Embedded Technology





Embedded systems are everywhere. It is a combination of hardware and software with some mechanical or other parts added to perform discrete and limited functions. A program for performing a predefined functions in written permanently onto the hardware such as a ROM chip. The high level language C, C++, JAVA, and assembly languages are needed to write program for embedded system.

For the hardware of the embedded system, microprocessors and microcontrollers of different architectures are used. Also Real Time Operating systems (RTOSes) are used by software programmers to write programs for the hardware interfaces.

Certain embedded systems in products such as cell phones and PDA have operating systems (such as Windows Mobile, Palm OS, and Symbian) specially developed to perform various application functions besides the basic task of communication. Embedded systems in products such as industrial automated machines, automotive electronics, consumer electronics, etc. that are developed to perform a pre-defined task have a logical program written to the hardware.

 

Firmware, Groupware, Middleware, and Liveware

 

(a) Firmware: Firmware is a prewritten program that is stored in ROM. It configures the computer and not easily modifiable by users. The instructions coded in BIOS (Basic Input Output Service) are example of Firmware. Firmware ROM contains loader program to load a program into memory.

(b) Groupware: A type of application software allow people to work together efficiently on collaborative projects. There are many software available for this purpose, e.g. Lotus Notes, e-mail etc.

(c) Middleware: The middleware is used as platform for two or more application software or programs. It is used to establish communication between two or more programs. It is software that lets user’s access data on a server using a wide variety of front-end applications. This allows users and programmers, to use and develop applications without knowing anything about networks.

(d) Liveware: It is the term generally used for the people associated with and benefited from the computer system.



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