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Operating Systems for Embedded Applications eBook

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Operating Systems for Embedded Applications eBook

Matching the OS to the application

by Tom Barrett of Embedded Environments Co.

There has always been a variety of opinions amongst embedded system developers about the best system architecture for their applications. The subject has endured for over forty years and continues to this day. The debate tipped in favor of using a defined software architecture primarily because of the growth in the complexity of embedded applications.

In the world of embedded systems, there are many system architectures, or, environments, that provide a foundation on which the application developer designs and implements the software that becomes the application. As befits the applications themselves, some system architectures are better suited to a given type of application than others. For example, the cruise control on an automobile has tight timing needs whereas a smart thermostat does not. They are both considered embedded applications but their architectural needs differ greatly.

The intent of this document is to provide a top-level, generic overview of system architectures commonly used in embedded systems. Some of them have real-time capabilities and some do not. Nevertheless, they are useful in a broad range of embedded applications where their capabilities match the needs of the application.

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