The 20th century saw some major developments in the field of technology. Among them, the development of aviation and the computer were a paradigm shift in the story of technological innovation. Massive shifts in technological developments took place in the last century and the foundations of some enduring technologies were also laid. Nanotechnology and embedded systems were some of the nascent technologies that are now slowly coming into their own.
One of the key factors in technology innovation has been the process of miniaturization. The invention of complex circuitry in a small capsule sized framework that controls the larger organism of the device has led to massive strides in Research and Development. Embedded Systems is one of the prime technological disciplines in the US. It is one of the streams in Engineering that is always in great demand and competition is usually quite tough to get into the best schools.
Embedded Systems is principally a discipline which concentrates on developing microcircuit devices that are fundamentally information processing systems. These are then embedded into myriads of devices, ranging from telecommunication equipment, fabrication units to computers. Cars built with high technology equipment also carry embedded devices in their architecture. It is however in the Information Technology segment that Embedded Systems have their most powerful application.
Before the advent of Embedded Systems, technologies were mostly dull and were not particularly user friendly. Consider the almost box sized computer first developed by IBM. Engineer, in their search for developing user-friendly devices, gradually came up with developing a small sized miniature circuit that would be embedded in any system. This device in turn would respond to user inputs and perform tasks when prompted. Technology now had become intelligent and dynamic.
An Embedded Microprocessor makes the product smart and fast. It also makes it responsive to the users, which is what most people want. The value of Embedded Systems and its applications in a range of devices makes it an industry of fundamental importance. It is also a discipline where cutting edge research and development work is always underway to make the next breakthrough.
Some of the Embedded Systems applications include consumer electronic products like CD players and microwave ovens, telecommunication like mobile phones, medical systems like pacemakers, traffic control systems like intelligent traffic lights, driving and car control and airborne equipment like fly-by-wire.