Not every device needs a complete computer system, and it is always easier to implement function in software over complex hardware design. Embedded systems are here to stay. In fact, I just built a few products centered around microcontrollers. Although I could have done the same thing with a PC, having a standalone device offloads the work. I know a few engineers in the making, they say they have hardly faced embedded design in the college course path. It is a sad day.. This is why jobs are shipped out of the USA (and other places).
Hi Vineet--interesting article and good focus on how much modular capability exists for embedded functionality. You didn't mention it so I thought I would add that the wireless M2M space is offering lots of embedded capability, including modules with wireless chipsets, and ARM processor, and loads of I/O. I touched on a few of these in a blog on a sister community to DesignNews called TheConnectingEdge.com:
Vineet, It just makes sense that embedded platforms would play a role in Next-Gen Designs. With chip-level integration and system-on-a-chip continuing to evolve, there is just a great opportunity to develop intelligent systems using these high performance building blocks and COTS solutions. Thanks.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.