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What Are Embeded Systems?!

posted Jul 31, 2017, 4:49 AM by Rohit Bhaskar   [ updated Jul 31, 2017, 7:41 AM ]

Have you ever wondered what an embedded system is? You would probably have heard this word at some point in you life and wondered ( most people wonder, others just ignore it, assuming it to be something that requires an engineer’s experience to understand ). The concept of an embedded system is really not that hard to contemplate, even if its a kid in 5th grade……I think :p

Lets get to the point…..

An embedded system by definition is ” A microprocessor- based device which has an inbuilt operating system” . An embedded system is basically a system (or a group) of many embedded processors, or you can say that its a computer system with a dedicated function. And and an embedded processor is just a low level processor which has only a small, particular task to complete. Though in newer times embedded systems are based on micro-controllers.

Don’t worry, i am not messing with you. This really is all that an embedded system is, except for the fact that really life embedded systems are a whole lot bigger and much more complex.
(REALLY COMPLEX!). But don’t worry, i will take you through the rest as easily and quickly as I can.

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An example of an embedded system

To understand this lets take an example of an old mobile….
What would be the stuff you could do with an old mobile? You would probably want to change the brightness of the screen, make calls, play a game, record voices, listen to music, etc… Now imagine that each of these processes is done by a certain embedded processor. And that the whole system together, i.e the mobile, or its circuits to be exact, is called the embedded system!

Now for those people who still didn’t understand, ill give another example.( Those who understood it can skip to the next paragraph directly….the slow pokes will catch-up to you) consider the image of a car and all the components and sensors as shown. Each component will require a certain interface and something to control it, this is the embedded processor controller.And the whole system together can be termed as an embedded system!

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Embedded systems are commonly found in consumer, cooking, industrial, automotive, medical, commercial and military applications. Telecommunications systems employ numerous embedded systems.The other uses are, digital watches, MP3 players, large stationary installations like traffic lights, factory controllers, largely complex systems like hybrid vehicles, MRI, and avionics, mobile phones, video game consoles, digital cameras, DVD players, GPS receivers, and printers, household appliances, etc… The applications are just endless!!
Characteristics:
Embedded systems are designed to do some specific task, rather than be a general-purpose computer for multiple tasks. Embedded systems are not always standalone devices. Many embedded systems consist of small, computerized parts within a larger device that serves a more general purpose.

Embedded systems consist of 3 main parts
1. embedded hardware to give it computer like functionality.
2. embedded main application software generally into a flash or ROM.
3. embedded ‘real time operating system’, or a very efficient ‘boss’ for the system.

At this point most people start thinking “then what’s the difference between embedded systems and an actual processor?”… The answer the that is given as points quite clearly in the pic below…

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I hope this cleared most of the doubts you had (and put some new information into the heads of the people who didn’t know about it all :p)
If you have any more doubts feel free to reply to this post, or you can even look up on this link foe anything related to embedded systems, even new news and details!! enjoy!

http://www.embedded.com/

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