SoC and MPSoC
The never-stopping progression in electronic miniaturization has made possible for many of these components (processor, memories, peripherals) to be integrated in a single package, thus called SoC.
On the FPGA arena, it is usual to see applications where the FPGA is integrated with a processor (or processors) at the heart of the system. Until around five years ago, the processors integrated on the FPGAs were mainly soft-core processors, like Nios for Intel-Altera or Microblaze for Xilinx.
Lately, the two major FPGA manufacturers have returned to the trend of including high performance processors as hard-IP on their FPGAs.
In the FPGA world, as in the rest of the digital world, most processors are multi-core. So the acronym MPSoC, means Multi Processor System on Chip.
As an example of some available MPSoCs in the market, let's see some examples from Xilinx:
|Zynq-7000 SoC||Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC|
|Processing Unit||Single/Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 @1GHz||Dual/Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 MPCore @1.5GHz|
- The table shows the maximum capacity (operation frequency, logic elements) for each family
- To make the table simple, I have concentrated only on the (main) processor(s), embedded memory and logic elements for each device. Each device can have a lot of additional features, like additional management processors, DSP slices for signal processing and a plethora of high speed (Ethernet, PCIe, USB, etc.) and low speed interfaces (UART, I2C, SPI, etc.)
For more details about the SoC devices offered by Xilinx, you can visit here