicore processors for various applications.
My son is finished with the first kit, armed with the challenge LEGO gave him and ready to build the next kit. I will be back again to tell you more about the second kit and also about TI’s KeyStone multicore architecture and its multicore processors – our innovative approach to solving the ever growing challenges for multicore solutions that are differentiated.
I encourage you to visit www.ti.com/multicore and comment on this post about the possibilities that TI’s KeyStone architecture can enable for you.
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