Embedded Systems Overview


Embedded systems, although usually invisible to the end user, have become very important as they are present in almost every aspect of modern life; telecommunication systems, computer networks, consumer electronics, household appliances, heating control systems, traffic lights, engine control systems, industrial automation controllers, medical devices etc, all make use of embedded systems to provide flexibility, efficiency and complex features. According to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics today about 98 percent of programmable digital devices are actually embedded.

Embedded Systems can be a very broad field and the designers of embedded systems face a special set of challenges; traditionally many embedded systems required both hardware and software to be designed from scratch. The development of bespoke hardware may take months to complete so the development of the software must often start long before the hardware is available for the purpose of testing. However, today the increased availability of board level embedded systems and higher-level languages has considerably reduced the cost, timescale and expertise required to incorporate embedded systems into products. This group will focus on the capabilities and applications of these modern solutions.

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