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10 Jun 2016


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If we look around, we will find ourselves to be surrounded by computing systems. Every year millions of computing systems are built destined for desktop computers (Personal Computers, workstations, mainframes and servers) but surprisingly, billions of computing systems are built every year embedded within larger electronic devices and still goes unnoticed. Any device running on electric power either already has computing system or will soon have computing system embedded in it




A precise definition of embedded systems is not easy. Simply stated, “all computing systems other than general purpose computer (with  monitor ,  keyboard, etc.) are embedded systems”.

An arrangement in which all units assemble and work together according to a program or plan. An embedded system has software embedded into hardware, which makes a system dedicated for an application (s) or specific part of an application or product or part of a larger system. It processes a fixed set of pre-programmed instructions to control electromechanical equipment which may be part of an even larger system (not a computer with keyboard, display, etc).

A general-purpose definition of embedded systems is that they are devices used to control, monitor or assist the operation of equipment, machinery or plant. Embedded reflects the fact that they are an integral part of the system.



  1. a)Embedded systems are application specific & single functioned.
  2. b)Efficiency is of paramount importance for embedded systems. They are optimized for energy, code size, execution time, weight & dimensions, and cost.
  3. c)Embedded systems are typically designed to meet real time constraints; a real time system reacts to stimuli from the controlled object/ operator within the time interval dictated by the environment. For real time systems, right answers arriving too late (or even too early) are wrong.
  4. d)Embedded systems often interact (sense, manipulate & communicate) with external world through sensors and actuators and hence are typically reactive systems; a reactive system is in continual interaction with the environment and executes at a pace determined by that environment.
  5. e)They generally have minimal or no user interface.


  • – by Bharathi K P

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