Embedded Computing Within Everyday Life

by | Apr 25, 2014 | Software & Hardware

Embedded computing systems are designed to meet a very specific need within a larger electrical or mechanical system. In fact, the computer is completely encapsulated by – or embedded within – the device it controls. These systems differ from general purpose systems, such as those found in personal computers, which are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users.

An embedded computing system comes with some particular benefits. Because it bears a targeted design, engineers may optimize it for reduced cost and size. This is practical for mass-produced and high volume embedded systems, and makes them more affordable to the public. Ultimately, you may see savings in products containing embedded systems, including ATMs, thermostats, printers, gaming consoles, calculators and cellphones.

Several embedded computing systems are subject to real time requirements, such as the anti-lock brakes in a car or a traffic light. In order to keep this function predictable, performance enhancing features, so often used in personal computers, must be limited. This ultimately poses a challenge to researchers and engineers, who want to develop predictable systems that are also fast.

With the ever increasing popularity of personal, portable devices like smartphones and tablets, the demand for excellent embedded computing systems is likely to increase. These systems will be specialized, and probably contribute to applications that are yet unimagined. At the moment, researchers are investigating areas including retail, the automotive industry and home environments to detect the places that embedded computing will have the most impact. Past research and a look at the devices of the moment demonstrate that people still shop, drive, eat and seek entertainment. Technologies that address those with embedded computing will be the most successful.

An embedded computing system may or may not have an interface. LEDs, buttons and menus might beckon users to get involved, or you might not even know the system is there. Whatever the case may be, the components of embedded systems are often highly scrutinized, as they’re meant to work correctly, and without intervention, for years and years. In fact, embedded computing systems might undergo more rigorous testing than the common pieces of a personal computer.

Even though most of us think of our interaction with electronics as the primary controller, the objects all around us constantly rely on embedded computing systems. From the smallest hand-held device to the large wonders of spacecraft, embedded systems drive the hum of modern, everyday life. Click here to get more information

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