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Embedded Systems

By Bhushan H Deshpande 4th Sem, Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Moodlakatte Institute of Technology, Kundapura - 576217

Imagine you control all the systems around just by a simple gesture and the things respond to you as if it was some magic. This could be possible with embedded systems.

The term embedded systems is quite a complex one. Simply put, it is a combination of hardware and software that performs the component of a larger system. A
few years ago embedded technology existed in standalone devices such as vending machines and copiers that did their jobs with little regards for what went on around them. But as technology advance to connect devices to the internet and to each other, the potential of embedded technology has increased. Home appliances, mobile phones, cars, tiny micro chips, avionics etc.., are all using embedded technology.

In recent years, it became apparent that control systems as integral components of larger systems, should be developed and designed concurrently with mechanics, hydraulics, and electronics. It is important that engineers have a good understanding of the implications of software technology embedded into traditional engineering systems. Current machines consist of physical components providing the means and a control system employing those means to fulfill the machines function. Together, they build up the controlled machine, which can also be called an embedded system. . New innovative applications in different areas will make embedded systems as one of the fastest developing technology of the near future. This paper deals with concepts and developments of embedded systems in control of machines and gives a general overview of the basic components of embedded systems and its processors.

The invention of Embedded System has been done after the evolution of micro processor. That is in 1970s.Here micro processor means small device processing the data. In 1970s by using their micro processors speed is high and memory device is slow. To evaluate this type of problems assembly language is invented because of slower motion of micro processors high languages are not suitable. After this of problem evaluation in 1980s the embedded C compilers are developed and the control programs are written in C-language.

An embedded system employs a combination of hardware & software (a computational engine) to perform a specific function; is part of a larger system that may not be a computer; works in a reactive and time-constrained i.e is real-time environment. Software is used for providing features and flexibility Hardware = {Processors, ASICs, Memory...} is used for performance (& sometimes security)
The term embedded system can be used for a wide range of applications and devices. A useful definition is not easy to formulate. Boasson mentioned one characteristic that applies to all embedded systems: Neither the computer system without the special environment in which it is embedded, nor the environment without the computer system has any significance in itself.

An embedded system employs a combination of hardware & software (a computational engine) to perform a specific function; is part of a larger system that may not be a computer; works in a reactive and time-constrained environment.

Basics of Embedded systems

An embedded system typically comprises the hardware, embedded RTOS, device drivers, communication stacks and embedded application software.

Embedded systems are found in a wide range of application areas. Originally they are used only for expensive industrial control applications, but as technology brought down the cost of dedicated processors, they began to appear in moderately expensive applications such as automobiles, communications and office equipment and televisions. Today embedded systems are so inexpensive that they are used in almost every electronic product in our life.


Navigation systems, Automatic Landing systems flight altitude controls, Engine Controls, Space exploration.


Fuel injection control, Air bag control, Passenger environmental controls, GPS mapping antilock braking systems.

Childrens Toys Communications Computer peripherals

Now we see so many electronic toys. Satellites, Network routers, Switches, Hubs, Mobile communications. Printers, Scanners, Keyboards, Displays MODEMS Hard disks drivers, CD-ROM

Home Dishwashers, Microwave ovens, Televisions, VCRs Stereos, Fire/security alarm systems, Thermostats, Lawn sprinkler Clock controls, radios, Cameras,

Answering machines.

Industrial Instrumentation Medical Office automation Personal

Elevator Robotics. Date Imaging

controls, loggers, system

Surveillance Oscilloscopes, (X-RAY,

systems, Signal and

generators, Signal analyzers, Power supplies. ECG ultrasound), Patient monitors, Heart pacers. FAX machine, Copiers, Telephones, Cash Registers, Automated teller machine Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), Pagers, Cell phones, Wrist Watches, Video games, Portable MP3players, GPS, internet appliances.

The processors used in embedded systems can be of three types. 1. 2. 3. Micro controller. Micro processor. Digital signal processor. Each of these processors is specified by clock speed (100 MHz, 200 MHz, etc.) and data word-length (8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, etc). The higher the clock speeds, the faster the processor. Similarly, bigger data word-length leads to higher precision. The wordlength also indicates the processors capability to address the memory. This addressing capability is specified by the number of bits used for addressing. For instance, an 8-bit processor can use 8 or 16bits for addressing. The following sections describe each of the three-processor types. MICRO-CONTROLLER Micro-controller is mainly of Intels 805x family, Motorolas 68HCxx, etc. A typical micro controller combines a CPU, interrupts, timer/counter, memory (RAM, ROM, or both) and other peripherals in the same Integrated Circuit(IC). Microcontrollers are often an ideal solution for control applications because you can use them to build an embedded systems with little additional circuitry. The 8-bit micro-controllers are used for process control applications such as the ones found in toys and smart cards.

