Embedded C interview question on what is an Embedded System?

What is an Embedded System? is one of the frequently asked embedded c interview question for those who are freshers and less than 6 months of work experience. Let us see the answer below.


Embedded control systems are designed around a MCU (Micro Controller Unit), which integrates on-chip program memory, data memory (RAM) and various peripheral functions, such as timers, displays, and keyboard and communication devices. Such systems usually require display drivers, device drivers to manage various devices and implement the application with or without operator intervention. Some systems require real time or quick response to real world inputs. Often they operate without any operator assistance or inputs round the clock. This requires very high system stability and error handling capability. 

Embedded Systems programming is different from PC application programming in the following aspects.

  • Unlike "processor" applications such as personal computers and workstations, the computing or controlling elements of the embedded control applications are buried inside the application.
  • Requires understanding of Hardware/System architecture. The user of the product is only concerned with the very top-level commands. Very rarely does an end-user know (or care to know) the embedded controller inside (unlike the conscientious PC programmers, who are intimately familiar not only with the processor type, but also its clock speed, DMA capabilities and so on).
  • Requires strict/careful timing characteristics.
  • Should be programmed to run on resource/ time/ performance constrained environments and fast response/ less memory.

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