Different Types of Embedded Systems

Embedded systems are the collection of the hardware and software where the software has been embedded into the hardware components. It is the electronic device that is programmed to perform a specific task.

Now, these devices have become a crucial part of human life and help perform several multipurpose tasks. Therefore many people are showing their interest in using embedded systems for their professional use. But you might not know about the embedded system and the types of embedded systems; hence, in this article, we will be discussing the same.

So, if you also want to learn about types of the embedded system, then stay here with us.

What is an Embedded System?

Generally, the embedded systems are explained as the collection of hardware and software components. But just saying this is not the proper explanation of embedded systems. Because it is the system with hardware devices, software integration, and all those embedded together to perform the specified task. There are several purposes and work for developing the embedded system.

Thus, the embedded systems are devices developed for the particular purpose of executing with zero or minimal human interaction. And these are the machines that take place to complete simple to complex tasks in the most efficient way.

But do not think that these embedded systems are similar to general-purpose computers and laptops. Because these are developed for specific purposes and performing a wide range of tasks. For example, ATMs, smartphones, washing machines are some of the examples of embedded systems.

Different Types of Embedded Systems

Different Types of Embedded Systems

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The embedded systems can be classified into two parts. We can say that the types of embedded systems can be divided into two sections.

  1. Based on Function and Performance
  2. Based on Microcontroller and Performance

These two are the major categories of embedded systems on which they can be divided into several parts. Below is a detailed description of these two and some significant types of embedded systems.

Based On Function and Performance

1. Mobile Embedded Systems

The handy devices that are completely portable and do not have any barrier come under the mobile embedded systems. They generally contain limited memory and storage capacity but are still an essential technology. In this category, digital cameras, cell phones, Media players, and other similar devices come.

2. Stand-Alone Embedded Systems

Stand-Alone Embedded Systems are the type of embedded system that can work accurately without having any host. These devices do not require a processor or a computer. An example of this embedded system is a calculator and microwave oven. As these devices work alone without having a controller, they also produce more efficiency with the result.

3. Real-Time Embedded Systems

These are the embedded system types that are entirely time-specific. They provide the output at the specified time interval. Another feature of Real-Time Embedded Systems is that they also help by providing quick responses when needed in critical scenarios.

These embedded systems are used in the defense sectors, medical, and other sectors. This type of embedded system can also be divided into two other subcategories.

Soft Real-Time Embedded Systems

These are the types of Real-Time Embedded Systems that do not follow a strict timeline. And if these devices do not provide results in the given time, in that case, the user can still accept if it provides the information later.

Hard Real-Time Embedded Systems

These devices strictly follow the given time and provide results in the given timeline. If the deadline crosses, the result will not be accepted; thus, it follows strict timelines.

4. Networked Embedded Systems

These are other types of embedded systems that are mainly connected with the network. The networking of such systems can be wired or wireless and connected to the devices. Here the devices communicate or transmit the information through a server. There can be pre-installed sensors, controllers, and other hardware components to make those fully functional and productive in these devices. The home security systems, card swipe technology, and the ATM are a few examples of Networked Embedded Systems.

Based On Microcontroller and Performance

1. Sophisticated Embedded Systems

This type of embedded system is categorized under the microcontroller and performance basis. And these devices can perform large-scale tasks efficiently with the help of their inbuilt microprocessor. The microprocessor of these devices can be either 32 bit or 64 bit. If such a device uses such bits, then it is called a sophisticated embedded system. In most cases, these devices are built to perform complex or large-scale tasks. Here it uses high-level hardware and software components to make the final design of the product.

2. Medium Scale Embedded Systems

This embedded system also has microcontrollers, and they use 16 bit or 32 bit in their microcontrollers. Generally, they are faster compared to large-scale embedded systems. Moreover, there is the optimized integration of hardware and software components. So, to make these devices functional, the Java, C++, and C languages come into use. Digital signal processors are now also considered as the alternative to Medium Scale Embedded Systems. Those can also perform the task efficiently like these devices. And to build these devices, several technologies are needed, such as compiler, assembler, and debugger.

3. Small Scale Embedded Systems

Small Scale Embedded System is the type of embedded system that uses the 8 bit or 16-bit microcontroller. These devices can run through the battery and use limited resources of the processor’s speed and memory. These devices can not work independently; however, they can be used in the computer system to make them functional.


So, embedded systems are the devices built using the hardware and software, and here software embeds in the hardware components to perform the desired work. The embedded systems can be divided into two categories: based on performance and function; we found four major types of embedded systems. On the other hand, the second category is based on microcontroller and performance, which contains three embedded systems. In this article, we discussed all of them carefully and comprehensively.

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