If your processing power and memory requirements are high, you need to choose a 16-bit or 32-bit processor. MICROPROCESSOR A number of 16-bit and 32-bit microprocessors are available from ARM, Atmel, Intel, Motorola and National Semiconductors, etc. In order to develop embedded system with these processors, you need a great deal of peripheral circuit. However, microprocessors have higher clock speeds and word-length, so they are capable of addressing higher memory. These processors are used for high-end applications such as handheld computers, Internet Access Devices, etc. a microprocessor executes a collection of machine instructions that tell the processor what to do. Based on the instructions, a microprocessor does three basic things. Using its ALU (Arithmetic / Logic unit), a microprocessor can perform mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Modern microprocessors contain complete floating point processors that can perform extremely sophisticated operations on large floating-point numbers. A microprocessor can move data from one memory location to another. A microprocessor can make decisions and jump into a new set of instructions based on those decisions. DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSOR The Digital Signal Processor (DSP) is a specially designed processor to handle signals, rather than data. Processing signals (whether audio or video) is much more complex than processing digital data signals. To process audio and video signals, the hardware/software needs to perform an operation called filtering, in which unwanted frequencies are removed. For example, a Low Pass Filter with a bandwidth of 4 KHz will remove unwanted frequencies above 4 KHz. A DSP facilitates easy implementation of filters. In signal processing, another important task is to convert the signals into frequency domain using Fourier Transforms, and analyze the spectrum of the signal in frequency domain. Analyzing a signal in frequency domain requires intensive mathematical computation, which general-purpose processors take a lot of time to carry out. However, the DSP carries out such mathematical computations quickly using a special module called the Multiplier and Accumulator. DSPs are available with various clock frequencies and word-lengths, with each catering to different market segments (such as speed processing, high fidelity music).

.REQUIREMENTS OF EMBEDDED SYSTEMS Despite the varying types of embedded systems, they all have some common requirements. The following sections describe each of these fundamental characteristics.

Embedded systems have to work without the need for the rebooting or resetting typical of many desktop systems. This calls for very reliable hardware and software. If, for example the embedded system comes to a halt because of a hardware error, the system should reset itself without the need for human intervention. Certainly, reliability is critical in any system, but we are used to resetting our desktop systems once in a while, thanks to the unpredictability of operating system software. However, embedded software developers must make the reliability of the hardware, as well as that of the software, of paramount importance because the system is not readily accessible to human intervention. COST-EFFECTIVENESS If an embedded system is designed for a very special purpose, such as for a deep space probe or for use in a nuclear plant, cost may not be an issue. However, if the embedded system is for the mass market, such as those used in CD players, toys, and mobile device cost is a major consideration. Choosing the right processor, memory devices, and peripherals of critical importance. In such cases, the designers will develop an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) or an Application Specific Microprocessor to reduce the hardware components and hence the cost. Typically, a developer first creates a prototype by writing the software for a general purpose processor and subsequently develops an ASIC to reduce the cost. LOW POWER COSUMPTION Many embedded systems are powered by batteries, rather than a main supply. In such cases, the power consumption should be minimized to avoid draining the batteries. Hardware designers must address this issue-for example, by reducing the number of hardware components, or by designing the processor to revert to low power or Sleep mode when there is no operation to perform.

EFFICIENT USE OF PROCESSING POWER A wide variety of processors with varying processing powers are available to embedded systems. Developers must keep processing power, memory and cost in mind when choosing the right processor. Processor is the term generally used to refer to a micro controller, a microprocessor or a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) used in embedded systems. The processing power requirement is specified in million instructions first, and given this estimate, the developer can choose the processor. With the availability of many processors with the same capabilities, choosing a processor has become a tough task nowadays. Considerations such as the cost of development tools support provided by the vendor and previous experience all play a role in the choice. EFFICIENT USE OF MEMORY Most embedded systems do not have secondary such as hard disk. The memory chips available on the embedded system are only Read-Only Memory (ROM), to hold the program and Random Access Memory (RAM), to hold the date. Depending on the functionality, the developer many determine the program size and the data size based on which memory requirements are more important. The cost of memory is certainly going down, but even one dollar can make a big difference, particularly with regard to consumer items. As most embedded systems do not have secondary storage, flash memory is used to store the program, including the operating system. Micro-controllers and DSPs come with onboard memory (i.e., the same silicon contains the memory as well). Such processors are used for small-embedded systems, as the cost generally is low and the execution generally is fast. APPROPRIATE EXECUTION TIME In real-time embedded systems, certain tasks must be performed within a specified time. Consequently, analyzing the tasks to meet such performance constraints is of considerable importance. Normally, desktop PCs cannot achieve real time performance. Therefore special operating systems, known as real time operating systems, run on these embedded systems. In hard real time embedded systems, which are subject to very strict to very strict deadlines for performing specific tasks, the timing analysis is of great importance. In Soft real-time systems, occasionally the task may not be performed in a timely manner. The software development needs to ascertain where the embedded system is a hard real-time system and perform the performance analysis according. The performance requirement also calls for code optimization to the

maximum possible extent. Though software is generally developed in a high-level language, some computation intensive portions of the code may need to be written in assembly language in order for the desired real-time performance to be realized. In such cases, of course you need to learn the assembly languages of the target processor.

