Embedded Systems
Embedded Systems

- Definition: Embedded systems are computer systems inside a larger system, with a specific function that it is designed for. It is composed of both hardware and software. They integrate different mechanical, chemical and electrical parts.

- These embedded systems are found in most of the electronic systems we use. They are essential to our everyday livesSome examples are: Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), mobile phones, microwave ovens, washing machines, automobiles, and vital signs monitoring. We can see that embedded systems are used for a wide range of areas.

- Firmware is used to refer to the program instructions used for embedded systems. The hardware is very limited, a small memory, and sometimes a screen or keyboard.

- Embedded systems are considered to be very reliable, they are supposed work for years without any errors. In the time an error occurs the embedded system should be able to fix the error by itself. A problem with this kind of system is that it cannot be shut down if it repair is needed, lots of money will be lost in that event. An example of such an event is if an error occurs to factory controls.

- The processor is the center of the embedded system, it has two main units: a control unit and an execution unit.

- Embedded systems are reactive systems, this means they take action depending on the environment around them, they do this using sensors that take in data from the environment, and produce an output using an actuator.

- These kinds of systems can be classified into three different types: small scale embedded systems, medium scale embedded systems, and sophisticated embedded systems.
1) Small scale embedded systems: These usually use 8 bit or 16 bit microcontrollers, and have minimum hardware and software. They are so small and require little power they may be powered by a battery.
2) Medium scale embedded systems: They use either one or a few 16 bit or 32 bit microcontrollers, and hardware and software is more complex as compared to small scale embedded systems.
3) Sophisticated embedded systems: The most complex of the three classifications mentioned.



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Questions:

What are scalable and configurable processors?
What are examples of use for the three classifications of embedded systems? (small scale, medium scale, and sophisticated)