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Use Of Embedded System Programming

By Expert Author: MITAOE College

“An embedded system is a computer system with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often with real-time computing constraints” – Wikipedia
Today embedded systems are based on microcontrollers where the CPU has integrated memory and or peripheral interfaces, however in case of a complex system ordinary microprocessors that use external chips for memory are also commonly used.
Pertaining to the nature of embedded system, its key responsibility is to handle specified tasks; design engineers optimize the system to reduce the size and cost of production thereby increasing reliability and performance. Embedded systems are also mass produced to facilitate economies of scale. Embedded system ranges from portable devices such as digital watches to large objects like traffic lights, controllers, hybrid vehicles etc.
The purpose of this article is to highlight the areas where embedded system has spread it wings inculcating the demand for jobs in the same field. They are:
• Consumers – mp3 players, mobile phones, videogame consoles, digital camera, GPS receivers etc.
• Cooking – Microwave ovens, washing machine and dishwashers
• Industrial -
• Automotive – Airplanes, brushless DC Motors, induction motors and DC motors, electric vehicles to reduce pollution and add more safety.
• Medical – vital signs monitoring, electronic stethoscope, PET, SPECT, CT, MRI
•Commercial and
•Military Applications
The Embedded software architecture has several different software structures that are commonly used:
•Simple Control Loop – as the name suggests this software simply has a loop. This loop calls subroutines which individually manages a part of the hardware or the software.
•Interrupt Controlled System – There are few embedded systems that are interrupt controlled – this simply means that the tasks that are performed by this system respond or is triggered by different events.
• Cooperative Multitasking – similar to the Loop control mechanism except the loop is hidden in the API. “The programmer defines a series of tasks, and each task gets its own environment to “run” in. When a task is idle, it calls an idle routine, usually called “pause”, “wait”, “yield”, “nop” (stands for no operation), etc, the advantages and disadvantages are to the control loop, except that adding new software is easier, by simply writing a new task, or adding to the queue” - Wikipedia
• Preemptive multitasking or Multi-threading
• Microkernels and Exokernels
• Monolithic kernels
• Exotic Custom Operating Systems
• Additional Software Components

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