With the advancement of technology, the IT industry is constantly working to mitigate real-life issues by using technology, and the embedded system is one such technology. In Layman’s terms, embedded systems use miniature versions of powerful computers that allow them to run, maintain, and automate various processes. These powerful mini-computers are called embedded systems, consisting of and connecting to other devices through software and hardware.

Embedded systems are found in consumer electronics, mobile devices, cameras, home appliances, industrial machines and devices, airplanes, and medical equipment. Many companies offer custom embedded system development.

The embedded system market is reaching new heights daily with innovation, investment, and technology upgrades. According to MarketsandMarkets, it will reach $116.2 billion by the end of 2025. Apple, Intel, IBM, and other well-known technology companies manufacture chips for embedded systems. The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and mobile computing are the primary catalysts of embedded system technology.

Table of Contents:

What is an Embedded System?

Embedded means attached to another thing. An embedded system is a microprocessor-based computer hardware system embedded with software to perform a function. It can be an independent system or part of a more extensive system. The core circuits of embedded systems are designed to perform computations for real-time operations. 

Embedded systems can be microcontrollers or microprocessors for complex mediums. There is a massive range of embedded systems. Some have no User Interface (UI), and some have complex Graphic User Interface (GUI). These embedded systems are built according to their dedicated tasks. 

Components of Embedded System

An embedded system has three parts. Those are:


The hardware of embedded systems includes a microprocessor or microcontroller, input/output interfaces (I/O), memory (RAM and ROM), and a User interface (UI). The microprocessor or microcontroller is the heart of the embedded system. It is designed to execute and run the software.
On the other hand, Memory stores the processed data and the software. The input/output interface assists the embedded system in interacting with the outer world. On top of that, the user interface allows human interaction with the system.


The software part of the embedded system mainly includes the Operating System (OS) and the application software. The operation system works with hardware components and manages the application software. In addition, application software performs specific tasks. It works with the hardware and operating system to provide the desired results.

Real-time operating system (RTOS)

 It manages the hardware and software to execute the work. Real-time operating systems process data without any delay. RTOS in embedded systems responds to external events. RTOS is critical in embedded systems where timely data is required. Most RTOS assist with task management, I/O management, and memory management. Some small-scale embedded systems do not have RTOS.

Types of Embedded Systems

Embedded systems are classified into several types based on their internal components, functions, performance, and requirements. These factors allow embedded systems to be divided into multiple categories and subcategories. Those are:

  • Real-time embedded systems
  • Network embedded systems
  • Standalone embedded systems
  • Mobile embedded systems

Real-time embedded systems

Real-time embedded systems can provide output and results very promptly. They are designed to reduce the calculation duration and deliver real-time results. They are primarily used in critical mission solutions.

These embedded systems are primarily used in:

  • Healthcare sector controls.
  • Aircraft control areas.
  • Modern vehicle control systems.
  • Defence systems
  • Vehicle and aerospace control areas.

Moreover, we can split real-time embedded systems into two segments, which are: 

  • Hard real-time embedded systems
  • Soft real-time embedded systems

Network Embedded Systems

Network-embedded systems primarily use wireless or wired connections to manage communication with hosts and devices. Additionally, these systems share input data with the host and output data with the users.

These embedded systems are primarily used in:

  • ATMs
  • IP cameras
  • Domestic security systems
  • POS machines

Standalone Embedded Systems

Standalone embedded systems can function entirely without the support of hosting systems.

These embedded systems are primarily used in:

  • Calculators
  • Digital cameras
  • Home appliances
  • Digital watches
  • Digital thermometers

Mobile Embedded Systems

Small and portable embedded systems are called mobile embedded systems. They can be network-embedded systems or standalone embedded systems. Embedded systems that are primarily standalone, portable, smaller, and work via a network are called mobile embedded systems.

We can even break down the embedded systems into three types based on internal components and microcontrollers. Those types are:

  • Small-scale embedded systems
    Small-scale embedded systems have 8-bit or 16-bit microcontrollers.
  • Medium-scale embedded systems
    Medium-scale embedded systems have 16-bit or 32-bit microcontrollers. 
  • Sophisticated embedded systems
    Sophisticated embedded systems have 32-nit or 64-bit microcontrollers. 

