What is Embedded System? Types, Examples, Applications

What is Embedded System? Types, Examples, Applications

What is Embedded System

Definition – Embedded system is also known as “Embedded Computer“. Embedded system is a combination of computer hardware circuitry and software programs, and then it delivers the perfect solution of any specific problem, then it is called the “Embedded System“. It is capable to perform specific task independently, or it can be used in any vast system. Due to this advantage of embedded system, it is used in various applications.

embedded system

First embedded system was introduced by Charles Stark to decrease the size and weight of project circuit.

Embedded system is made with electronics parts, and on this electronic system, to install the predefined softwares then it has to capable to perform single or multiple tasks according to the application.

Embedded Operating System refers as a combination of software and hardware. Embedded Operating system is written with programming code, and it helps to convert hardware language into software language like as C, C++, and finally it produces the result that easily can be understandable by human being in the different formats like as pictures, text, and voice.

Read Also:

  1. Embedded System: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Characteristics
  2. Embedded Operating System: Definition, Types, Examples, Applications
  3. Real Time Embedded Systems: Examples, Applications, and Types

History of Embedded system

There are various important milestones for history of embedded system.

  • First embedded system was introduced by Charles Stark Draper, in 1960, and its main objective was for developing Apollo Guidance System.
  • In 1965, Second embedded system was D-17B that was integrated into Minuteman missile guidance system.
  • Then embedded technology moved to automobile sector, and first embedded system was released for vehicle, in 1968.
  • First microcontroller was developed by Texas Instruments in 1971.
  • First embedded operating system (VxWorks) was introduced by Wind River, in 1987.
  • First embedded Linux system was introduced in 1990.
  • Based on the opinions of analysts of embedded market that embedded system projecting will be reached out $50 by 2030.

Types of Embedded System

There are two classification of embedded system, like as –

Types of Embedded System

  • Based on performance and functional requirements
  • Based on the performance of micro controller

Further, embedded system has different types on the based of these classifications of embedded system.

Based on Performance and Functional Requirements

Stand-alone Embedded Systems

In this Stand-alone Embedded system, does not need any host system such as Computer otherwise Processor. They performs their activities itself, then produced its output on linked output devices likes monitors or printers. In these types of embedded system, to insert input data from ports in the form of digital or analog signals, and executing are made in port itself. If, its calculation and conversion are done properly then its output is showed on their connected output devices. Stand-alone Embedded delivers flexibility and efficiency because they work alone.

Examples – washing machines and microwave, because they do not need any computer system for operating those items.

Other Examples Are –

  • Digital cameras
  • Mp3 players
  • Video game consoles
  • Temperature measurement systems

Real-time Embedded Systems

Real-time Embedded Systems is used at such area where to need result at specific time period. So this Real-time Embedded Systems is used in military, medical and industrial sectors. If, their assigned tasks have to be done on it given proper time frame otherwise they are deadline for their projects. To control outer environment,  to use the computer system and their connected several sensors or input/output interfaces. Here, you have right to schedule output with using of static or dynamic ways.

To design the Real-time Embedded Systems, we need timing analysis, multitasking design, debugging, and cross-platform testing and architecture design. To improve performance and avoid failures, excellent hardware is embedded in this types of systems.

Note – Main disadvantage of embedded system is that after developing embedded system, you cannot make any modification, improvement or up gradation.

Examples are –

  • Handling of light, heat or elevators
  • Automatic Robots
  • Traffic Control system like as – highways, airspace, shipping lines or railway line
  • Telephone and Radio communication
  • Patient monitoring system and Radiation therapy system in medical line
  • Computer based games
  • Defense sector like as weapons
  • Multimedia systems

Read Also:

  1. Embedded System: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Characteristics
  2. Embedded Operating System: Definition, Types, Examples, Applications
  3. Real Time Embedded Systems: Examples, Applications, and Types

Further, Real-time Embedded System is divided into two categories:

Soft Embedded Systems – This types of system, to consider the processes like as main task, and control the entirely task. Deadlines are not allowed as a priority, if any case deadlines are omitted then omitting processes should not occur in the Soft Embedded Systems.

Example – Sound system of computer system

Hard Embedded Systems – In this system, to consider timelines as a deadline, and it should not be omitted in any circumstances. Hard Embedded Systems does not use any types of permanent memory, so their processes must be complete properly in the first time itself.

