What is an Embedded System? – Digital Namanji


This is the article on embedded systems, one of the ongoing technologies used everywhere around us. These are made to make our work easy and simple. Here in this article, you will get to know about what embedded systems are, their components, and their types. Moreover, you will know its advantages, disadvantages, and applications too. So read this article till the end and get detailed knowledge about embedded systems. 

Embedded System

The arrangement of units assembled to work together according to the rules is known as System. Also, a system can be defined as a way of doing or organizing one or many tasks according to the fixed plan. Something that is attached to another thing is Embedded. We can say that the embedded system is the computer hardware that has the Software embedded in it.

Embedded System is a microprocessor-based computer hardware system with software that is made to perform a devoted function. It can perform a dedicated function as a part of a large system or independent system. It is real-time based on a microcontroller or microprocessor-based systems, these are assigned to perform specific tasks.

Example– The fire alarm works on the embedded systems, like when the alarm comes into smoke then it senses the smoke and makes a sound.

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Components of Embedded System

It involves three components i.e the hardware, software, and a real-time operating system.

  • Hardware – It has hardware. Embedded Systems are mainly based on hardware. 
  • Software – it has application software. Apart from hardware, the second main required component is software.
  • Real-Time Operating system – Real-Time Operating system (RTOS) is also required to supervise the application software and also provide a mechanism to let the processor run the process.

Characteristics of Embedded System

  • Single-functioned – An embedded system is a single-function and performs a specialized function and repeats the same many times. 
  • Tightly constrained- All computer systems are restricted over on design metrics. Design metrics are a measurable implementation’s measure features like itsit’s cost, size, power, and performance. Its size is designed as it can be fit on a single chip. It is made so that it can consume less power to extend battery life.
  • Memory- Its software is usually embedded in ROM so it must be memory-based. No secondary memory is needed in the computer. 
  • Reactive and real-time- A real-time embedded system gives an output within a specific time. So it is designed to perform some specific work in a specified time. 
  • Connected-   Connected peripherals must be needed to connect input and output devices.
  • HW- SW system- performance and security can be maintained by hardware. And software is usually helpful in many features.

Advantages of Embedded System

Embedded systems have many advantages that make them better these days. The maintain advantages like it improve the quality of the products, they are small, fast and less power use and they are stable and reliable. These were its main advantages and many more.

  • Less Expensive –  Due to the convenience of mass production of embedded systems, it leads to low prices per piece.
  • Versatile Nature – it is versatile because of its small size. And it is easy to handle.
  • Stable and reliable – Embedded Systems are highly stable and reliable. 
  • Made for specific tasks – these are made for specific tasks.
  • Fast and Less Power – The embedded systems are fast and consume less power. 

Disadvantages of Embedded System

As there are many advantages of embedded systems, there are some disadvantages like once configured can’t change, maintenance, troubleshooting is difficult, and more. 

  • Limited Hardware – it performs specific tasks and can only perform that particular task for which it is assigned, so its hardware is limited.
  • Hard to Maintenance – it is hard to maintain and there is difficulty in taking back-up of its files.
  • Troubleshooting Difficult – Embedded Systems are difficult to troubleshoot and data transfer is also problematic.
  • Once configuration can’t be changed –  These are configured once and they can’t be changed or upgraded in the future. No change and up-gradation means there can be no improvement in design or creation.

Application of Embedded System – 

Embedded Systems are used everywhere around us and they make our work more easy and quick. There are some applications where they are used – 

  • Smart Houses –  Smart houses are safe and are comfortable for users because of the home security system, setup box, digital camera, air cooler, refrigerator, and many more, these all because of embedded systems. 
  • Aerospace and Defense – In aerospace and defense areas we require high-level security and performance. These are very important in these fields and the embedded systems software helped us in achieving this. Systems like Flight control systems, navigation systems, vehicle turbochargers, engine power, and more are required in these areas
  • Healthcare – Embedded systems are also used in the health care system like blood pressure monitors, heartbeat monitors, pacemakers, portable ventilators, and many more.
  • Offices – They are also used in offices for general work like internet connection, printing, etc. They are used in devices like Routers, Printers, Modem, Gateways, etc.

Microprocessor and Microcontroller

The microprocessor is designed as only a central processor unit and based on the Von Neumann Model. It is an important part of computer architecture because microprocessors let us perform anything. Personal computers use microprocessors. The microprocessor is very expensive and it is very complicated with a broad number of instructions to process.

Microcontrollers are all integrated into one chip like CPU, memory, I/O, etc. It is used by embedded systems. Inter controlling bus is used by a microcontroller by a microcontroller. It is based on Harvard architecture. It is designed to process fewer instructions and specific operations.


Now we got to know many things about embedded systems. Something that is attached to another thing is embedded systems specifically comprises hardware, embedded RTOS, device drivers, communication stacks, and embedded application software. We can say that an Embedded system is computer hardware that consists of software embedded in it.

Embedded System is a microprocessor-based computer hardware system with software that is made to perform a devoted function. Their advantages are many and on the other hand, have disadvantages too, but it’s a great technology in today’s world.

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