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What are microprocessors used in?

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Today, micro processors are included in almost any electronical device: computers, and any computer-like device such as mobile phones, PDAs, digital video cameras or recorders, digital cameras, etc. Microprocessors are also used in many cars (or: vehicles in general), domestic appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens or coffee makers. Basically, almost any electronic device, or device that uses electronics, employs some form of a micro processor. The group of devices using micro processors even extends to those devices that were traditionally pure electrical, or electromechanic, devices such as light switches or light bulb holders, thermostatic raditor valves, and so forth. With intelligent building control technologies, those devices are increasingly converted into smart, computerized, electronics devices that have local intelligence (by way of a local micro processor), and communicate through networking technologies similar to the way your PC communicates with this site via the Internet.

There are actually 2 microprocessors in the iPhone: The processor and the baseband. The baseband controls wireless functions of the iPhone such as bluetooth and telephone connection. This processor is a resource to the main processor which is used to control the user interface and higher-level systems of the Phone, such as applications that the user is likely to interact with. Microcontrollers are used in : Home Appliances, intercom, telephones, security systems,garage door openers, answering machines, fax machines, home computers, TVs, cable TV tuner, VCR, camcorder, remote controls, video games, cellular phones, musical instruments, sewing machines, lighting control, paging, camera, pinball machines, toys, exercise equipment Office : Telephones, computers, security systems, fax machines, microwave, copier, laser printer, color printer, paging Auto : Trip computer, engine control, air bag, ABS, instrumentation, security system, transmission control, entertainment, climate control, cellular phone, keyless entry overall we can say that microcontoller is used where function has to be done after a certain time period or after satisfying some logical conditions....

What is an Embedded Computer? The first question that needs to be asked, is "What exactly is an embedded computer?" To be fair, however, it is much easier to answer the question of what an embedded computer is not, than to try and describe all the many things that an embedded computer can be. An embedded computer is frequently a computer that is implemented for a particular purpose. In contrast, an average PC computer usually serves a number of purposes: checking email, surfing the internet, listening to music, word processing, etc... However, embedded systems usually only have a single task, or a very small number of related tasks that they are programmed to perform. Every home has several examples of embedded computers. Any appliance that has a digital clock, for instance, has a small embedded microcontroller that performs no other task than to display the clock. Modern cars have embedded computers onboard that control such things as ignition timing and anti-lock brakes using input from a number of different sensors.

Embedded computers rarely have a generic interface, however. Even if embedded systems have a keypad and an LCD display, they are rarely capable of using many different types of input or output. An example of an embedded system with I/O capability is a security alarm with an LCD status display, and a keypad for entering a password. In general, an Embedded System:

Is a system built to perform its duty, completely or partially independent of human intervention. Is specially designed to perform a few tasks in the most efficient way. Interacts with physical elements in our environment, viz. controlling and driving a motor, sensing temperature, etc.


An embedded system can be defined as a control system or computer system designed to perform a specific task. Common examples of embedded systems include MP3 players, navigation systems on aircraft and intruder alarm systems. An embedded system can also be defined as a single purpose computer. Most embedded systems are time critical applications meaning that the embedded system is working in an environment where timing is very important: the results of an operation are only relevant if they take place in a specific time frame. An autopilot in an aircraft is a time critical embedded system. If the autopilot detects that the plane for some reason is going into a stall then it should take steps to correct this within milliseconds or there would be catastrophic results. What are Embedded Systems Used For? The uses of embedded systems are virtually limitless, because every day new products are introduced to the market that utilize embedded computers in novel ways. In recent years, hardware such as microprocessors, microcontrollers, and FPGA chips have become much cheaper. So when implementing a new form of control, it's wiser to just buy the generic chip and write your own custom software for it. Producing a custom-made chip to handle a particular task or set of tasks costs far more time and money. Many embedded computers even come with extensive libraries, so that "writing your own software" becomes a very trivial task indeed. From an implementation viewpoint, there is a major difference between a computer and an embedded system. Embedded systems are often required to provide Real-Time response. A Real-Time system is defined as a system whose correctness depends on the timeliness of its response. Examples of such systems are flight control systems of an aircraft, sensor systems in nuclear reactors and power plants. For these systems, delay in response is a fatal error. A more

relaxed version of Real-Time Systems, is the one where timely response with small delays is acceptable. Example of such a system would be the Scheduling Display System on the railway platforms. In technical terminology, Real-Time Systems can be classified as:

Hard Real-Time Systems - systems with severe constraints on the timeliness of the response. Soft Real-Time Systems - systems which tolerate small variations in response times. Hybrid Real-Time Systems - systems which exhibit both hard and soft constraints on its performance.


Embedded System Applications

Military and aerospace embedded software applications

USAF C/KC-135 Upgrades

F ro m i n-o rbi t emb ed d ed systems to j umb o j ets to vi tal b attl efi el d netwo rks, d esi g ners o f mi ssi on-cri ti cal aerosp ace and defense systems req ui ri ng real -ti me p erformance, scal abi l i ty, and hi gh-avai l abi li ty faci l i ti es co nsi stentl y turn to the LynxO S RTOS and the LynxOS -178 RT OS fo r so ftw are certi fi cati o n to DO -178B. Ri ch i n system reso urces and netwo rki ng servi ces, LynxOS p ro vi d es an o ff-the-shel f so ftw are pl atfo rm wi th hard real -ti me respo nse b acked b y pow erful di stri b uted co mp uti ng (CORBA ), hi g h rel i abi l i ty, so ftw are certi fi cati o n, and l o ng -term supp ort o p ti ons. T he LynxOS -178 RTO S fo r so ftw are certi fi cati on, b ased o n theRT CA DO-178B stand ard, assi sts d evel o pers i n g ai ni ng certi fi cati o n fo r thei r mi ssi on- and safety-cri ti cal systems. Real -ti me systems p ro g rammers g et a b oo st wi th LynuxW o rks' DO -178B RTOS trai ni ng co urses. LynxOS -178 i s the fi rst DO -178B and EURO CA E/ED-12B certi fi abl e, PO SIX -co mp ati bl e RTOS sol uti o n.

Medical electronics technology

Wi th the i ntrod ucti o n of the LynxS ecure sep arati on kernel and emb ed d ed hyp ervi so r, medi cal d evi ces can no w have the b est of bo th wo rl d s, wi th hard real -ti me ap pl i cati o ns runni ng al o ng si d e co mmerci al d eskto p op erati ng systems o n the same i nd ustry-stand ard I ntel p ro cesso rs. T he sep arati o n kernel offers bo th safety and securi ty p arti ti o ni ng fo r ap pl i cati o ns. T he emb ed ded hyp ervi so r functi o nal i ty al l ow s "g uest" o perati ng systems and thei r ap pl i cati ons to run i n thei r ow n p arti ti o ns.

Communications applications

MultiMedia Communications eXchange Server (MMCX) from Lucent

"Fi ve-ni nes" avai l abi l i ty, Co mp actPCI ho t sw ap supp o rt, and hard real -ti me respo nse LynxOS del i vers o n these key req ui rements and mo re fo r tod ay's carri er-cl ass systems. S cal abl e kernel co nfi g urati ons, di stri b uted co mp uti ng cap abi l i ti es, i nteg rated co mmuni cati o ns stacks, and faul t-management faci l i ti es make LynxOS the i d eal choi ce fo r co mp ani es l oo ki ng fo r a si ngl e op erati ng system for al l emb ed ded tel eco mmuni cati o ns ap pl i cati o ns fro m co mpl ex central co ntrol l ers to si mpl e l i ne/trunk card s. LynuxW o rks Jump S tart fo r Co mmuni cati ons p ackag e enabl es O EMs to rapi dl y d evel o p mi ssi o ncri ti cal co mmuni cati o ns eq ui p ment, wi th p re-i nteg rated, state-o f-the-art, d ata netw orki ng and p o rti ng softw are co mpo nentsi ncl udi ng so urce co d e fo r easy custo mi zati o n. T he Lynx Certi fi abl e S tack (LCS) i s a secure T CP/I P p ro to col stackd esi g ned esp eci al l y fo r ap pl i cati o ns where stand ard s certi fi cati o n i s req ui red.

Electronics applications and consumer devices

CF InFlight's Skycam

A s the numb er of pow erful embed d ed p ro cesso rs i n co nsumer d evi ces co nti nues to ri se, the LynxO S real -ti me op erati ng system p ro vi d es a hi g hl y rel i abl e o p ti on fo r systems d esi g ners. Fo r makers o f l ow -co st co nsumer el ectro ni c d evi ces w ho wi sh to i nteg rate the LynxO S real ti me o p erati ng system i nto thei r p ro d ucts, w e o ffer sp eci al MS RP-b ased p ri ci ng to red uce ro yal ty fees to a negl i gi bl e po rti o n o f the d evi ce' s MS RP.

Industrial automation and process control software

Viking Power Plant Control Room

Desi g ners o f i nd ustri al and p ro cess co ntrol systems kno w fro m exp eri ence that LynuxWo rks o p erati ng systems p rovi d e the securi ty and rel i abi li ty that thei r i nd ustri al ap pl i cati ons req ui re. F ro m IS O 9001 certi fi cati o n to faul t-tol erance, POSI X co nformance, secure p arti ti o ni ng and hi g h avai l abi l i ty, w e' ve go t i t al l . T ake advantag e o f o ur two d ecades of exp eri ence.