Embedded Systems Design
Objectives: After reading this chapter, the reader should be able to do the following:
• Deﬁne an embedded system.
• List all aspects related to the design of an embedded system.
• Provide a step-by-step approach to embedded system design.
• Discuss design tools and practices related to embedded systems design.
• Apply embedded system design practices in the design of an Atmel microcontroller system
employing several interacting subsystems.
• Provide a detailed design for several autonomous maze navigating robots controlled by an
Atmel microcontroller including hardware layout and interface, structure and UML activity
diagrams, and coded algorithm.
This chapter provides a step-by-step methodical approach to designing embedded systems.
We begin with a deﬁnition of just what is an embedded system. We then explore the process of how
to successfully (and with low stress) develop an embedded system protot ype that meets established
requirements. We conclude the chapter with se veral extended examples. The examples illustrate the
embedded system design process in the development and prototype of a ﬂight simulator panel and
several autonomous maz e navigating robots.
7.1 WHAT IS AN EMBEDDED SYSTEM?
An embedded sy stem contains a microcontroller to perform its job of processing system inputs and
generating system outputs. The link between system inputs and outputs is provided by a coded
algorithm stored within the processor’s resident memory. What makes embedded systems design so
interesting and challenging is the design must also take into account the proper electric al interface
for the input and output devices, limited on-chip resources, human interface concepts, the operating
environment of the system, cost analysis, related standards, and manufacturing aspects [Anderson].
Through careful application of this material you will be able to design and prototype embedded
systems based on the Atmel microcontroller fundamentals discussed throughout the course.