Embedded World, which was held this week in Nuremberg, Germany, lacks the glamor and headlines of next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Yet, along with showing off the usual circuit boards, the show coincided with the debut of two interesting new system-on-chips that combine Linux-friendly ARM Cortex-A cores with microcontroller units (MCUs).
On the low end, angling for the Internet of Things market, is Freescale's i.MX6 SoloX, which combines a version of the single-core Cortex-A9-based i.MX6 Solo SoC with a Cortex-M4 MCU.
On the high end is a next-generation Xilinx Zynq SoC called the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. The already hybrid ARM/FPGA Zynq SoC moves to a cutting edge 16nm 3D FinFet process, switches its dual Cortex-A9 cores to four Cortex-A53s, boosts the power of its FPGA, and adds a pair of Cortex-R5 MCUs for better real-time processing.