What is Embedded Systems ?
It is basically, a system used for specific control functions inside large systems(From Wikipedia). This is different from the general purpose systems like a PC(personal computer) in the sense that, a PC is designed to meet a variety of the users’ needs. The Embedded System on the other hand, is designed for a specific purpose. It gets its name, simply for the reason that it is ’embedded’ in a system. One advantage of the Embedded System is that since it is designed for a specific purpose, the designers can reduce the size, and this also results in less cost.
Some of the areas of applications of the Embedded Systems are :
- Automotive Electronics
- Aircraft Electronics
- Medical Applications
- Military Applications
Embedded Systems are used in many day-to-day applications like a digital clock, traffic lights, anything that involves a 7-segment display.
What are the characteristics of Embedded Systems ?
- One main important characteristic of Embedded Systems, is that in most of the cases, it is not designed for a specific purpose.
- It is not always a standalone device. It may sometimes consist of a computer part, that is used for a more general purpose.
- Some of these may have a performance requirement that may need to be met. In other cases, there may not be any performance requirement at all.
- The programs written for Embedded Systems are stored in the read-only memory or Flash-memory chips. These run on very limited computer resources :little memory, small or non-existent keyboard and/or screen.