How Embedded Software is Developing
An embedded system refers to a microcontroller-based system of software and hardware created to perform certain functions within a more extensive electrical or mechanical system. The embedded software is embedded in hardware or non-computer devices and is specifically written for the specific hardware that it runs on. Examples of embedded software are those used in dedicated GPS devices, some calculators, and smartwatches.
In this article, let’s take a look at how embedded software is developing.
What are Embedded Systems and Where Are They
Embedded systems play an essential role in how most technologies we use today operate. They are found in mobile phones, home appliances, and security systems. All these technologies require an embedded system to function. Without these systems, many of the devices we use daily will effectively stop working.
An embedded system is a reactive component designed to operate once it receives specific signals in real-time. It interconnects with other components through actuators and sensors and will only carry out its designated tasks once it gets the proper response.
A key feature of the embedded system is that it’s small, low-cost, and would not require lots of power to function. The system is usually only made up of communication ports, a processor, memory storage, and a power supply. It only requires minimal software to run and communicate with other components, mainly because they usually perform only a straightforward function.
Hardware & Software Elements
Due to the vital role of the embedded system on technologies, large companies that use tech, such as automotive companies, should hire an embedded software engineer. A software engineer will have a wide range of responsibilities in a company, from managing a team of developers to sharing their specialist knowledge on a specific type of program or application. While some companies may require certain skills or experience, there are general skills that employers would consider when contracting embedded systems engineers.
A software engineer must possess the essential skills of coding and programming. If the software engineer cannot code or create programs and apps from scratch, he can’t carry out most software engineering tasks. Thus, most software engineers are experts at different programming languages, including Java, Python, C++, etc. Some roles will also require that you learn specific coding languages to perform certain programs, but this will be easier to pick up if you already have a background in coding.
What’s Happened in the Past
The old embedded systems were written in Assembler and C, using a toolkit for deployment. For decades, developers have had to code from scratch using low-level programming, creating some sort of individual operating system. Eventually, real-time operating systems appeared on the scene and are still being used today. These were the only operating systems used in embedded software solutions for some time. They are still used in mission-critical and life-critical systems, such as circuit boards of surgery tools or manufacturing safety systems.
Meanwhile, car manufacturers rely on real-time operating system Engine Control Units because of national regulatory requirements. The same applies to the collision avoidance systems and autopilot systems in planes. Although very expensive, these are mandatory as per international regulations.