What is Embedded Software?
Embedded Software is a built-in system in any modern device and acts as the brain of that particular device; without it, it is useless. A good example of embedded software is the traditional calculator used before the feature was introduced into modern smartphones. Other examples include the TV remote control or the digital camera. Embedded systems programming is not always about software development; for simpler devices such as the examples above, the term firmware is used. Embedded technologies can be more complex than your coffee machine. Some good examples of complex software technologies are built-in intelligent parking software, the intelligent digital camera’s internal systems, software for connected cars, et cetera.
Essential Components of an Embedded System
An embedded system consists of three main components; hardware, software, and the operating system.
The hardware of an embedded system constitutes;
· RAM or ROM memory
· The user interface which constitutes a set of buttons, features
and actions available to you as the user
· The display which is a place for interaction with you as the user
· Communication ports that enable the system to communicate with other computers or systems. A good example is the USB port, although other forms of communication between an embedded system and other devices such as; firewire, Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), Controlled Area Network (CAN), Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C), among others
· The power supply which is how the system charges, for example, by use of a battery or a power outlet
· Some embedded systems can measure time using timers; for example, an intelligent home system can turn off the light after making sure there is no movement in the room for five minutes
Embedded software development includes creating a new machine code using programming languages such as C and C++. Some might need other programming languages such as Python, Eclipse, or even JTAG according to the embedded software development project’s complexity.
Embedded Operating system
In embedded software development, a real-time operating system such as PSOS, VRTS, RT Linux, and Lynx contains advanced tools such as simulators, memory analyzers, and profilers designed for the purpose of embedded software development is required.
Types of Embedded Software Development Tools
The work of an embedded software engineer is not easy, as you may very well know. They, therefore, need different tools to program and design embedded solutions. The main tools needed for embedded software development are;
· An editor which the engineer uses to create a code either in C or C++ programming language
· A compiler which transforms a high-level programming language code into a low-level machine code
· A linker which combines modules and code pieces to get an executable program
· An embedded software development engineer will need an assembler of the programming code is written in assembly language, which basically does the same work as a compiler
· A debugger to rid the embedded systems engineer of small mistakes and bugs
· An emulator that makes the embedded software development engineer check the functionality of the developed program in a simulated real-life surrounding and hence make improvements to give you as the user the ultimate experience
Challenges of Embedded Software Development
Embedded Software development is at an all-time increase combined with the Internet of Things devices. It is not surprising that both embedded software development and the Internet of Things have similar problems. Some of the issues that come with those two are;
· Stability. It is essential that the programs associated with embedded software development be stable since the slightest unexpected change in behavior could put your life as the user in danger. It is necessary to use a standardized approach when creating embedded systems
· Security. The embedded solutions must be safe from data hijacking since the embedded software is connected to the device directly, which may be controlled by a mobile application in the machine.
· Safety. The embedded system should be developed so that there will be no upcoming issues with its lifesaving ability when in critical environments, and the devices containing the embedded systems should be safe.
In conclusion, many manufacturers are on the path of embedded software development, and you will need a reliable development partner if you are to be one of them. Sirin software is an excellent place to start since they offer the best embedded solutions that have been tried and tested and are supported by your hardware.