What is an embedded system?

What Is Embedded System Design (ESD)?

An embedded system is a self-contained, microprocessor-based computer system typically implemented as a component of a larger electrical or mechanical system. At the core of the embedded system is an integrated circuit that performs computational tasks. Also included are hardware and software, both of which are designed to execute a specific, dedicated function. Embedded systems can be highly complex or relatively simple, depending on the task for which they were designed. They may include a single microcontroller or a suite of processors with linked peripherals and networks. They may have no interface or highly intricate GUIs. Embedded systems programming instructions are stored in read-only memory or flash memory chips.

Why Is Embedded System Design Important?

Today, there are billions of embedded system devices used across many industries including medical and industrial equipment, transportation systems, and military equipment. Many consumer devices from digital watches to kitchen appliances and automobiles also feature them. Embedded systems are small, fast, powerful, and designed for very specific use cases. While general purpose systems can perform multiple functions, they can be too costly for many applications, and may also fail to measure up to embedded systems’ reliability, low power consumption, minimal size, and other functional and performance features.

Designers that require dedicated function chips for their projects often select Arm’s Cortex-M architecture, while leveraging Arm’s Flexible Access to speed the design process, and Arm’s SystemReady compliance certification program to ensure hardware and firmware standards are met.

Arm offers online courses focused on ESD:


Rapid Embedded Systems Design and Programming

Efficient Embedded Systems Design and Programming



For more information, explore Arm’s textbook,

Embedded Systems Fundamentals with Arm Cortex-M based Microcontrollers: A Practical Approach.

Textbook Cover - Embedded Systems Fundamentals, FRDM-KL25Z Edition



Embedded systems are typically characterized by compact size, low power consumption, and high flexibility and functionality. With the advent of artificial intelligence, the integration of AI with embedded systems has led to the enhancement of various products and technologies, thereby improving overall efficiency and convenience. In limited space, storage devices must run in high speeds and with law latency. Meanwhile, some systems are deployed in special environments, facing challenges such as shocks, crashes, and other disruptive factors. Thus, high durability and reliability are also paramount. Storage devices in embedded applications should be carefully selected, considering factors such as performance, power consumption, and reliability in order to achieve consistent and sustained performance.

Applications: Industrial Computers, Industrial Tablets, In-Vehicle Navigation Systems, Smart Wearable Devices, Unmanned Stores

Remote Monitoring Systems

Challenges & Solutions: Efficient Storage, High-Performance & Real-Time Response, High Quality & Efficient Storage

Embedded systems in modern days need to handle more sophisticated tasks and process large volumes of data in a short period of time. Transcend's PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, SD/microSD cards, and USB flash drives are built with BiCS5 flash, delivering blistering speeds and near-instant response times. With storage capacity reaching up to 8TB, our products offer ample space to house valuable data. Transcend also presents new-gen DDR5 DRAM modules with super-high bandwidth and low latency, providing embedded systems with more powerful data processing capabilities.








Physical Space Limit of Embedded Systems,  M.2 2242/2230 Form Factor

Embedded systems are usually designed with compactness in mind to fit within space-constrained enclosures. Transcend's SSDs are available in M.2 2242 and M.2 2230 form factors, making them ideal for installation in compact devices. By optimizing component layout and leveraging new process technology, space can be conserved without sacrificing performance.




Stability & Reliability: High Adaptability to Extreme Temperatures

Extended Temperature & Wide Temperature Technology

Environmental complexity is a vital factor to consider when choosing storage devices for embedded systems. Transcend's BiCS5 SSDs, memory cards, and USB flash drives can operate under Extended Temperature range (-20°C~75°C), and Wide Temperature (-40°C~85°C) models are available upon request, ensuring the utmost reliability in extreme temperatures. Our DDR5/DDR4 DRAM modules extend this range even further, ensuring reliable performance in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 95°C.

Learn more about Extended Temperature Learn more about Wide Temperature


Remarkable Resilience in Harsh Environments

Corner Bond & Anti-Sulfur Technology

To enhance device reliability and strengthen its resistance against external interruptions, Transcend applies Corner Bond on all BiCS5 SSDs. This technology reinforces the bond between key components and PCBs, elevating stress endurance and shock resistance. Also, Transcend adopts anti-sulfur resistors on BiCS5 SSDs to minimize chemical damage, ensuring stable operation and longer product longevity in aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing industries.

