Embedded systems are more common than we know, but what are they and how do we utilize them? This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of embedded systems vs desktop/laptop PCs, as well as several applications and examples.
Microprocessors, such as Intel’s Pentium series, are ubiquitous in our daily electronic gadgets, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. However, these microprocessors, as well as many others, enable another form of computer that is as common but less visible: the embedded system.
In 2017, computer CPUs accounted for just 53% of all microprocessors sold. Tablets and smartphones accounted for 32%, while embedded processing accounted for the rest (IC Insights). This article delves into the definition of an embedded system, as well as its benefits and drawbacks. After that, we’ll look at several embedded system applications and examples.
An embedded system is a microcontroller that lies within a device and controls a specific function within it. This might include your home’s central heating system, which is considered an embedded system. Hardware engineering system for embedded systems are common in consumer items and many domestic devices. Embedded devices are rarely programmable since they are frequent intend for a specific purpose. The software, however, can be upgraded depending on the device. Fitness trackers, for example, may be update by connecting them to a laptop or PC.
What is the definition of an embedded system?
An embedded system, unlike a laptop, is developed for and devoted to one single item or equipment, and is used to govern its functioning. The ‘device or machine’ might be anything from a wristwatch to a big medical imaging system or robot, and the embedded system is usually housed within it, as the name indicates.
The embedded system from hardware development service must be capable of monitoring sensor inputs. As a result, the embedded system must have a set of input ports that are both electrically and physically compatible with the sensors it is monitoring.
They must have the appropriate range and scale, as well as the necessary precision and accuracy. It’s also a good idea to provide resistance against corruption or damage caused by electrical interference. Electrical isolation between the power and control circuits, as well as outputs with appropriate power to operate the actuators, must be supply.
Temperature control is also important, especially because embedded systems are frequently housed in tiny, constricted locations with limited heat extraction options – a scenario that may be aggravated if the working environment is hot. Although active cooling systems can be built in, it is preferable to choose cool-running CPUs that do not require fans if at all feasible. This saves space and cooling energy, as well as improves dependability by eliminating the need for fans. In addition, removing venting simplifies IP protection.
Characteristics of an Embedded System
Although some embedded systems hardware board design can be built to manage the whole operating system, they are normally designed to execute a single repetitive function. However, regardless of the job, they will almost never be needed to perform anything other than this activity, making it an extremely dependable component.
- Embedded systems, as one might expect, are extremely low-maintenance and seldom require direct supervision, whether it’s adjustments to the hardware or code.
- A compact, low-cost, easy-to-maintain component that excels at doing a particular action repeatedly is ideal for ‘fire and forget’ devices.
- The entertainment systems aboard passenger flights, which were able to run Windows XP for considerably longer than a commercial laptop, are a good illustration of this.
Embedded systems’ benefits
They may be less expensive since they are specialize to a specific application. For example, high-performance graphics may be eliminate, and some systems may not even have a graphical user interface. If the intended application does not require high-performance computing, other systems may have CPUs with lower performance and power consumption. Low-power devices would also be possible, with some even running on batteries. Embedded systems can also be quite small and easy to identify. Particularly if they don’t require a huge free space environment for ventilation.
In this perspective, smartphones are intriguing devices. They have many of the features of an embedded system, but they can also accept and execute user-specified applications, making them similar to desktop PCs in that regard!
In the case of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which are widely employee in industry, a similar argument may be make. They’re usually built on an industrial PC architecture. So while they have embedded system features like robust construction and an RTOS. They also have a desktop PC-like capacity to accept multiple programmes – at least when they’re shipped from their original manufacturer.
An electronic calculator assists you in calculating certain figures for a job report. Which is then forward to your employer over the Wi-Fi supply by your workplace router. You check your watch at the end of the day to see if you can get away with departing five minutes early. You stop by the gym on your way home, and your fitness tracker assists you in calculating your heart rate. And the number of calories burned throughout your workout. Make time at home at the end of the day to play video games on your console. Since it is say to help you advance in your work.
Examples of embedded systems
A horticulture controller is a current example of an embedded system that is used to increase plant and agricultural yield through greenhouse automation.
The data acquired aids in the regulation of not just particular factors inside the internal growth environment. But also in the saving of time, energy, and labour. There’s also an irrigation schedule for up to five different feed formulas and expandable zones in the programme.
Home automation controllers from a good semiconductor company are another increasingly common use for embedded systems. Security, access control, heating and air conditioning, lighting, and entertainment may all be integrated and controlled through one system. These systems can also be linked to the Internet of Things (IoT) for remote monitoring and control.