An embedded system is a computer system with a dedicated
function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often
with real-time computing constraints(Michael Barr, 2007)
Computer system is embedded as part of a complete device
often including hardware an mechanical parts. Actually, many
devices that we use today are controlled by embedded
systems. For example, ninety-eight percent of all
microprocessors are manufactured as components of
embedded systems.
When comparing the properties of typically embedded
computers with those of general-purpose counterparts, we can
find that the embedded computers have low power
consumption, small size, rugged operating ranges, and low per-
unit cost. But the consequence is the limited processing
resources so that they are significantly more difficult to program
and to interact with. Nevertheless, according to C. Alippi
(2014), if one builds intelligence mechanisms on top of the
hardware, taking advantage of possible existing sensors and
the existence of a network of embedded units, one can both
optimally manage available resources at the unit and network
levels as well as provide augmented functions, well beyond
those available. For instance, one can design intelligent
techniques to manage power consumption of embedded
systems.
Embedded systems are commonly found in consumer, cooking,
industrial, automotive, medical, commercial and military
applications. They are also employed by telecommunications
systems from telephone switched for the network to cellphones
at the end user. Computer networking uses dedicated routers
and network brides to route data. Consumer electronics
include personal digital assistants, also referred to PDAs, mp3
players, mobile phones, videogame consoles, digital cameras,
DVD players, GPS receivers, and printers. Moreover, household
appliances, such as microwave ovens, washing machines and
dishwashers, include embedded systems to provide flexibility,
efficiency and featuresAdvanced HVAC systems use
networked thermostats to more accurately and efficiently
control temperature that change by time of day and season.
Embedded systems are designed to do some specific task,
rather than be a general-purpose computer for multiple tasks.
Some may also have real-time performance constraints that
must be met, for reasons such as safety and usability; others
may have low of no performance requirements, allowing the
system hardware to be simplified to reduce costs. Some
embedded systems are mass-produced, benefiting from
economies of scale.
Embedded debugging may be performed at different levels,
depending on the facilities available. Because an embedded
system is often composed of a wide variety of elements, the
debugging strategy may vary. For instance, debugging a
software centric embedded system is different from debugging
an embedded system where most of the processing is
performed by peripherals (DSP, FPGA, co-processor).
Links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embedded_system#Debugging
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-time_computing
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcontroller
Questions:
Is embedded system a subject of science of engineering?
Why does embedded system have low power consumption?
What is the future of development of embedded system?