Introduction

Colin Walls

Embedded systems are everywhere. You cannot get away from them. In the average American household, there are around 40 microprocessors, not counting PCs (which contribute another 5–10 each) or cars (which typically contain a few dozen). In addition, these numbers are predicted to rise by a couple of orders of magnitude over the next decade or two. It is rather ironic that most people outside of the electronics business have no idea what “embedded” actually means. Marketing people are fond of segmenting markets. The theory is that such segmentation analysis will yield better products by fulfilling the requirements of each segment in a specific way. For embedded, we end up with segments like telecom, mil/aero, process control, ...

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