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What are PCB Embedded Components?

As there are advancements in computer technology, so also is its technology becoming embedded in consumer electronics and more electronic products.

The capabilities that embedded systems offer allow electronic equipment to have greater capabilities compared to using just hardware techniques or hardware design services.

Due to this, embedded systems are usually seen in different electronic gadgets and equipment. From small processing found in items such as electronic timers, to build embedded systems that are more complicated such as gaming consoles as well as major industrial and factory systems.

This technique gets its name from the idea of its embedding into the embedded software for a specific application. This system isn’t like a computer that has the ability to run different programs and attend to many tasks.

What are the Basics of Embedded Systems?

You may be asked what an embedded system is all about. With lots of processor based computers and systems available, it is very important to define or explain the meaning of an embedded system. Furthermore, it is a computer system that is present in a product that isn’t described as computers.

Making use of the definition for embedded systems, it is easy to comprehend the different basic features or characteristics. These include:

An embedded system is designed to perform a task. Though they make use of computer technologies, you cannot use them for computers or general purposes that make use of different programs to perform different tasks. By this, their development process and function will be focused on what is required and they will be more efficient and cheaper.

Softwares for an embedded system is usually called firmware. Instead of storing it on a disc, where you can store many programs, the storing of a single program for any embedded system is done on the chip and is called firmware.

Two elements can be found in embedded systems

Embedded software: The writing of this embedded software helps to perform specific functions. Normally, it is written in high level formats, which is then compiled to give a software code, which you can lodge within a memory that is non volatile inside the embedded hardware

Embedded hardware: Just like all electronic systems, embedded systems need a hardware platform to run effectively. This hardware will base around a microcontroller or microprocessor. This embedded system hardware also has other elements. These include input output, memory interfaces, coupled with the display and user interface.

What is Embedded System Hardware?

When making use of embedded systems, you have to make a choice between a microprocessor or a microcontroller.

Microcontroller based systems

You can call a microcontroller a CPU, processor, or a central processor unit having peripheral devices or integrated memory. As less external electronic components are required, embedded systems making use of microcontrollers are usually used more.

Microprocessor based systems

For microprocessors, they are made up of CPU. However, they utilize external chips for peripheral interfaces and memory. The same way they need more electronic devices to be present on the board, there is also a need to allow more selection and expansion of the exact peripherals. This approach usually serves larger embedded systems.

No matter the processor you are using for the embedded systems, it may be one that serves a general purpose or one out of many specialized processors that are intended to serve a specific application.

There are cases where chips that are custom designed may serve a specific application if there are sufficiently high quantities. One well known example of standard dedicated processors is DSP (Digital Signal Processor). This processor helps in processing image and audio files specifically. Processing is also needed quickly, because they may be useful in applications like mobile phones.

What is Embedded System Software?

One major element of an embedded system is that software used in running the microcontroller. You can write this in different ways.

Programming Language: It could be time consuming and laborious when writing a machine code. Understanding it and debugging it is hard to understand. In order to overcome this, most time, high-level programming languages are usually used. The most common languages used include C++, C, etc.

Machine code: The most basic of all codes used in processor units is the machine code. This code is usually present in hex code and offers the main function for all the operations of the processor. Also, this code type is rarely utilized in embedded systems.

The embedded system code will be stored typically on non-volatile memory that is usually held on processor boards. This code is referred to as the firmware. Note that, the idea behind this is that updating it doesn’t happen the same way the software does where it is usually held in the embedded system and the user cannot change it.

Most of the time, updating the software is possible. However, this could mean that you have to change the memory card where the firmware is being held or you can find a different way of updating it.

What is the Design Cycle for Embedded Systems?

Embedded systems design needs a systematic approach to help break the cycle into different manageable stages. This is possible with the help of your project manager

Analysis of Requirements

This has to do with gathering and analyzing the product requirements so as to transform them to specifications.

Schematic

After translating into specification, your hardware design may now start the building of the schematic. Here, the design process is delicate; therefore the design team will have to pick the best microcontroller as well as other components of the circuit

Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

Once done with the schematic, the next step is the PCB design for this embedded system. Furthermore, PCB design is a very delicate process; therefore there is a need for the designer to apply the best practices to ensure reliability, manufacturability, and functionality of the PCB layout.

Prototype

Nest is getting the prototypes. This shouldn’t come as an issue because there are many suppliers out there that offer low-volume prototyping.

 Firmware Development

Here, the firmware designers will have to make sure this hardware comes to life. They will achieve this by coding, which could be time-consuming

Testing and Acceptance

Before approving a design for an embedded system for deployment or manufacturing, it must pass through stringent tests.

Conclusion

Hope you understand everything in this article. If there is any aspect you want some clarification on, please reach out to us.