Embedded System: Smarts For Devices and
What is an embedded
Embedded systems are stand alone
computing devices or centers usually dedicated to performing limited computing functions reliably, securely and
with minimum upkeep costs.
Where can I find embedded
You find embedded systems or embedded
computer systems all around us. Some are low cost and mass produced such as DVD player and
learning remote controls.
Some are high cost used in highly
specialized equipment or instrument: medical instrument-ultrasound machine, aerospace-communication satellite,
factory automation-industrial boilers.
Yet others are used in everyday devices which we want to work reliably such as traffic
lights, fare collection system, airport security scanner, retail register, black box for airplanes and other
Additionally, mission critical systems like the air traffic control radars, safety
systems for trains, mine hazardous gas monitoring, and vital medical monitoring equipment.
What are top 7 reasons one
would choose an embedded system over a PC?
- Energy Efficiency (draw minimum power for the purpose)
- Custom voltage/power requirements (VDC: 12, 14, 24, 72..)
- Security (hacker proof)
- Reliability (work without failure for years)
- Environment (broad temperature range, sealed from chemicals,
- Efficient Interaction with user (fewer buttons, touch)
- Integrate with design
What are some common
customization offerings for embedded systems?
· Hermetically sealed for biological or clean room applications
· Tough and rough: can be dropped from 5 feet, can withstand pressure
· Withstand -40 C to 85 C
· Efficient power supply capable of running on AC, or 12, 14, 24, 72, 120 VDC
· Custom user interface: touch screen,
What are some features expected
in future embedded systems?
- Energy harvesting or energy scavenging as replacement for power
- Smaller footprint to allow coupling
to the device itself.
- Fault detection/self correcting algorithms along with backup processors are
expected to become common in future.
Do all embedded systems use
No. Many sue standard processors: Intel or AMD
processors. They support standard DDR or solid state memory. They
typically use standard Ethernet or wireless controllers