An embedded system is a hardware system that has a microprocessor and software integrated to perform specific functions or complete system tasks. Various forms of embedded systems have developed alongside the rapid growth in technologies.
Embedded software is a type of software created for specific hardware used in various operating systems like RTOS, Linux, and Windows. As embedded systems are becoming widely used in areas like machine learning, electronic design automation, smart wearables, home automation, and multicore processing, the future of the embedded system market is promising. The market for embedded systems had a size of USD 162.3 billion in 2022 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4.77% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2032. By the end of 2032, the market is estimated to reach around USD 258.6 billion reported by Precedence Research.
Challenges in embedded systems design can include ensuring the system is reliable, secure, and meets performance requirements. As embedded systems need to be operated in a wide variety of environmental conditions, designers must consider power consumption, temperature sensitivity, radiation tolerance, and other physical parameters when designing the system. Additionally, designers must also consider how to integrate hardware components with existing software architectures.
When working with embedded systems, designers must be mindful of the regulatory environment. Depending on its application, an embedded system may require certifications and/or other compliance measures to be used in certain countries or industries. For example, medical equipment or aerospace systems often have stringent guidelines that must be followed when designing a product. Ensuring that all necessary criteria are met while still meeting operational requirements and staying within budget can be a difficult task. As such, embedded systems designers must be knowledgeable about applicable regulations to successfully engineer a compliant product.
Designers must ensure the embedded system is cost-effective and meets the demands of its intended application. These challenges are often compounded by the need to develop solutions quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality or safety. As such, embedded systems designers must be highly skilled in areas such as hardware design, software engineering, networking protocols, and system integration to successfully engineer a high-performing embedded system that meets customer needs.
Cybersecurity will be a top priority for both embedded device manufacturers and software developers. To prevent external attacks, chip and microcontroller vendors will be incorporating more security-related hardware capabilities into embedded systems.
Additionally, software developers will take steps to safeguard data, such as utilizing memory-safe programming languages that are devoid of memory bugs, following secure coding practices and utilizing agile development methodologies that facilitate ongoing testing and early identification of bugs. As more connections are established and faster 5G speeds become more common, the likelihood of these attacks occurring will increase. To prevent them, organizations are intensifying their cybersecurity measures.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a prominent trend in emerging technologies. Many companies have included microcontrollers with peripherals to speed up calculations and allow neural networks to be implemented in their product portfolio for embedded systems. Integrating intelligent technology into various systems is becoming increasingly common. This includes real-time monitoring using smart security cameras for homes and offices, as well as autonomous robots being used in modern factories to streamline assembly lines. Design engineers are adding more features and capabilities into systems that need to handle larger amounts of data, make smart choices, and respond quickly, due to the growing need for automation, particularly smart automation. Many embedded systems now include microcontrollers that come with peripherals to speed up calculations and allow for the use of neural networks. These systems also come with libraries and tools to help with creating, learning, and testing these solutions for artificial intelligence, making the development process faster and more efficient.
As the need for sensor nodes in embedded systems increases, it is crucial for these systems to prioritize power efficiency. Efforts are being made to run systems at low power states, both in terms of hardware and software, to gain benefits such as longer battery life, better performance, and being more environmentally friendly. Energy saving solutions help reduce the amount of power consumed by a system while still meeting user expectations. Solutions such as power management, low-power design tools and optimized software can help reduce a system’s power consumption. By utilizing these solutions, embedded systems can become more efficient and cost effective. Additionally, with the right strategy in place for power-efficient embedded systems, users can ensure their system is running at an optimal level without sacrificing performance or battery life.