Learn more about Corner Bond Learn more about Anti-Sulfur





Data Integrity & Reliable Operation

ECC Mechanism

Embedded systems often need to carefully handle critical data, including system commands, operational logs, and equipment status. ECC (error correction code) mechanism can identify and correct bit errors in flash memory to ensure high data integrity, significantly reducing the risk of system breakdowns and ensuring the accurate execution of tasks.

Long-Term Supply


Sustainable Long-Term Supply

Effective Product Lifecycle Management

Transcend possesses a comprehensive Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) mechanism, adopting different management strategies at various stages to ensure stable supply and consistent quality. With over three decades of experience in memory product manufacturing, we maintain long-term strategic partnerships with renowned suppliers in the world, ensuring a steady supply of high-quality NAND flash memory and controller. We work closely with our partners to implement rigorous chip and memory packaging testing processes, guaranteeing product quality and reliability.




Embedded Software Solution: Control Center

To better manage data processing centers, Transcend's Control Center software allows instant management of edge storage devices, either on premise or in the cloud. Transcend also further utilizes the data accumulated to provide a reliable forecast and optimized advice, helping enterprises to analyze the demands and achieve higher cost efficiency.

Integrated and user-friendly interface, SDK (Self Development Kit) for seamless implementation in different operating systems

SaaS (Software as a Service) solution on AWS and Azure, OTA device update and efficient management

Learn more about Control Center

















What does an Embedded Software Engineer do?

Embedded software is the first layer of code that runs on a device. Think BIOS on a PC. Embedded engineers write code, but unlike software engineers, they need a deep understanding of the hardware it runs on. An embedded engineer knows the schematics of hardware and how chip datasheets relate to the code written for them. Embedded software is usually self-contained and only runs a single program. Because of that, embedded software engineers determine the smallest possible number of drivers the device needs to run the software.

Almost anything, from toasters and flashlights to smartwatches, digital TVs and electronic control units in cars, has embedded software in it. We don’t generally think of those devices as computers, but they have underlying software that makes them run. As an embedded software engineer, that’s what you’ll be creating. The profession is at the crossroads of software engineers and electrical engineers. Because of that, embedded software engineers have to hyper-focus on how the code they write interacts with the electronics.

How to become an embedded software developer: The skills you’ll need

First of all, you need to cover your bases. Mastering C as a programming language is a must for embedded software engineers. C is considered to be one of the most efficient programming languages. Regardless of what field or company you take a job in, you will probably be working with C.

Skills needed to become an Embedded Software engineer

1. Master C and C++
First of all, you need to cover your bases. Mastering C as a programming language is a must for embedded software engineers. C is considered to be one of the most efficient programming languages. Regardless of what field or company you take a job in, you will probably be working with C.

2. Understand hardware and its components

As we said in the job definition, knowing how the hardware for which you’re writing code is essential. As an embedded software engineer you won’t have the luxury of just checking up on the code. You’ll always also have to consider the possibility that something could be wrong with the hardware. To identify and fix that, you will know how that hardware functions and why it does things in certain ways.


3. Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS) 

An RTOS is meant to serve real-time. That means data will be coming in and the system will have to handle that data immediately. These are programs that have to be able to allocate resources in real-time and determine which tasks require more attention than others. There are deadlines to some tasks (think an airbag in a car opening at the right time) and you will have to make sure the RTOS doesn’t miss its deadlines. Popular RTOSs include:

LynxOS, OSE, QNX, RTLinux.


4. Master resource management and allocation

As an embedded software engineer, a huge part of your job will be dealing with different constraints. You will have to think about how much of your hardware resources the embedded system is using. That includes RAM, ROM and CPU cycles. These have to be used as efficiently as possible and allocated into the right places. Weighing out the pros and cons and identifying the most important tasks is critical in this field of work.


Related job titles: Firmware Engineer, Systems Engineer, etc.

The boundaries between embedded software engineers and software engineers are often not clear. While it is not a difficult task to determine who is an embedded engineer and who isn’t, there tends to be a lot of overlap between embedded software engineers and a number of related job titles.

