An embedded system is nothing but a dedicated computer system amidst a larger system that is designed to execute only specific tasks and functions which are difficult to program, if not impossible. They are used in right from simple electronics to large industrial applications. Initially embedded system used to perform only one function but today they are called pc embedded simply because they are found within another machine. It offers several benefits to users. Few of them are –
- Physical benefits
Embedded systems have fixed tasks assigned to them and thus mostly do not require any hardware changes like additional storage space or extra memory. In reality, people hardly need to physically access the system. Often it is housed in units like set-top box which do not encourage user servicing. If required to access, most of the units are accessed and controlled through panel pc.
- Dedicated tasks
We already know that in contrast to full-blown computers, the embedded system performs just a single task at a time. For instance, a cable box might just exclusively be taking the input signal from the cable and giving out the output signal in the format compatible with a television set. Being dedicated to this particular task, it executes it uninterrupted. This function becomes critical in many operations which require continuity like the set-top box continually processing the picture to block any on-screen glitches.
- Operating System
Since the task and function of an embedded system do not change, its requirement for an operating system is less onerous. These can easily run on older or less sophisticated OS without requiring any update. For instance, devices like ATMs to airplane seat-back entertainment displays were running smoothly on a special version of Windows XP with no problems till Microsoft withdrew support on it and termed it obsolete.
- Specifications and Costs
Since embedded systems perform just one task, they can work with lower grade hardware provided their one task hardware requirement is fulfilled. For instance, they barely require multi-core processors and can also work quite smoothly with slow processors and without too much of excess capacity. This reduces their specification costs which makes the very cost effective and cheap.