Example – Aircraft Control System

Network Embedded Systems

If, any program is executing in the other devices, as a network form then it is called the “Network Embedded Systems” but here, to need the microprocessor or controller to control those remotely programs on the network. This type of embedded system is getting to fastest grow, due to their better flexibility. Entire network is managed and accessed by web browser.

Example – Security systems in any organization or small office

Mobile Embedded Systems

All devices which are portable (without any time and place limitation) and freely working with embedded system, is known as “Mobile Embedded Systems”. They are limited of memory and functionality.

Example – mobile phones, laptops, and calculators

Based on the Performance of Micro controller

Small Scale Embedded System

Small Scale Embedded System is the first level system, and they use 8-bit or 16-bit processor. In which used processor, to limit resources such as ROM, RAM and processing speed.

To design of this type of embedded system, we require integrated development environment (IDE) for implementing the code. Assembly or C languages are used to write code in the embedded system, then for compiling that code (if, code is done into C language), to need an Compiler because Compiler helps to compile that code into Hex code. If, code is done into assembly language then we require the Assembler.

Example – washing machine, Oven, and Automatic Door Lock

Medium Scale Embedded Systems

Medium Scale Embedded Systems contain the 16-bit or 32-bit microprocessor. These types of Systems are fastest compare to Small Scale system because in which used number of bits of processor are double, so it produces excellent speed as well.

There are some alternatives of Medium Scale Embedded Systems are Digital signal processor (DSP) and some Advanced RISC architecture machine.

At the development phase of this system, we require some different types of software tools such as debugger, compiler and assembler.

Sophisticated Embedded System

Sophisticated embedded system is able to perform large scale tasks with using of multiple 32-bit or 64-bit microprocessors, so it is called the “Sophisticated Embedded System”. It is also capable to perform distributed work over the large scale. This system contains the lots of software and hardware complexities. So, you need may be IPS, ASIPS, PLAs, configuration processor, or scale able processors.

Read Also:

  1. Embedded System: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Characteristics
  2. Embedded Operating System: Definition, Types, Examples, Applications
  3. Real Time Embedded Systems: Examples, Applications, and Types

Examples of Embedded system

We have endless list of Examples of Embedded Systems, so we are not able to cover of these example in detail. But, we will discuss few Examples of Embedded Systems in detail.


  • Calculator is very eminent example of embedded system that is used in the real life.
  • We use calculator in daily life because it helps to solve several mathematical and scientific mathematical problems.
  • In this calculator, we insert the input through keypad that is placed on the surface, then it performs various functions such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and other scientific functions, then it delivers result on the LCD.
  • Now these days, scientific calculators are getting more popularity, and it contains very high performance processor, so it is able to execute various complex mathematical operations.

Industrial Robots

  • These robots play vital role in the manufacturing organizations.
  • Now these days, all tasks are being taken automation mode.
  • Industrial Robots have various variants, and every variant perform different functions.
  • Some robots are used for moving tools, scrapes, and other materials from one place to other place.
  • Few robots are used for manufacturing to various components, and other side some robots are used for assembling of parts in huge amount.
  • Nowadays, Painting robots are more popular in the commercial industries.
  • Due to use of these robots, to need fewer workers as they do their work in less time period along with superb result.
  • Due to use of these robots with embedded system, to enhance the productivity.
  • These robots are controlled by various programs which are coded in memory inside the robot.

Personal Digital Assistant

  • Personal Digital Assistant is also best example of embedded system because they are hand handled devices such as data organizers, Mobile Phones, Personal Digital Assistant etc.
  • Personal Digital Assistant was introduced before the development of smart phones
  • Users perform several tasks with using of those devices such as to gather data, watching movies, playing games, and can be used internet.
  • In Personal Digital Assistant, to feed the input via its touch screen interface, and its data is hold in the memory card.

Automated Teller Machine

  • Everybody is known about ATM, that machine is used for withdrawing cash.
  • Almost, all banks have their ATM machines, which are located at the different location.
  • How does work it- Firstly you have to swipe your ATM card in ATM machine then insert your password, and you get your cash.

Automatic Washing Machine

  • Washing Machine is also one of famous daily life examples of embedded system.
  • Almost, Washing Machine is available at every home because it is used for washing dirty clothes.
  • You out all the dirty clothes inside the machine and push start button i.e. you input data.
  • Washing Machine to determine the weight of clothes that you have put inside it
  • Then, you have to insert clean water inside it.
  • Washing Machine’s valve gets off, after completing its load and water level.
  • Now, inside Washing Machine, to get rotate drum and to start clothes washing
  • When, your clothes are washed then outlet valve on to get free all dirty water.
  • The sensor determines that dirty water has been released or not, and on or off outlet valve.

