Discerning what an embedded system is

Kanda has been working for years to provide the leading programming utensils to its customers. Our collection includes a wide variety of Microchip Snap (MPLAB) products in addition to many others. Regardless of what your needs are, we will be able to find something that meets all of them.

It is unwise to use programming utensils like the Snap straight away. Firstly, there are several terms you should familiarise yourself with. Embedded System is one of them. In this post we will be going into detail about what these are.

Two computer categories

You can find computer systems everywhere. They fall into two separate categories as well. Firstly, we have the desktop computer. This is the machine that initially comes to mind when we discuss computers. We have designed these mechanisms to be flexible so they can meet a plethora of specifications. End users have the means to alter the functionality of a desktop computer. They do so by merely changing the application program. At one point, you can use it as a word processor. During another, you can use it as a game station or music player.

The second computer type is the one we are focusing on, that being the embedded system. Such a computer is one that is embedded into a larger electronics system. It repeatedly performs a certain function. In many cases, it goes entirely unseen by the system’s user.

If you ask a person how many computers exist in their home, they will likely count the laptop and desktop computer. Yet, computers have always been embedded in a variety of everyday utensils. In reality, the person could have more than twenty of them. They can be hiding in mobile phones, air conditioners, or TVs. Unlike a standard computer though, this kind of device generally only fulfils one certain task.

Functionality choices

A user is permitted to make choices relating to the functionality of embedded systems. However, they are unable to alter the system functionality by replacing or adding software. To give an example, a programmable digital thermostat possesses an embedded system. This is one that comes with a function of controlling and monitoring the surrounding temperature. You could have choices for setting the high and low here. Yet, you cannot simply modify the functionality as a temperature controller.

In most instances, people use an embedded system to replace application-specific electronics in consumer goods. By doing this, you can encapsulate most of the system’s functionality in the firmware running the system. You can find it in the non-volatile memory.

It is also possible to alter and enhance the system by modifying the firmware. This is while keeping the hardware the same. What that does is minimise the production cost because multiple different systems will be able to share the same hardware base. What’s more, the functionality gets determined by the firmware that is loaded.

Protecting intellectual property

There is another advantage of employing an embedded system to replace a dedicated electronics circuit too. This would be the protection of intellectual property. Stealing a design is simple if someone can easily identify the hardware and software. While they can still see the first with an embedded system, you can hide the software. It is also much harder to crack.

We supply first rate items if you need Microchip Snap and more

At Kanda, we are happy that we can make it easy for the population to access high quality programming items. Our range is very broad so you should be able to find whatever you need for any kind of project. We also have lots of useful resources to support you.

With the Microchip Snap products, their job is to allow for quick and easy debugging and programming. You can use them with various microcontrollers, like AVR, SAM, and PIC models. So, if you would like to try, please let us know.

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