Embedded Systems

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 :

  1. Automotive Electronics
  2. Aircraft Electronics
  3. Trains
  4. Telecommunications
  5. Medical Applications
  6. Military Applications
  7. Authentication

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 ?

  1. One main important characteristic of Embedded Systems, is  that in most of the cases, it is not designed for a specific purpose.
  2. It is not always a standalone device. It may sometimes consist of a computer part, that is used for a more general purpose.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Block Diagram for an Embedded System


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