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The exploding demand for embedded chips is being fueled by a need for versatile system-on-a-chip solutions that provide a high-performance processor core with memory and other elements required to enable a wide range of electronics and computing devices. Historically found in communications equipment, printers, and other computing gear, embedded chips have also become essential components within PDAs, consumer electronics, and wireless handsets, as well in many unconventional IT products, such as automobiles, washing machines, coffee makers, and a vast range of everyday devices. Due to this growing proliferation, along with advancements in materials, manufacturing techniques, and design tools, embedded processors with memory are poised to reign as a dominant force in the semiconductor industry, for years to come. This paper examines this trend, and explores the technology, system, and design challenges to be overcome, in fulfilling the promise of pervasive application.