Prominent CPU Manufactureres

Written by Ian on Sunday 14/01/07


Here is a commented list, with links, to the worlds top processor companies for embedded and low power CPUs.


  • ARM the worlds no.1 32-bit processor by units shipped. An example
    of an extremely well-designed CPU that has found its way into most consumer products.
  • Texas Instruments the inventor of the integrated circuit, and one of the worlds top 10 processor companies. Supplier of advanced and well engineered DSP processors.
  • Intel do more than design desktop processors, they are the worlds no.1 silicon vendor (overall) by quite a big margin. The website, although a real pain to navigate, is stuffed full of useful information.
  • Analog Devices, another DSP company but do much more besides, and are well known for excellent application notes, code examples and providing other information on their website.

  • Philips a big range of excellent ARM-based processors and probably the largest range 6800-style microcontrollers.
  • Samsung seems to be really up-and-coming. Although their ARM7 processors were a bit 'clunky', the new ARM9 range is really excellent, and I can personally attest that the S3C2410 is a great CPU with some really nice features.
  • Atmel is another company with some nice products. Again, their latest ARM9-based processor is getting great reviews and seems to be making waves in the embedded arena.
  • Microchip processors seem a little expensive for volume production, but they have absolutely first rate support for small businesses, and their CPUs probably have one of the shallowest learning curves. Overall some very innovative and unique solutions. Famous inventors and suppliers of the PIC range of processors.
  • Cirrus is another of those innovative CPU companies that has released ARM-based [processors. They also bought over Crystal Semiconductors quite a few years ago and therefore have one of the greatest ranges of ADC and DAC devices available for audio.
  • Oki Semiconductors are another up-and-coming vendor of well designed ARM-compatible processors