Embedded Systems

Written by Patricia Skinner
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What Are Embedded Systems?

A completely new branch of computer engineering is that of embedded systems. It is the development of specialized computer equipment that is not programmable by the user, but is dedicated to driving or controlling a piece of equipment, such as medical equipment or machinery. The skill of embedded systems is marrying the computer technology with the mechanical engineering design.

The embedded systems market is getting wider all the time as engineers think of other engineering projects that can benefit from the embedded systems technology. We now have embedded systems in everything from food processors to cars and beyond. Living in the computer age means that in all likelihood, before this decade is out, we will be hard put to find a mechanical device that has not been subjected to embedded systems of some sort.

Embedded Systems for Every Purpose

There are different grades of embedded systems. Computerized toys and kitchen implements are a very simple form of embedded systems. Many of the more complicated medical machines actually benefit from the use of more than one embedded system. Although this means that the machines we use as a matter of course in daily life are a lot more effective in general, it does also mean that the repair process of embedded systems machinery can be difficult and costly.

But it does also mean that our time is freed up by embedded systems machinery so that we can spend more time doing what we love. We all use washing machines with embedded systems, for example. More and more, the cars we buy have embedded system.

Even the tools we use for manufacturing are the result of embedded systems. It stands to reason that there are companies that specialize in the development of embedded systems, either independently, or in tandem with the machinery with which they're to be used. More and more, engineering firms are calling on this kind of expertise to upgrade their products in every way imaginable.


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