How to decide Intel or Motorola

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Hello Embedded Gurus ,

I am trying to find out how to choose hardware for embedded
application Intel pentium or Motorola powerpc etc .Are there any
general guide lines   depending up on the nature of the application to
chose one over the other ? Or each one of them do they target a
particular type of industry segment  and hence are more suitable for
that segment . I would appreciate if any body can throw some
light on this .

Ours is a reasonably compex embedded application which does some real
time dataacquistion and control has to operate on industrial
environment , has to have support for web interface , data logging etc
. We are currently having qnx os on intel pentium for our development
, can any body throw some light as to how the development would be on
powerpc and how it would perform as compared to intel , what are the
advantages / disadvantages of one over the other .

Thanks in advance

Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola
it really depends on the application i suppose...  the powerpc platform
brings to the table variants with various built-in hardware
(microcontroller)  which can make design easier, whereas the x86 platform
brings easier porting of windows programs, tons of readily adaptable
freeware, and the possibility you will be able to get hardware using the
standard (and therefore familiar) I/O system extant on PCs, which has two
effects: making porting easier and familiarity to those who have
experience in PC land.

Subrahmanyam Arya wrote:

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Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola
If you want enough heat to fry eggs, and an unlimited energy budget,
definitely go with Intel.  All the development tools you need for either
are free and freely available, and development can be done on any

My experience is that Intel processors require more hardware to get out of
bed, and require both more RAM and ROM to get any job done, and a lot
faster clock.  (To those of you who wish to argue, remember it's *my*

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Kevin D Quitt  USA 91387-4454         96.37% of all statistics are made up
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Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola
What analysis have you already performed that detemined you narrow the
choice down to these two families? Neither of these is particularly well
suited to conventional data acquisition, this being more the realm of
microcontrollers. The powerPc would be the closer of the two in this
respect. Even the smallest 8 bit micro can be web enabled, amny would
handle data acquisition better than either of your choices, but there
are, of course a wide range of microcontrollers with various 'power'


Subrahmanyam Arya wrote:
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Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola
On 4 Aug 2003 08:07:19 -0700, (Subrahmanyam Arya)

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We are using the MPC855T and the MPC852T for data/networking
communications.  These are from the PowerQUICC I family.  Here are the
reasons we chose to go with Motorola:

1.  Intel tends to obsolete products after a few years.  If your
product life cycle is longer than that, this can get to be a problem.
Motorola keeps their embedded processors around for decades.  Intel's
embedded group is starting to change that, but we felt Moto was more
reliable anyway.

2.  The PowerQUICC family is easily scalable.  If we find that we need
more processing ability, we can scoot up the product tree to the
PowerQUICC II family.

3.  We can choose what peripherals we need to optimize cost.  There
are enough variants in the product line to keep you from paying extra
for features that you aren't going to use.

4.  Power consumption.  Who wants to worry about all of that heat in
an already hot industrial environment?  This also simplifies the power
supply and enclosure design.

You really need to determine what features you need, and perform a
cost analysis WRT the candidate processors.

One caveat about the external bus on a Moto part, there is no
asynchronous wait If you're external hardware needs one,
be prepared to impliment a state machine in hardware somewhere...


Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola
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If you're going stick with QNX, you will probably be best off sticking
to your current architecture.  If you want to move over to PowerPC, you
should select one of the targets they already support.  It's hard to
justify the amount of time and effort it takes to port QNX to custom

Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola

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Yeah, power consumption. If you don't mind shoving a fan and a huge
heatsink on you CPU - if you have the space, go for x86, unless you hate
the assembly - like a lot of people, yuck!

If you want low power, ARM/StrongARM/MIPS and then PPC would be the CPU of
choice. What is the housing of the machine going to be like? Is it going
to be inside a big warehouse with lots of air flow? Or is it really going
to be tightly packed together into a small area with not a lot of air flow?

But then you really need to decide what kind of application you
want to design.

Do you really need 64-bit? If not, you don't really need the higher MIPS

Do you really need 32-bit? If not you can forget about x86, higher 68k's

Do you really need 16-bit? Lower 68k's are usable here, otherwise you'll
probably want to go with 6800 or 6502 or 8088 (eek).

Do you need floating point? An MMU (probably if you want to use QNX)?

You've already mentioned that you're using QNX, so you''l have to decide
on power consumption really, (and yes I know there are lower power x86's
like the VIA chips).


Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola
I forgot Hitachi's SuperH processor, which is quite nice.


Re: How to decide Intel or Motorola
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Cost depends very much on what you buy: x86 will be cheaper than PPC
since it's a mass market; however, a PPC *CHIP* will cost less than
an x86 *BOARD*. You have to balance cost of design (can be VERY
expensive if you use a high-end CPU) and cost of manufacturing (labor
and meterials). Of course, you may have other considerations like
form factor, power and cooling requirements etc, forcing you one way or
the other.

In general, I'd say that selecting CPU family depends on the buy/build
decision and not the other way around: designing an x86 board is a pain,
(unless you stay with the 486 or lower), finding and buying a PPC board
to match your needs is hard and expensive.

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