An ARM processor is any of several 32-bit RISC (reduced instruction set computer) microprocessor s developed by Advanced RISC Machines, Ltd. The ARM architecture was originally conceived by Acorn Computers Ltd. in the 1980s. Since then, it has evolved into a family of microprocessors extensively used in consumer electronic devices such as mobile phone s, multimedia players, pocket calculator s and PDA s (personal digital assistants). ARM processor features include:

Load/store architecture An orthogonal instruction set Mostly single-cycle execution A 16x32-bit register Enhanced power-saving design.

ARM provides developers with intellectual property (IP) solutions in the form of processors, physical IP, cache and SoC designs, application-specific standard products (ASSPs), related software and development tools everything you need to create an innovative product design based on industry-standard components that are next generation compatible.

RISC is an acronym standing for "Reduced Instruction Set Computer", contrasted with a CISC machine (Complex Instruction Set Computer).RISC claims of simplicity in comparison to CISC: 1. Fixed 32-bit instruction size instead of variable. 2. Large register bank of GPR 32-bit registers. 3. Easier to prototype and put together. RISC Organization: 1. Hard-wired instruction decode logic instead of micro coded ROMs to decode 2. Pipelined execution 3. Possible single cycle execution RISC Advantages: 1. Smaller die sizes 2. Shorter time to develop 3. Possible higher performance than CISC 4. High clock rate with single cycle RISC Disadvantages: 1. Generally less code density than CISC 2. Cannot execute x86 code, at least not without some sort of conversion and performance drawback

ARM offers a wide range of processor cores based on a common architecture, that deliver high performance together with low power consumption and system cost. The ARM processor range provides solutions for:

Open platforms running complex operating systems for wireless, consumer and imaging applications.

Embedded real-time systems for mass storage, automotive, industrial and networking applications.

Secure applications including smart cards and SIMs.

The ARM processor is a powerful low-cost, efficient, low-power (consumption, that is) RISC processor. It's design was originally for the Archimedes desktop computer, but somewhat ironically numerous factors about its design make it unsuitable for use in a desktop machine (for example, the MMU and cache are the wrong way around). However, many factors about its design make it an exceptional choice for embedded applications.

There are currently eight product families which make up the ARM processor range:

Cortex Processor Family ARM7 processor family ARM9 processor family ARM9E processor family ARM10E processor family ARM11 processor family Secure Core processor family

Further implementations of the ARM architecture are available from our Partners such as the Intel XScale micro architecture. ARM ARCHITECTURE v1 - ARM1.

v2 - ARM2. v2as - ARM3 & ARM250. v3 - ARM6, ARM7, ARM8 & Amulet 1. v3M - various ARM6, 7 & 8 variants. v4 - StrongARM, ARM9. v5 - ARM10.

VFP1 - ARM10 (some variants of). Thumb (T variants). Long multiply instructions (M variants). Enhanced DSP instructions (E variants).

1. ARM seems to be leading the way in this field of processing. The processor has found this as one of its greatest niche markets, mainly because of the steps the company has taken to fit into the embedded market and the architecture it has adopted. DSP is prevalent with embedded processor in cell phones, cordless phones, base stations, pagers, modems, Smart phones and PDAs (Personal Digital or Data Assistants). Other embedded applications that take advantage of such processors are: disc drive controllers, automotive engine control and management systems, digital auto surround sound, TV-top boxes and internet appliances. Other products are still being modified to take advantage of it: toys, watches, etc. The possible applications are almost endless. 2. As the terminology has shifted around ultra mobile PCs, mobile internet devices (MIDs) and net books, some may have made the assumption that any given PC would be powered by either an Intel processor or one designed by ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) and implemented by one of its semiconductor licenses. 3. In turns out that assumption is too simplistic. Some PC makers are using an Intel processor to run the Windows operating system but finding ways to let an ARM processor run some key applications for the sake of its power efficiency and the resulting longer battery life for the computer. 4. Warren East, president and CEO of ARM, told analysts at a meeting held to discuss the company's financial results that his company's collaborative work with software vendors to port specific applications to ARM's processor cores was yielding results in both mobile internet devices and in PCs 5. Much to the chagrin of the largest high-tech companies whose products have served as the foundation for computing for the past 30 years, the microprocessor is breaking free of the chains that bind it: overweight operating systems, the need

for heavyweight batteries, and the requirement for lots of room with a built-in fan or two to keep devices cool enough to operate. 6. ARM is a microprocessor manufacturer that is taking advantage of advancing technology's steady destruction of those chains forged by the likes of AMD, Intel, and Microsoft. 7. Here're a few facts: ARM is the processor used in both the Apple iPhone and Amazon's Kindle. ARM shipped its 10 billionth processor this year and in 2008 alone shipped 2.5 billion processors. ARM chips are in about 98 percent of all cell phones out today.

Embedded CPUs are very common today and will also play a very important part in the future, because devices like smart phones, GPS devices, which use such processors boom. Nearly all mobile phones or pocket-PCs have such a CPU and the development to make them faster and also energy saver is the right way.

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