Friday, January 15, 2010

Part I: Embedded Systems Structure in 1 Hour

Embedded Systems Definition

An embedded system is a system composed of hardware and software to perform a dedicated function. On average, a human being meets hundreds of embedded systems daily.

Embedded Systems Structure

Figure 1 shows the different layers of an embedded system.

Figure 1: Different Layers of an Embedded System

The lower layer is the embedded hardware. Embedded hardware consists of:

· The processor, which is the main system controller.

· The memory devices, where instructions and data are stored.

· I/O devices through which communication between the processor and the external world is enabled.

The upper layer is the embedded software. This layer changes according to the design of the system being built. In some systems, some layers may be combined or totally ignored. Generally, embedded software consists of:

· Device drivers, which are software written to directly control the embedded hardware and provide an API interface to the upper software layers. Device drivers abstract hardware details from application programmers.

· Operating system is software that manages the systems resources.

· Application software is the software that performs the main function that the system was built for.

In the attached presentation, there is a quick tutorial about the embedded systems structure from hardware prospective. It is intended for audience with zero-level experience. Its main purpose is to give a quick start to understand the composition of embedded hardware.