I have been working a with relatively fast and high end microcontrollers now, and I want to move beyond them. For example, I've been using the STM32F4 chip, which has something of a 180MHz and a decent amount of memory. Now I want to move beyond these "high end" microcontrollers. I want to develop platforms which are in the GHz-range, which can manage a lot of calculations, and also work together with an embedded GPU. The application I want to use it for is in the automotive industry, where there's a lot of data processing and algorithm calculations.

As I understand it, the next step is somewhat more complicated. You need a separate memory, RAM, storage, and a lot of other peripheral components to support the chip. I'm not looking for an embedded computer platform like the beagleboard or RBP, where you run an OS. I would like to run an RTOS where you can crunch decent amount of numbers (lidar data, image processing), and manage real-time requirements.

For example, if some tech company which develops autonomous vehicles wanted a prototyping platform (and I say prototyping cause it would probably be an ASIC in production) where they can do a lot of dataprocessing and algorithms, what type of embedded system would they use?

So my questions is: What lies beyond the high en microcontrollers? Could someone give me an overview of how embedded systems are built up in this domain?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Andy aka, PeterJ, Dmitry Grigoryev, uint128_t, Asmyldof Apr 27 '16 at 8:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Usually in the industry, if you want to step up your technology, you hire someone with the experience in that technology rather than asking weird people on the interwebs... \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Apr 26 '16 at 8:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's a question soliciting opinions and should be closed. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 26 '16 at 8:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ The requirements you describe (High end, GHz-range, embedded GPU, ...) are a perfect fit for most Cortex-A implementations, including the processors used in the beaglebone/RBP. And you can have such chips running a RTOS instead of a mainstream linux. You can use whatever OS you want. So why do you rule them out ? \$\endgroup\$ – dim Apr 26 '16 at 8:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH This is a private project, not for my company. \$\endgroup\$ – user2372772 Apr 26 '16 at 8:54

Most microprocessors with gpus end up in embedded computers anyway, but if you want real grunt and aren't afraid of some not-so-user-friendly programming languages, check out Altera's Cyclone V SoC or Xilinx's Zynq, multicore Arm chips coupled with not insubstantial amounts of FPGA logic, DDR3 support and dedicated gpus. For sheer computational grunt (but not on-the-fly flexibility) it's hard to beat an FPGA, you can even compile arduino code for an FPGA. (P.S. you don't have to run a full OS on a pi or a BB, you can always load an RTOS, you can load an RTOS on almost anything with an IO pin, it's just more complicated)


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