Embedded operating system

 In this article, we are going to see the operating systems of the embedded system. There are so many uses of the embedded system. Embedded systems are used in various applications. For example, they are used in watches, washing machines, automobiles, etc.

 what is an embedded system?

The Embedded system is interpreted as a blending of hardware and software systems. The software is embedded in ROM only (READ ONLY MEMORY). The computer hardware is a microprocessor, significant memories like RAM, ROM, caches, input units like keyboard, monitor and scanner, output units like monitor and printer.

Components of embedded system

  • Hardware
  • Application software
  • Real-time operating system (RTOS)

Types of embedded system

   They can be classified based on,

  • Performance and functional requirements
  • Working performance of microcontroller

Performance and functional requirements

  • Real-time
  • Stand alone
  • Networked
  • Mobile

Working performance of the microcontroller

  • Small scale
  • Medium scaled
  • Sophisticated

Components of embedded system

   The major components are,

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Real-time operating system (RTOS)

Operating system

  • There are several operating systems
  • The conventional operating system will present in the general-purpose system. For example, Windows 10, XP, etc.
  • Embedded systems are used for a specified task only like microwave oven, traffic light.
  • They are designed to be compact usage and reliable.
  • The operating system utilizes the network sources of individual or higher processors.
  • These type of operating systems provides a set of services to system users.
  • The operating system manages memory (primary memory and secondary memory) and input/output devices.
  • The central processing unit switches from one program to another so quickly that it giver=s the appearance of executing all of the lists at the same time.
  • Embedded systems need multitasking systems. Multitasking means the ability to perform more than one task or program at the same time, like telephone answering.
  • The complexities in this are given below,
  • Multi-rate tasks
  • Periodic tasks
  • Concurrent tasks
  • Synchronous tasks
  • Asynchronous tasks
See also  Caltrans Cameras: Covering All Of California

Know more: Introduction to VLSI

Requirements of an operating system of the embedded system

 The need for an operating system of the embedded system is the compressor.The compressor is used to compress the data, which is in an uncompressed form.The compressor consists of a character. Compression table and bit queue.The sequence of processing is given below,

  • Power up
  • Decompression
  • Hardware initialization
  • BSP/OS implementation
  • Application code begins

The BSP startup code is provided by,

  • Initializes processor
  • Set parameter for a processor for the following,
  • Memory initialization
  • Clock setup
  • Setting up various components like primary memory, secondary memory, and caches.

BSP also have drivers for peripherals.

The critical element for this operating system is the kernel.

Read also: Battle of displays: QHD vs UHD, QHD vs 4k, FHD vs HD, FHD vs UHD


  • This is the most frequently used part of the operating system.
  • This resides permanently in the main memory.
  • It always runs in privileged mode.
  • This response to calls from processors.
  • This also responds interrupts from devices.
  • It is not an operating system, but it is the central part of the operating systems.
  • It is used to translating the commands that are understood by the computer.
  • The operating system is the interface between hardware and application.
  • In the operating system, the kernel is present.
  • The kernel is the pivotal element of the operating system.
  • The central purpose of the kernel is to handle the communication among hardware and software.
  • The software is user-level and purpose.
  • The equipment is a central processing unit, disk, memories like primary and secondary memories.
  • Every embedded system is working in live-time.
  • So real-time kernel is used in the embedded system.
  • The three specific functions of the kernel are,
  • Task management
  • Task centering
  • Inter task communication
  • The real-time kernel must provide these functions effectively.
  • The primary features of the kernel are given below.
  • Interrupt handling.
  • Process management.
  • Interprocess communication.
  • Synchronization.
  •  Time management.
  • Memory management.
  • Input/output supply
  • High-speed data
  • Resource management
  •  Error handling
  •  Exceptions handling
  •  It should support input/output devices.
See also  Mobile data not working

Types of kernel

  • Monolithic kernel
  • Microkernel

Monolithic kernel

  • Monolithic has all components on the same address space and also by using simple procedure calls like we can call a function.
  • The size is large because there is more number of lines.
  • The process is faster.
  • Debugging is hard.
  • Management is difficult.
  • It is difficult to add new functions.
  • If there is a failure of one component, the whole system will crash.

Micro kernel

  • In the microkernel, the communication between the components is done by message passing. Hence the process is slow.
  • The size is smaller.
  • There is less number of lines, so the size is smaller.
  • The process is slower.
  • Easy debugging.
  • Easier management.
  • Easy to add new functions.
  • If one component crashes, others keep running.

The basic concept of the kernel is hardware abstraction and software driver use.


Thus the kernel is the main component in the operating system of the embedded system. That is explained in this article. THANK YOU FOR READING.