Sanjay Challa, National Instruments
EETimes (9/5/2012 7:33 PM EDT)
Embedded systems consist of hardware and software components designed to perform a specific function, and often have real-time and/or reliability constraints which go far beyond everyday computing.
To meet these demands on a hardware level, traditional embedded systems generally incorporate microcontrollers, digital signal processors (DSPs), and/or field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). With regards to software, different languages or tools are traditionally required to program or configure each hardware element. As a result, traditional embedded design teams require members with a diverse multitude of proficiencies in hardware and software design capable of integrating the hardware and software in typical embedded systems.
With the explosion of embedded devices in the past few decades, many improvements have been made in both the hardware components and software tools. However, despite the innovation and growth of both software tools and hardware components, traditional embedded system design approaches have evolved little if at all and are increasingly proving to be a hurdle. Given the increasingly rapid growth of new standards and protocols as well as growing pressure on design teams to deliver to market more quickly, embedded system design is due for a disruptive change in paradigm.
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