An embedded system is a complex system also known as an integrated system; It has software embedded into hardware (also known as Firmware) to perform specific tasks or a single task. It typically contains one or more microprocessors for executing a set of programs defined at design time and stored in memory. Which makes a system dedicated to a specific function, within a more extensive system. It is a low-power Microcontroller/Microprocessor based computer system, which dedicated to providing specific functionality.
The hardware system and the application (software) are intimately related and immersed in the hardware and are not as easily discernible as in a typical desktop PC (Personal Computer) work environment. The embedded system software has a fixed functionality to execute which is application specific. The user cannot modify the programs. Often, he is not aware of using a microprocessor-based system.
Examples of embedded systems
Embedded systems used in vast majority of current equipment, products and networks (space, automotive, railway), in electrical and electronic devices (cameras, toys, TV sets, washing machine, Music player, Smart Phone), in energy distribution, in automation, etc.
All the electronic processing that exists in a car, in a camera, in a coffee maker or a washing machine are embedded systems.
Characteristics of an Embedded System
An embedded system is a hardware and software package that combines four main characteristics:
1. Autonomous: it must fulfill its mission for long periods and without human intervention with very little power consumption.
2. Real-time: The response times of these systems are as important as deliver accurate results within set deadlines and are also deficient maintenance with low cost.
3. It is specialized in a specific task.
4. Its resources are limited; in other words, we will seek to optimize its size, its consumption and its memories to reduce the overall cost.