Embedded System Programs and Designs

Each embedded system is different and assigned different tasks, making embedded systems programming unique and complicated. Additionally, it requires a professional programmer to perform programming. These systems are primarily programmed using the C or C++ language.

As embedded systems are task-specific, they should be well-optimized. They must also deal with temperature changes, physical damage, power fluctuations, etc. Hence, embedded systems should be designed well to maintain functionality under challenging conditions.

Embedded system is an integral part of the automation on Techavo
Embedded systems are an integral part of the automation

How Embedded Systems Work

Embedded systems sometimes work as a complete device or a functional part of a large device. These systems are small, low-power-consuming computers that are embedded in a complete system. Embedded systems are made of Software and hardware components. The microcontroller, microprocessors, I/O communication, memory, and power supply embedded systems perform a task. 

Embedded systems are fundamental to computer systems. They use printed circuit boards programmed with hardware, software, and sensors to manage the input process, work, and calculate results. Besides, they provide the users with the necessary outputs. 

Embedded Systems’ Characteristics

Embedded systems have the following characteristics:

  • These systems are task-specific.
  • These systems are made of software, hardware, and firmware.
  • Embedded systems can be either microcontroller-based or microprocessor-based. 
  • Sometimes, these systems must work in real-time and provide accurate data.
  • They are often used in the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors.

Use of Embedded Systems

Nowadays, embedded systems are included in every industry. It is used in several sectors, as noted below.

Aerospace Sector

Embedded systems are used in:

  • Flight control and navigation systems
  • ATC systems
  • Weather prediction and monitoring systems
  • Aircraft and vehicle management systems
  • Systems for collision avoidance

Defense Sector

Embedded systems are used in:

  • Weapons, guidance, and targeting systems
  • High Tech warfare
  • Vehicles like UAVs
  • Satellite, radar, and navigation systems
  • Soldier cloths

Common domestic systems

  • Household devices
  • ATM Machines
  • Entertainment devices
  • Indoor and outdoor security technologies
  • POS systems
  • Monitoring and controlling industrial productions

Advantages of Embedded Systems

  1. Embedded systems are designed for specific tasks and ensure accuracy.
  2. Capable of working in real-time and working smoothly in security and healthcare systems.
  3. These are smaller in size. So it can fit into complex systems smoothly.
  4. Embedded systems are energy efficient.
  5. Embedded systems are cost-effective.
  6. These are reliable and stable.
  7. Embedded systems have longer life spans.
  8. These systems are easier to manage.
  9. With the design and dedicated functionality, embedded systems offer fast performance.
  10. Furthermore, embedded systems can be customized and used in several applications or devices to fulfill specific requirements.


Embedded systems can be advantageous for completing specific tasks. With the massive growth in the automation sector and technology, embedded systems are getting more complex than ever. Besides, in a few industries, they help with decision-making and performing tasks beyond human reach. For example, in the aviation sector, embedded systems can integrate data and act upon those data much faster than a human can.

Embedded system technology is continuously growing and is expected to grow even more with the influence of the Internet of Things. With the expansion of automation and IoT applications for home and industrial enterprises and embedded development services, the use of embedded systems is inevitable.


Q. What are the basics of embedded systems?
A: Embedded systems are a combination of hardware and software components that perform specific tasks. Some of the most essential parts of embedded systems are microprocessors, microcontrollers, I/O interfaces, and memory.

Q. What are 5 embedded systems?
A:  Several embedded systems are used in various industries. Here are five standalone embedded systems you see daily: video cameras, washing machines, digital watches, temperature measurement devices, and MP3 players.

Q. Is ATM an embedded system?
A: An ATM, also known as An Automated teller Machine, is an embedded system that sets up the network between the ATM and the bank computer. It uses a microcontroller to manage input and output operations.

Q. What are the embedded system types?
A:  Embedded systems can be divided into four types: standalone embedded systems, Real-time embedded systems, Network embedded systems, and Mobile embedded systems.

Q. Is Ram an embedded system?
A: RAM is an essential part of an embedded system. It acts as the system’s memory.

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Abhijit Roy Content Writer
Abhijit Roy is your next-door writer who has experience in the Esports industry, B2B tech and jotting down complex topics into engaging reads. This Veteran writer loves to share his opinion about every tech video he watched last night.