What Is an Embedded System?

Mark M. Budnik
A free video tutorial from Mark M. Budnik
Brandt Professor of Engineering, Valparaiso University
4.6 instructor rating • 22 courses • 57,037 students

Lecture description

Students will be able to explain what an embedded system is, how they are different from traditional computers, and why they use microcontrollers.

Learn more from the full course

Microcontrollers and the C Programming Language (MSP430)

Create C programs for a microcontroller using inputs/outputs, timers, analog-to-digital converters, comm ports, and LCD.

01:45:27 of on-demand video • Updated May 2020

  • Program microcontrollers with the C programming language.
  • Use timer peripherals
  • Use communication peripherals
  • Use analog-to-digital converter peripherals
  • Use a liquid crystal display (LCD)
  • Use the MSP430 to develop embedded systems
English [Auto] Microcontrollers are programmable computer chips that actually the brain's electronic devices in most cases the electronic devices that use microcontrollers are categorized as embedded systems Bellis systems are electrical or electro mechanical systems that contain a programmable computer chip that is a microcontroller but are not intended to be a traditional personal or business computer and not general purpose computers embedded systems perform specific dedicated functions that use both hardware things you can touch. And software instructions to my controller to complete a pre-defined task. Let's go back to our thermostat example. A thermostat is an embedded system and is inputs like air temperature and humidity. And number pushbuttons that the microcontroller monitors based upon its instructions the thermostats microcontroller will then adjust the number of outputs like the display fans air conditioners or furnace. Now there are different types of thermostats and there are bedded systems brain. That is the microcontroller will have its own unique instructions to monitor and control different types of inputs and outputs. However regardless of the type of inputs and outputs a thermostat has it is still a thermostat. This ties directly back to the idea that embedded systems perform dedicated functions that use both hardware things you can touch in software instructions for the microcontroller to complete a pre-defined task. I can't simply turn one system like a thermostat into a different type of embedded system like a television simply by changing its instructions. Remember embedded systems are electrical or electro mechanical systems that contain a programmable computer chip form dedicated functions to complete a pre-defined task. Next we introduce the concept of a microcontroller program that is unique constructions that define one embedded system does.