Topic: Embedded Systems
Name: Nyalala Innocent Odira
2014年1月 5日 |
Embedded system is a specialized computer system that is part of a larger system or machine. Typically, an embedded system is housed on a single microprocessor board with the programs stored in ROM. Virtually all appliances that have a digital interface like watches, microwaves, VCRs, cars etc., utilize embedded systems. Some embedded systems include an operating ...view middle of the document...
Modem, hard drive, floppy drive, and sound card each of which is an embedded system. Each of these devices contains a processor and software and is designed to perform a specific function. For example, the modem is designed to send and receive digital data over an analog telephone line. That's it. And all of the other devices can be summarized in a single sentence as well. If an embedded system is designed well, the existence of the processor and software could be completely unnoticed by a user of the device. Such is the case for a microwave oven, VCR, or alarm clock. In some cases, it would even be possible to build an equivalent device that does not contain the processor and software.
Given the definition of embedded systems earlier, the first such systems could not possibly have appeared before 1971. That was the year Intel introduced the world's first microprocessor. This chip, the 4004, was de-signed for use in a line of business calculators produced by the Japanese company Busicom. In 1969, Busicom asked Intel to design a set of custom integrated circuits-one for each of their new calculator models. The 4004 were Intel's response. Rather than design custom hardware for each calculator, Intel proposed a general-purpose circuit that could be used throughout the entire line of calculators. This general purpose processor was designed to read and execute a set of instructions software stored in an external memory chip. Intel's idea was that the software would give each calculator its unique set of features. The microprocessor was an overnight success, and its use increased steadily over the next decade. Early embedded applications included unmanned space probes, computerized traffic lights, and aircraft flight control systems. In the 1980s, embedded systems quietly rode the waves of the microcomputer age and brought microprocessors into every part of our personal and professional lives.
Many of the electronic devices in our kitchens (bread machines, food processors, and microwave ovens), living rooms (televisions, stereos, and remote controls), and workplaces (fax machines, pagers, laser printers, cash registers, and credit card readers) are embedded systems. It seems inevitable that the number of embedded systems will continue to increase rapidly. Already there are promising new embedded devices that have enormous market potential: light switches and thermostats that can be controlled by a central computer, intelligent airbag systems that don't inflate when children or small adults are present, palm-sized electronic organizers and personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital cameras, and dashboard navigation systems. Clearly, individuals who possess the skills and desire to design the next generation of embedded systems will be in demand for quite some time. Embedded systems really took off in 1992, when Ampro, RTD, and other manufacturers founded the PC/104 Consortium. The group established a format for Intel...