1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Emedded engineer

  1. Sep 13, 2014 #1
    what is role in company for following engineer
    1 Embedded system engineer
    2embedded software engineer
    3 embedded firmware engineer
    4 test engineer
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    An embedded system:


    so an embedded systems engineer I think would make sure the embedded computer works with, monitors or controls the surrounding hardware.

    an embedded software engineer would develop and maintain the application software running on the embedded computer. He/she might have to specially load the software onto the computer thru some special means like replacing a ROM or some controlled write to update the EPROM or SDCARD ...

    an embedded firmware engineer would handle the firmware of the computer system ROM, PROM or EPROM or SD card. He / she may have to update and flash the ROM with a new OS.

    a test engineer would run hardware and software tests on the embedded computer and its hardware. The tests would be things like
    - functional tests, I inject an error and an LED lights up and do this for each LED, each sensor, each supported function...
    - system tests, I use the device like a user doing common user tasks and see how well it works do the right LEDs lightup do the right motors activate... I use it with other devices that its supposed to work with like on a distributed network or in the context of a bigger system

    A simple example would be a GPS system that works standalone or in a car. The software guy develops the software for it, the firmware guy maintains the embedded linux kernel, the systems engineer designs it to work within a car. The test engineer tests it standalone and then within the car
  4. Sep 14, 2014 #3

    jim hardy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Hopefully he will have the kindness toward his end user to include a watchdog timer and make the embedded system leave a visual clue as to why it hangs up or stops.

    This poor guy has a genuine problem:
    I include a few LED's for heartbeat and program status to tell what it's waiting on, and a register with user accessible error message.
  5. Sep 14, 2014 #4
    As was said above, an embedded software engineer writes software for embedded systems. This can loosely be defined as any system that is not a normal ready to go computer with already debugged hardware. These engineers work with the hardware engineers to debugged both the hardware and software simultaneously. It is this interplay of hardware and software debugging that characterizes embedded software. As you can imagine this debug is FAR more difficult than debugging on a system with debugged hardware.

    It is a rather difficult field and its practitioners are considered to be rather elite. It is common for embedded software engineers to be educated as electrical engineers originally. If you don't have an electrical engineering background, then you at least need to have extensive knowledge of hardware. It is a difficult field to break into, but it is worth it if you can because it pays considerably more than just straight software.
  6. Sep 14, 2014 #5
    Typically, test engineers write scripts in MatLab or some other scripting language for automated tests and then runs them to test computer or embedded systems. Sometimes this refers to people who just run the automated tests, but these are not really engineers but just techs. This is a much less demanding field than writing embedded software and most have degrees in computer science or math. Still important though.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  7. Sep 14, 2014 #6
    The firmware engineer typically writes software in some hardware description language to design and configure Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). It is usually considered to be a form of hardware engineer and almost all people who do this have degrees in electrical engineering. Sometimes engineers who write software like the PC BIOS are considered to be firmware engineers, but they are more correctly considered to be embedded software engineers.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook