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Professional Windows® Embedded Compact 7 by Thierry Joubert, David Jones, Samuel Phung

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WHAT IS AN EMBEDDED DEVICE?

When referring to an embedded device, some of you may still think of the small devices, typically built with a microcontroller with limited processing capability and memory. Contrary to this thinking, many embedded devices in today’s market are built with a powerful processor, abundant memory, and storage.

Some of the current embedded devices are built with computing technology that can rival an enterprise class server from just a few years ago. Not too long ago, enterprise servers were built with processors that operate in the sub gigahertz (GHz) range, with system memory in the 100 megabyte (MB) range and storage in the gigabyte (GB) range.

Today, many of you use smartphones built with a GHz processor, 512MB or more system memory, and 8GB to 32GB of storage.

As technology rapidly advances and enables more powerful processor modules with more integrated features to be built in a smaller footprint at a lower cost, it enables a new generation of consumer, industrial, medical, robotics, education, and other devices to be built with better and innovative features that can deliver these devices to the market with a higher perceived value at a lower cost.

Today, using available technology, embedded devices can be built with a broad range of capabilities, with processors ranging from low-power, 8-bit microcontrollers with limited memory to powerful processors with CPU clocks operating in the GHz, memory in the GB, and storage in the 100-GB range. With some ...

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