The advantages of embedded systems compared to traditional computer systems in IoT applications

With the rapid development of IT technology, the Internet has entered the “Internet of Things” era. The large number of devices needed in the Internet of Things do not rely on human-to-human interaction to generate connections, but are more connected to one place through protocols, communications, and programming. That is, the purpose of the “Internet of Things” is to make all items have the intelligence of a computer but do not appear in the form of a general-purpose computer, and to connect these “smart” items with the network, which requires embedded technology. support.Embedded technology is an application of computer technology, which is mainly designed for specific application characteristics of a dedicated computer system-embedded system

With the rapid development of IT technology, the Internet has entered the “Internet of Things” era. The large number of devices needed in the Internet of Things do not rely on human-to-human interaction to generate connections, but are more connected to one place through protocols, communications, and programming. That is, the purpose of the “Internet of Things” is to make all items have the intelligence of a computer but do not appear in the form of a general-purpose computer, and to connect these “smart” items with the network, which requires embedded technology. support. Embedded technology is an application of computer technology. This technology is mainly designed for specific application characteristics of a dedicated computer system-embedded system.

Embedded system is application-centric, computer-based, and software and hardware can be customized. It is suitable for special-purpose computer systems that have strict requirements on functionality, reliability, cost, volume, and power consumption. Embedded systems are usually embedded in larger physical devices without being noticed by people. For example, the control components in mobile phones, PDAs, and even air conditioners, microwave ovens, and refrigerators are embedded systems.

For example, the following devices connected to the Internet all have an embedded computer system, but we may not notice the existence of these computer systems at all.

Embedded technology and general-purpose computer technology are different. We know that general-purpose computers are mostly used to interact with people and work according to instructions issued by people; in most cases, embedded systems may perform autonomously according to the events they “perceive”. Processing, so it has higher requirements for timeliness and reliability.

Generally speaking, embedded systems should have the following characteristics: specificity, encapsulation, real-time, and reliability.

Specificity means that embedded systems are used for specific devices to complete specific tasks, unlike general-purpose computer systems that can complete various tasks.

Encapsulation means that the embedded system is generally hidden inside the target system without being noticed by the operator. Real-timeness means that compared with the frequency of actual external events, the embedded system can respond to events or user interventions within a predictable time.

Reliability means that the embedded system is hidden in the system or equipment. Once it starts to work, it may not be monitored and maintained by the operator for a long time, so it is required to operate reliably. Like general computer systems, embedded systems also include hardware and software. The hardware includes a processor/microprocessor (that is, what we usually call a CPU), memory and peripheral devices, input and output ports, graphics controllers, etc. The software part includes operating system software and application software that specializes in solving certain types of problems. Sometimes designers combine these two kinds of software together. The application program controls the operation and behavior of the system, while the operating system controls the interaction between application programming and hardware. effect.

Compared with general computer systems, embedded computer systems have the following characteristics:

1. Embedded systems are usually oriented to specific applications. The biggest difference between embedded CPUs and general-purpose types is that embedded CPUs mostly work in systems designed for specific user groups. They usually have low power consumption, small size, and integration. With advanced features, it can integrate many tasks completed by the board in the general-purpose CPU inside the chip, which is conducive to the miniaturization of embedded system design, greatly enhanced mobility, and increasingly tighter coupling with the network.

2. Embedded system is a product that combines advanced computer technology, semiconductor technology and Electronic technology with specific applications in various industries. This determines that it must be a technology-intensive, capital-intensive, highly dispersed, and constantly innovative knowledge integration system.

3. The hardware and software of the embedded system must be designed efficiently, tailored to suit, remove unnecessary redundant functions, and strive to achieve the same performance on a smaller silicon chip area, so as to be more competitive in specific applications.

4. Embedded systems and specific applications are organically combined, and its upgrading is also carried out simultaneously with specific products. Therefore, once embedded system products enter the market, they have a longer life cycle.

5. In order to improve the execution speed and system reliability, the software in the embedded system is generally solidified in the memory chip or the single-chip microcomputer itself, rather than stored in a carrier such as a disk.

6. The embedded system itself does not have the ability of independent development. Even after the design is completed, users usually cannot modify the program functions in it. A set of development tools and environment connected to a general computer system can be used for development.

The information age and digital age have given embedded products a huge development opportunity, showing a bright future for the embedded market, and at the same time posing new challenges for embedded manufacturers. From this we can see how many future embedded systems will be. Big development trend:

1. Embedded development is a system project. Therefore, embedded system manufacturers are required not only to provide the embedded software and hardware system itself, but also to provide powerful hardware development tools and software package support to facilitate users at the lowest cost and shortest Time to launch your own products.

At present, many manufacturers have fully considered this point, and while promoting the system, they also focus on the development environment. For example, when Samsung promotes Arm7 and Arm9 chips, it also provides development boards and board support packages (BSP). WindowCE also provides Embedded VC++ as a development tool when it promotes the system, as well as Vxworks’ Tonado development environment and DeltaOS’s Limda compilation environment. And so on are typical manifestations of this trend. Of course, this is also the result of market competition.

2. Requirements for networking and informatization With the maturity of Internet technology and the increasing increase in bandwidth, devices with single functions such as telephones, mobile phones, refrigerators, and microwave ovens are no longer single in function and more complex in structure.

This requires chip designers to integrate more functions on the chip. In order to meet the upgrade of application functions, designers use more powerful embedded processors such as 32-bit and 64-bit chips or signal processor DSP to enhance processing capabilities. , At the same time increase functional interfaces, such as USB, expansion bus types, such as CAN bus, strengthen the processing of multimedia, graphics, etc., and gradually implement the concept of system-on-chip (SOC, which is to concentrate all the required functions on a chip). In terms of software, real-time multi-task programming technology and cross-development tool technology are used to control functional complexity, simplify application design, ensure software quality, and shorten development cycles.

3. Network interconnection has become an inevitable trend. In order to meet the requirements of network interconnection, future embedded devices will inevitably require various network communication interfaces on the hardware. Traditional single-chip microcomputers have insufficient network support,

The new generation of embedded processors has begun to embed network interfaces. In addition to supporting TCP/IP protocols, some also support one or more of IEEE1394, USB, CAN, Bluetooth, RFID or IrDA communication interfaces, and also need Provide corresponding communication networking protocol software and physical layer driver software. In terms of software, the system kernel supports network modules to enable embedded devices to connect to the Internet in various ways anytime, anywhere.

4. Streamline the system core and algorithm, reduce power consumption and software and hardware costs. Future embedded products are devices that closely integrate software and hardware. In order to reduce power consumption and cost, designers need to streamline the system core as much as possible.

Only keep the software and hardware closely related to the system functions, and use the lowest resources to realize the most appropriate functions. This requires the designer to select the best programming model and continuously improve the algorithm to optimize the performance of the compiler. Therefore, it is not only necessary for software personnel to have a wealth of hardware knowledge, but also for the development of advanced embedded software technologies such as Java, Web and WAP.

5. Provide a friendly multimedia man-machine interface The most important factor for an embedded device to be in close contact with users is that it can provide a very friendly user interface. The graphical interface and flexible control methods make people feel that the embedded device is like a familiar old friend.

This requirement makes embedded software designers to work hard on graphical interfaces, voice interaction, and other multimedia technologies. Handwriting text input, voice dial-up Internet access, e-mail sending and receiving, as well as color graphics and images will all make users feel free.

In short, if other technologies are related to a specific aspect of the Internet of Things, such as perception, computing, communication, etc., embedded technology is the manifestation of various items in the Internet of Things, which are comprehensively used in these embedded devices. Various other technologies.

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