Here are the most commonly used terms to describe embedded software engineers:

Firmware engineer

Embedded engineer

Embedded firmware engineer

Systems engineer


DEEP LEARNING WITH PYTHON  deep_learning_with_python_2018.pdf



The salary of an Embedded Engineer

As we said, embedded engineers are currently in high demand. That means you can expect a more than reasonable salary. According to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary for an embedded software engineer in the United States is around 83,000 USD. The roof that Glassdoor puts on the job is around 118,000 USD, but that doesn’t include job titles that assume longer experience, like a senior embedded software engineer. The numbers for that title are significantly higher, with an average of 105,000 USD and a roof of 136,000.

As always, please be aware that these are just averages and they can vary, especially if you’re looking to work in a different country. If that is the case, you can get a better idea by inputting your location into the aforementioned platform.


Average rate Embedded Software Engineer (2022) $78/hr


According to freelancermap’s price and rate index in September 2022, freelance Embedded Software Engineers charge $78/hour on average.

Most freelancers in Embedded Software Engineering have an hourly freelance rate between $61 and $91.

If we consider an 8-hour working day at $78/hour, the daily rate for freelance Embedded Software Engineers is around $624/day.

Can Embedded Engineers work as freelancers?

Freelancing is on the rise, with more than a third of the US workforce alone working as freelancers rather than traditional employers. Embedded engineering is also in high demand with the rise of products like refrigerators and smart home systems using more software. Both of those trends put together mean that yes, you can be a freelance embedded software engineer. But here is our number one piece of advice if you’re looking to go down this particular career path:

Build a network before you start – Starting from scratch in this highly technical field is very difficult as a freelancer. That’s why you might want to get some experience under your belt and get to know potential clients. If you start with an already built network, finding jobs will be much easier. That doesn’t mean you need to spend ten years stuck at one company. But having one to two years of experience working within the industry and getting to know the people in it will give you a significant career boost!




The GENE-RAP6 from AAEON is more than just a single-board computer; it represents a new era in embedded computing. With a lineup of 13th Generation Intel®️ Core™️ CPUs, rugged design features, and exceptional connectivity, the GENE-RAP6 grants users optimized performance in challenging environments, making it the perfect foundation for human-machine interfaces and panel PC solutions. The GENE-RAP6’s distinguished range of display options take full advantage of Intel®️ Iris®️ Xe Graphics to produce technically superior imaging solutions, bringing unmatched performance to multiple areas. 


13th Generation Intel®️ Core™️ i7/i5/i3/U-series Processor SoC

DDR5 4800, Dual Channel SODIMM x 2, up to 64GB

LVDS x 1, eDP x1, DP x 1, HDMI x 1

2.5GbE x 1, GbE x 1, SATA 6Gb/s x 1, GPIO x 8-bit

USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 3, USB 2.0 x 4, USB Type C x 1, RS-232/422/485 x 4

M.2 2280 M-Key x 1, M.2 2230 E-Key x 1, M.2 3052/3042/2242 B-Key x 1

Datasheet: GENE-RAP6_scb.pdf





Useful online resources for Embedded Engineers

There are amazing resources for embedded engineers where you can read a lot of information and do in-depth research. Here are a few you can’t miss:



Both sites are full of well-researched articles written by experts in different fields of embedded software architecture such as Michael Barr, Nigel Jones, Matt Green, etc. 

We explain the key characteristics of an embedded system, their benefits and challenges.

Further, based on performance and functional requirements of the system embedded system classified into four types such as:


Real time embedded systems.

Stand alone embedded systems.

Networked embedded systems.

Mobile embedded systems.


The embedded systems basics include the components of embedded system hardware, embedded system types and several characteristics.
Usually, an embedded system consists of:

Power Supply.




Serial communication ports.

Output/Output circuits.

System application specific circuits.

Almost every single mechanical or electrical device in the world will feature at least one embedded system.

For example, a microwave, a toaster, a washing machine will all include an embedded system for carrying out micro tasks within the entire system. Embedded systems in a washing machine, for example, would include closing and opening of valves to let water through into the system at set intervals (pre-wash, washing) and then out when it needs to drain. These processes are controlled by microcontrollers.

A radio has many, as do things like smartphones, computers, tablets, printers, a landline phone, cameras.

Cars are a great example of embedded systems. Although older cars were less reliant on embedded systems to run, new cars rely solely on them and a central computing unit to work. Examples of some embedded systems in a car would be the traction control system, airbags, car navigation system, stability controls.

