Most integrated circuits include at least one processor core and some embedded software. In the case of more complex systems-on-chip (SoC), there may be application processors running the main software, and operating system plus multiple specialised subsystems handling functions such as communications, security, and sensors. Requirements for processing vary considerably and there is a wide choice of processor IP cores available to choose from. Processor IP vendors often vie with each other by showing PPA numbers (performance, power, and area) but such indicators need context and can potentially be misleading. So, what do you need to consider when choosing a processor IP core?
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