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Embedded Systems – Technology Making Lives Better

In present computers age, time is the crux of human affairs. A range of activities is performed on computers today. The subject of Embedded Systems happens to be attracting a lot attention about how they have improved lives and made tasks simpler to do. Embedded systems are devices with hardware, software and other applications; however, they are equipped to do limited number of tasks – at times, just one. You can consider the example of a microwave. The microwave that although carries out multiple functions is an appliance that has an embedded system – which is a core part of a larger system layout.

Present in an Array of Devices

Embedded systems are found in an array of things – from trucks to modern cars – the individual embedded systems control particular tasks.

In Computers

Embedded systems are also found in computers. Not to further perplex you, but computer devices such as keyboard, mouse et al are examples of embedded systems. Each of the computer’s devices contains a processor, software and hardware that operate to make it perform a specified function. And in this case, most of the embedded systems are an important component of the machine in question.

The Makeup of an Embedded System

If an embedded system is constructed well, the presence of the software and processor can actually go unnoticed by its user. The examples include things like alarm clocks, microwave ovens or VCRs. Embedded systems ensure that devices accomplish complicated tasks with finesse. There have been instances where devices have been created without a processor or software. However, if this procedure is carried out, a lot of flexibility and function could be lost and the device may not function to the optimum.

Variety of Embedded Systems

Embedded systems are largely present in all devices that control or help modern life. Industries such as telecommunications, computers, consumer electronics and transportation, employ numerous embedded systems into the devices and products for correct overall functioning. And with the changing times, embedded systems are making their way into mini computers as well, as miniature wireless devices called ‘motes’. This new development has obviously greatly raised the bar for embedded systems and their extent of use in today’s time.

Not an Absolute Necessity…Or Isn’t it?

It can be definitely concluded that embedded systems although are a value add-on to the main system or apparatus, it may not essentially be the soul of the equipment. Embedded systems are a value added feature that oft times can be done without. However, it is not an absolute necessity that an apparatus cannot do without or function optimally without that system being embedded.

However, as discussed earlier, now a days we are exposed to so many embedded systems that we take this feature to be an almost integral part of a hip system or something that we can boast of as ‘state-of-the-art.’

Suggested References:


  • Embedded Systems Design by Arnold S. Berger, 2001
  • Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++ by Michael Barr and Andy Oram, 1999
  • The Art of Designing Embedded Systems by Jack Ganssle, 1999
  • Embedded Systems Building Blocks: Complete and Ready-To-Use Modules in C by Jean Labrosse, 2000
  • An Embedded Software Primer by David Simon, 2000
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