Книга: Embedded Linux Primer: A Practical, Real-World Approach

3.1.2. Intel Pentium M

3.1.2. Intel Pentium M

Certainly one of the most popular architectures, x86 in both 32- and 64-bit flavors (more properly called IA32 and IA64, respectively) has been employed for embedded devices in a variety of applications. In the most common form, these platforms are based on a variety of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware implementations. Numerous manufacturers supply x86 single-board computers and complete platforms in a variety of form factors. See Section 3.2, "Integrated Processors: Systems on Chip," later in this chapter for a discussion of the more common platforms in use today.

The Intel Pentium M has been used in a wide variety of laptop computers and has found a niche in embedded products. Like the IBM 970FX processor, the Pentium M is a superscalar architecture. These characteristics make it attractive in embedded applications:

• The Pentium M is based on the popular x86 architecture, and thus is widely supported by a large ecosystem of hardware and software vendors.

• It consumes less power than other x86 processors.

• Advanced power-management features enable low-power operating modes and multiple sleep modes.

• Dynamic clock speed capability enhances battery-powered operations such as standby.

• On chip thermal monitoring enables automatic transition to lower power modes, to reduce power consumption in overtemperature conditions.

• Multiple frequency and voltage operating points (dynamically selectable) are designed to maximize battery life in portable equipment.

Many of these features are especially useful for embedded applications. It is not uncommon for embedded products to require portable or battery-powered configurations. The Pentium M has enjoyed popularity in this application space because of its power- and thermal-management features.

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