However, each of these devices or objects will use an embedded system in a different way. Some use a number of embedded systems, while others only have one or two. But what’s important to remember is that the system itself is only usually used for one task, so think about how many processes something as simple as a toaster has. Embedded systems are used to control the temperature, how long the toaster stays on for and even pushing the lever down to start the toasting process can be controlled by an embedded system.

Hardware foundations of an embedded system? 

Embedded systems are usually based on microcontrollers, but used to be mostly based on microprocessors.

The basic difference is that microprocessors contain only the CPU, they don't have an inbuilt RAM or ROM, so these need to be added externally. Microcontrollers, however, are superior in the sense that they have a CPU as well as a fixed amount of RAM and ROM.

It's important that embedded systems are very reliable as issues with an embedded system can have devastating consequences in terms of the larger system it is part of and they are not always accessible, depending on the application.

There are a number of types of embedded systems, such as stand-alone systems that don't require a host - an example of this is video game consoles. Real-time embedded systems, which runs specific tasks in specific time frames. Network-embedded systems, which are connected to a network. And, mobile embedded systems, which can be found in portable devices, as the name suggests.

Key features of an embedded system

Although in general, embedded systems have only been designed to carry out one function very well and will often only be required to repeat this function over and over again, day-in, day-out, some embedded systems can be designed to control the entire operating system.

But even this is one function with little variety - they will very rarely be expected to do anything more and therefore this makes them more reliable than using a variable component.

Embedded systems have an extremely important role, and because they're embedded, they're not interchangeable. This demonstrates their importance. If they were not essential to the overall system's operation, they would instead be modular and could be swapped in and out to allow for new functions or processes.

Other characteristics of an embedded system are that they are completely reactive, communicating through sensors or actuators. If they don't offer the right response in real time, the response is considered incorrect and they will not function.

Examples of embedded systems

Almost every mechanical, everyday device will have an embedded system inside it, including a watch, a car, a microwave, a smoke alarm, or a washing machine. They’re also regularly used in IT components too, such as routers and switches.

What are the benefits of an embedded system?

Because embedded systems usually only have one function, they are able to operate with very little power consumption and can fit in a tiny space compared to other components. They are also very cheap, making them a hugely efficient way of controlling devices.

Embedded systems are also very low maintenance, rarely needing any hardware or programming changes. This makes them very useful for integrating into devices that don’t need end-user servicing.

Because they only need to complete one task, over and over and over again, embedded systems are great for use in devices that don’t need updating to work effectively. For example, a high proportion of aeroplane entertainment systems using embedded systems were able to run Windows XP for much longer than laptops,  that was until Windows withdrew support.

What are the challenges of an embedded system?

Embedded systems certainly have their benefits, but equally, there are lots of limitations to a component that is so dependent on other elements of a totally enclosed system.

For starters, they are very hard to upgrade as they are embedded (sometimes in very deep or inaccessible) places within the overall machine.

For replacement to be successful and to effectively overcome issues, it's likely the entire device will need to be totally deconstructed with other components removed, the part replaced and reprogrammed in order to work.

Often, it's more cost-effective for the whole machine to be replaced rather than a single part when labour costs and new component costs are combined. This demonstrates the disposable nature of modern technology that specifically relies upon embedded systems.

The deep level of embedded system integration also means it's hard to fix something when it goes wrong. Unlike modular systems, embedded systems are hard to re-program when in situ. This means it's very difficult to upgrade any software if a fault is found and even if it can be tweaked, it may have a knock-on effect on some of the other parts.

However, in some cases, the dependencies on other components means that sometimes, tweaks can be applied via other, more accessible parts.

ATLAS Space Operations Core Values


Texas Instruments has been making progress possible for decades. TI is a global semiconductor company that designs, manufactures, tests and sells analog and embedded processing chips. Our more than 80,000 products help over 100,000 customers efficiently manage power, accurately sense and transmit data and provide the core control or processing in their designs, going into markets such as industrial, automotive, personal electronics, communications equipment and enterprise systems. Our passion to create a better world by making electronics more affordable through semiconductors is alive today as each generation of innovation builds upon the last to make our technology smaller, more efficient, more reliable and more affordable – opening new markets and making it possible for semiconductors to go into electronics everywhere. We think of this as Engineering Progress. It’s what we do and have been doing for decades. Learn more https://news.ti.com/index.cfm

Microcontroller Learning Journey: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Microcontrollers are the heart and soul of countless electronic devices, ranging from simple gadgets to complex systems. If you’re enthusiastic about electronics and programming, learning how to work with microcontrollers opens up a world of possibilities. However, diving into this exciting realm requires a solid understanding of the foundational concepts. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the essential steps to start learning microcontrollers, from grasping digital electronics basics to creating your first project. Let’s embark on this enriching journey together.

Step 1: Grasping Digital Electronics Fundamentals

To begin your microcontroller education, familiarize yourself with digital electronics. This involves comprehending the concepts of logic gates, Boolean algebra, binary arithmetic, and truth tables. Logic gates, such as AND, OR, NOT, and XOR, are the building blocks of digital circuits, processing binary signals (0s and 1s). Understanding these fundamentals is vital as they lay the groundwork for more advanced microcontroller concepts.

Step 2: Exploring CPU Architecture

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of a microcontroller. Dive into the CPU’s architecture to understand its key components, such as the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and the Control Unit. The ALU performs mathematical and logical operations, while the Control Unit manages instruction flow. Delve into registers, the small and fast storage units within the CPU that play a crucial role in temporary data storage during program execution.

Step 3: Unraveling the World of Memory

Memory is essential for any microcontroller’s operation. Learn about different types of memory, such as ROM (Read-Only Memory) for storing firmware and program code, RAM (Random Access Memory) for volatile data storage, and non-volatile memory (e.g., Flash memory) for retaining data even when power is removed. Understanding memory organization helps you utilize storage resources efficiently.

Step 4: Understanding CPU Interaction with Registers and Memory

Explore the interaction between the CPU and registers, as well as the CPU and memory. The CPU communicates with registers to perform operations quickly, making them essential components for efficient microcontroller programming. Learn how the CPU fetches data from memory and stores results back, developing a clear understanding of data flow within the microcontroller.

Step 5: Mastering the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)

Each microcontroller has its unique set of instructions, forming the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). Study the ISA specific to your chosen microcontroller model, familiarizing yourself with the available instructions, opcodes, and addressing modes. A solid grasp of the ISA is essential for writing effective and efficient programs for your microcontroller.

Step 6: Embarking on Assembly Language Programming

Assembly language is the bridge between human-readable code and machine code. Embrace assembly language programming to gain control over your microcontroller at a low level. Understand the syntax, mnemonics, and assembly directives specific to your microcontroller model. As you gain proficiency, you’ll be able to directly manipulate hardware peripherals and optimize code execution.

Step 7: Assemble and Execute Your First Program

Now it’s time to put your knowledge into practice! Write a simple program in assembly language that interacts with the microcontroller’s peripherals or performs basic tasks like blinking LEDs. Use an appropriate Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to assemble your code into machine-level binary instructions. Upload the program onto your microcontroller, and watch it come to life as the code is executed.

Step 8: Experiment with Peripherals

Microcontrollers are equipped with various peripherals, such as GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) pins, timers, UARTs (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter), and ADCs (Analog-to-Digital Converters). Experiment with each peripheral to understand their functionalities and capabilities. Connect LEDs, sensors, and other devices to the microcontroller and control them through your code.

Step 9: Transition to High-Level Programming Languages

While assembly language offers low-level control, high-level programming languages like C and C++ simplify complex tasks and enhance productivity. Transition to using C or C++ with an appropriate compiler for your microcontroller. Leverage libraries and APIs to interact with peripherals more efficiently, enabling you to take on more ambitious projects.

Starting your journey into the world of microcontrollers requires patience, dedication, and a strong foundation in the fundamental concepts. By mastering digital electronics, CPU architecture, memory, assembly language, and high-level programming languages, you’ll be well-equipped to create innovative projects and solve real-world challenges. Embrace hands-on experimentation, continuously learn from projects and peers, and enjoy the thrill of creating your own microcontroller-based marvels!


Embedded System Introduction.pdf


EMBEDDED SYSTEM BASICS_hacettepe_2016.pdf


Digital Electronics_ Principles, Devices and Applications.pdf

PIC_Martin P. Bates - Programming 8-bit PIC microcontrollers in C with interactive hardware simulation-Newnes (2008).pdf

PIC_Martin P. Bates (Auth.) - Interfacing PIC Microcontrollers. Embedded Design by Interactive Simulation-Newnes (2014).pdf





Akgün Bilgisayar A.Ş.-Yazılım ve Oyun Değiştiren Yönelimler.pdf