What is Embedded systems: Definition and 17 Discussions

An embedded system is a computer system—a combination of a computer processor, computer memory, and input/output peripheral devices—that has a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electronic system. It is embedded as part of a complete device often including electrical or electronic hardware and mechanical parts.
Because an embedded system typically controls physical operations of the machine that it is embedded within, it often has real-time computing constraints. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today. In 2009 it was estimated that ninety-eight percent of all microprocessors manufactured were used in embedded systems.Modern embedded systems are often based on microcontrollers (i.e. microprocessors with integrated memory and peripheral interfaces), but ordinary microprocessors (using external chips for memory and peripheral interface circuits) are also common, especially in more complex systems. In either case, the processor(s) used may be types ranging from general purpose to those specialized in a certain class of computations, or even custom designed for the application at hand. A common standard class of dedicated processors is the digital signal processor (DSP).
Since the embedded system is dedicated to specific tasks, design engineers can optimize it to reduce the size and cost of the product and increase the reliability and performance. Some embedded systems are mass-produced, benefiting from economies of scale.
Embedded systems range from portable devices such as digital watches and MP3 players, to large stationary installations like traffic light controllers, programmable logic controllers, and large complex systems like hybrid vehicles, medical imaging systems, and avionics. Complexity varies from low, with a single microcontroller chip, to very high with multiple units, peripherals and networks mounted inside a large equipment rack.

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  1. PainterGuy

    For embedded systems, the highest performance levels are not always needed....

    Hi, I need to clarify few points about the text quoted below. I'd appreciate it if you could help me with the queries. Source: Computer Applications to Library By Kole Lambert, Page #169 Question 1: It says, "For embedded systems, the highest performance levels are often not needed or...
  2. wyattmarshall

    Best way to self-teach Electrical Engineering and Embedded Systems?

    Summary: Trying to self-teach Electrical Engineering, Embedded Linux and AVR/ARM to make a career change into embedded systems development and I need suggestions on the best way to do that. I have a plan but I honestly have no idea if its a good one. I have been into computers my whole life...
  3. Tone L

    Bare Metal Programming for Beginners

    Hey friends, I have had some time on my hand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I hope everyone at PF is doing well. Thus, I have been learning some introductory electronics. This may be more of an opioniated question but, I am curious to hear from some ~experts~. From my understanding, bare...
  4. pairofstrings

    Software for embedded systems in OOPs

    Hello. If Linux is completely written in C(?) then I need a strong reason to opt for OOPs for Embedded Systems software. Can anybody tell me a situation or a circumstance that would make me use Object Oriented Programming principles to write software for Embedded Systems? Thanks.
  5. Avatrin

    Working with embedded systems

    Hi I have a bachelor in mathematics with a minor in physics, and my plan for the future is to move on to computational science and robotics. However, before I can do that, I need to work a few years due to bad personal finance. In my city, the easiest route is programming. I already knew...
  6. duhuhu

    Can't Connect to Netburner PK70

    Hey guys, I am working with a couple Netburner PK70 controllers and can only access one of them via Ethernet, but the other one (which has been formatted by the previous person on this project) Can't seem to be accessed by any of the Netburner software, I am currently running Advanced IP...
  7. vead

    Suggest to me a new project on embedded systems

    hello friends I have to submit project in class within 3 months my guide told me you have to make project on embedded system (major project ) quality of project 1) idea should be new 2) we can modify old project 3) project should have multiple use 4) project should be...
  8. A

    Microcontroller kit for a beginner embedded systems hobbyist

    I am interested in learning how to design embedded systems. I have a solid background in high level C++ (primarily for modelling and visualisation), but my knowledge of computer hardware is somewhat limited. I am interested in starting an embedded system design project to educate myself on the...
  9. D

    How to Start Embedded Systems Programming

    I want to learn some embedded systems programming on my own and explore it as a career option. Where should I start? Book recommendations? I have programming experience in assembly, C and higher level languages, and I've taken one computer architecture course. I love my linux, so I'm interested...
  10. pairofstrings

    Become an Embedded Systems Engineer - Tips & Books for Success

    Please tell me how to become a successful embedded systems engineer. What books should I study...? I have a Bachelors degree in Electronics and communication. I have seen many job posts and requirements in it are huge. How can I achieve all those skills? Help!
  11. pairofstrings

    Is it OKAY to choose Embedded systems?

    I know the recession is upon us therefore, I want to know if recession can affect any fresher in this times who opt for career in Embedded systems. How is the job market in USA or around the globe for Embedded systems? Are any companies hiring new people in Embedded systems?
  12. pairofstrings

    Memory and Embedded systems

    What are the basic elements in embedded systems? Can I use any microcontrollers, DSPs, and microprocessors in one systems. If yes, how is memory element linked with microcontrollers, DSPs, and microprocessors? On whose memory elements, codes are written? Which language is preferred for the codes?
  13. P

    Good embedded systems and its programming in c books

    Hi guys, i wanting to learn embedded systems and its programming through C language can you people suggest some good books on this subject.
  14. D

    Embedded Systems: Electrical Engineering Basics & User Interface

    Hi, I am working on a project but I am new to electrical engineering. The project is going to be a mechanical device with an inductive heater controlled through a console with software to receive inputs for the settings through a user interface. I have read about microcontrollers and their uses...
  15. A

    Learn C for Embedded Systems Design with PIC Microcontroller

    I am currently learning C so that I can design a project using a pic microcontroller. I want to learn C first before studying the microcontroller. I want to ask, what topics should I learn, so that I will be using what I need to know to program the chip. Thanks
  16. L

    C/C++ Good embedded systems training kit using C++?

    good embedded systems training kit using C++?? I am looking for a good embedded systems training kit that has some power, lots of features, and is relatively easy to use. I would like to use C++. I would get the Freescale s12ub but it's backordered. I need this kit in order to teach myself...
  17. R

    Embedded Systems: Learn About Hardware/Software & University Courses

    I wish to know some details about embedded systems both hardware and software. can anyone help me suggesting good books on the same and possibly some course structures of some universities on embedded systems?