Introduction to Embedded Systems

  • Kai Qian
  • David den Haring
  • Li Cao


We can easily find embedded systems everywhere in our daily lives. The numbers of embedded systems are rapidly growing especially in wireless and web applications. The embedded systems market is one of the fastest growing areas in the world. By name, an embedded system is a special-purpose computing device designed to perform dedicated functions. Some of the embedded systems with real-time constraints are called real-time embedded systems. An embedded system consists of its hardware and software. The hardware includes a microprocessor or microcontroller with additional attached external memory, I/O, and other components such as sensors, keypad, LEDs, LCDs, and any kind of actuators. The embedded software is the driving force of an embedded system. Most real-time embedded systems software has specific application programs supported by a Real Time Operating System (RTOS). The embedded software is usually called firmware because this type software is loaded to ROM, EPROM, or Flash memory, and once it is loaded it will never be changed unless it needs to be reloaded or replaced. This book introduces the fundamentals of embedded system design and development. The focus is emphasized on the software aspect of embedded systems design and development. You will enjoy the hands-on experience of building embedded systems on your own with this book.

For a general-purpose computer, you can install any software to do all kinds of jobs such as word processing, book keeping, database management, and others depending on your purposes. The embedded systems are only used to repeatedly carry out particular designated functions. Embedded systems have been used for almost a half century since the microprocessor was developed. The first Intel microprocessor chip was designed for calculators and other simple systems in 1960’s. Since then, as the cost of microprocessors and microcontrollers fell and function power is enriched, it became feasible to replace many expensive products and systems with microprocessor and microcontroller powered embedded systems.

The embedded system makes the world smarter and more advanced.


Embed System Central Processing Unit Random Access Memory Program Counter Embed Software 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceSouthern Polytechnic UniversityMariettaUSA
  2. 2.Atronix Engineering Inc.NorcrossUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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