Digital Camera

  • Digital Camera is also very eminent example of embedded system.
  • Now these days, mostly we use digital camera with their several features, but these features were not existed in the traditional camera because in currently digital cameras, embedded system is integrated in them.
  • It contains various components with enabling DSP processors.
  • It has three functions like as capture image, store image data, and to represent that data.
  • Digital Camera enables different types of memories such as DRAM, memory card, flash memory with controller etc..
  • In Digital Camera, all images are saved and to get process in the form of digital data in bits form.
  • So, no required of film to save images. Due to this feature, to enhance storage capacity along with easily to move images.

You can study of Other Examples of Embedded System in next step in Applications of Embedded Systems

Read Also:

  1. Embedded System: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Characteristics
  2. Embedded Operating System: Definition, Types, Examples, Applications
  3. Real Time Embedded Systems: Examples, Applications, and Types

Applications of Embedded Systems

Today, large scale and complex organizations are using of embedded systems for enhancing their productivity and quality.

Due to best characteristics of embedded system, it is used in different types of applications.

Here, we will spread light on the few real life applications of embedded systems.

Medical Sector– In the medical industry, to use the embedded system in various medical equipments such as sensors and environment control mechanisms.

Example Are

  • MRI, CT, and PET scanners ( to use radio frequency pulses and x-rays)
  • Sonography (also called ultrasound imaging)
  • Defibrillator (used to detect cardiac abnormalities)
  • Digital Flow sensors (to monitor the respiratory system of the patient)
  • Blood pressure device (to detect the systolic and diastolic pressure in human body)
  • Glucose Test Set (to test the sugar level in the human body)
  • Fetal heart monitoring machine (to use during pregnancy, labor, and delivery)
  • Wearable devices that monitor your health (It allows users to monitor their heart rate, blood pressure, glucose, weight and numerous other parameters)

Manufacturing Industry– In these industries, to use the different types of machines, and these machines contain the several embedded system based on performing tasks.

Examples Are

  • Industrial Robot (to move tools, parts, scrape, and other material)
  • Assembly lines
  • Systems for feedback
  • Systems for data collection

Home Appliances– Embedded systems are also used in the different types of household appliance which are use in your daily life, and you are totally depending on these items.

Examples Are

  • Refrigerators
  • Washing machines
  • Microwave ovens
  • Air conditioners

Automotive Sector– Mostly users use of automotive embedded systems because they allows users for getting protection with using of their safety systems.

Examples Are

  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Traction Control (TCS)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESP).
  • Automatic Temperature controller

Automobiles Sector– Now these days, modern cars contain different types of embedded system, which are performed various tasks based on their applications in your car.

Examples Are

  • Cruise control
  • Backup sensors
  • Suspension control
  • Navigation systems
  • Airbag systems
  • Motor Control System
  • Car entertainment and multimedia
  • Power windows of vehicle
  • Power steering of vehicle
  • Fuel injection system of vehicle

Telecommunication Sector– Embedded systems also play vital role in the telecom industry because they help to increase ultra speed networking capabilities.

Examples Are

  • Data routers
  • Network switches
  • Mobile computing
  • Satellite phones
  • Networking
  • Wireless Communications

Consumer Electronics– Embedded systems are also used in various types of consuming electronic products and these items also have been made part of our daily life because without those system, we can’t live.

Examples Are

  • Televisions
  • Digital cameras
  • Computer system with their parts (Mouse, Keyboard controller, LAN card, Printer, Scanner)
  • Printers
  • Fax machine
  • Video game consoles
  • Music Player
  • Digital watch
  • Digital Locker
  • Set top box
  • Home entertainment systems like PS4
  • Digital rolling display for advertisements
  • Dishwashers
  • Thermostats

Signal Systems– Signaling systems incorporate with embedded technology, and it allows safety in your travel period.

Examples Are – Traffic Monitoring and Collision Alert Systems

Signal systems are used in different area, such as-

  • Highways (car, bus, truck, and more)
  • Railroad (Train)
  • Airlines (Aircraft)
  • Water travelling (Ocean ships)

Defense and Aerospace – Missile Guidance Systems, Systems for navigation and guidance, GPS, Space Exploration (Rovers)

Banking Sector– Banking sectors also use the embedded systems in different areas for security purpose. For examples are Smart Cards, ATM, Anti-lock banking system, and more.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *