what is Embedded System ?

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An embedded system is a computer system designed to do one or a few dedicated and/or specific functions often with real-time computing constraints. It is embedded as part of a complete device often including hardware and mechanical parts. By contrast, a general-purpose computer, such as a personal computer (PC), is designed to be flexible and to meet a wide range of end-user needs. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today. Embedded systems contain processing cores that are typically either microcontrollers or digital signal processors (DSP). The key characteristic, however, is being dedicated to handle a particular task.

An embedded system is some combination of computer hardware and software, either fixed in capability or programmable, that is specifically designed for a particular function. Industrial machines, automobiles, medical equipment, cameras, household appliances, airplanes, vending machines and toys (as well as the more obvious cellular phone and PDA) are among the myriad possible hosts of an embedded system. Embedded systems that are programmable are provided with programming interfaces, and embedded systems programming is a specialized occupation.

  • Embedded system hardware:   As with any electronic system, an embedded system requires a hardware platform on which to run. The hardware will be based around a microprocessor or microcontroller. The embedded system hardware will also contain other elements including memory, input output (I/O) interfaces as well as the user interface, and the display.
  • Embedded system software:   The embedded system software is written to perform a particular function. It is typically written in a high level format and then compiled down to provide code that can be lodged within a non-volatile memory within the hardware
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