Features of Embedded Operating Systems

An embedded system is designed to work on specific functions in a system.

An embedded system (EOS), therefore, is:

• Built to operate with little, or no, human intervention

• Designed to conduct the task in the most efficient way

An embedded system is different from general-purpose computers, such as laptops and desktops, in that a computer system can handle several tasks at the same time.

Below are some of the features of embedded operating systems.

Features of Embedded Operating Systems

a) Embedded operating systems are task-specific; all embedded operating systems are designed to do the same task throughout their lifetime. For instance, an operating system which is designed to control the operations of an mp3 player can only do that job, but cannot be used for any other task.

b) Embedded operating systems have minimal or no user interface (UI); since no human input is required to make the system work, embedded operating systems have little or no user interface. For instance, the operating system for a washing machine is set to work on its own after the program is established, and stops once the task is completed.

c) Embedded operating systems require meager resources to operate; most embedded systems are designed to achieve certain efficiency levels. Not only are they usually small, but also, they work with less power and memory without compromising their efficiency

d) Embedded operating systems are small in size; this means that they can run in a system with little storage space and memory, yet still work efficiently.

e) Embedded operating systems are efficient; an EOS is designed for efficiency in achieving the task they are intended for. An EOS is optimized for energy, code size, execution time, weight and dimensions, and cost.

f) Embedded operating systems rely on microcontrollers or microprocessors; since embedded systems conduct only one function, they do not require massive processors and controllers. They can use small microprocessors without compromising their efficiency.

g) Embedded systems are created to perform the task within a specific time frame; an embedded system is designed to meet real-time constraints and react to stimuli within the time limit which is dictated in their working environment. Any answer that arrives too late or too early is considered wrong.

h) Embedded systems can react to external stimuli; embedded operating systems can interact with other systems through sensors and actuators. Embedded systems are in continuous interaction with the environment and execute at the pace which is determined in their configurations

i) Embedded systems are highly stable and reliable; embedded systems are stable and can perform the functions which they were designed for, without the need for upgrades or changes.