Choosing Compute Architectures


Have you ever wondered how computing systems carry out complex calculations and process vast amounts of data? Compute, a fundamental aspect of computing, involves various components working together to execute instructions and perform computations. In this article, we delve into the components, functionality, and performance aspects of compute in a computing system. Additionally, we explore the considerations and best practices for selecting a compute architecture specifically for embedded devices.

Components of Compute:

Functionality of Compute:

Compute Architecture Selection for Embedded Devices:

Heterogeneous compute architectures 

Neural Processing Unit (NPU)

Vector Processing Unit (VPU) 

Combine multiple compute architectures within an embedded device

When selecting a compute architecture for embedded devices, consider the advantages of multicore CPUs, heterogeneous architectures, NPUs, VPUs, and other specialized units based on the specific requirements of your application.

Power Efficiency

Performance Requirements

System Peripherals

Development Ecosystem


Q: How does compute architecture affect power consumption in embedded devices?

A: Compute architecture significantly impacts power consumption. Low-power architectures like ARM Cortex-M or RISC-V are designed for energy efficiency, making them ideal for battery-powered devices.

Q: Can high-performance architectures be used for all embedded applications?

A: High-performance architectures, such as ARM Cortex-A or x86, offer substantial computational power but may not be suitable for all embedded applications. Power consumption and performance requirements should be balanced.

Q: What role does system integration play in compute architecture selection?

A: System integration features simplify design by offering built-in interfaces and specialized communication options. Considering required system integration capabilities helps determine the appropriate compute architecture.

Q: Why is a robust development ecosystem important for compute architecture selection?

A: A strong development ecosystem provides essential tools, libraries, and community support, reducing development time and ensuring compatibility with the chosen architecture.

Q: How can I future-proof my embedded device design through compute architecture selection?

A: Choose an architecture with a clear roadmap and long-term support to access future enhancements and updates. Evaluate the vendor's commitment to ensure compatibility and availability of resources.

By considering power consumption, performance, system integration, and development ecosystem, engineers can make informed decisions when selecting a compute architecture for embedded devices.



Compute is a vital aspect of computing systems, enabling complex calculations and data processing. Understanding the components, functionality, and considerations for selecting a compute architecture in embedded devices is essential for designing efficient and optimized systems. By carefully evaluating power efficiency, performance requirements, system integration, and development ecosystem, engineers can make informed decisions that lead to successful embedded device designs.