An embedded system is a computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions often with real-time computing constraints. It is embedded as part of a complete device often including hardware and mechanical parts. By contrast, a general-purpose computer (such as a PC, is designed to be flexible and to meet a wide range of end-user needs. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today. See Wikipedia:Embedded System for further description.
As the general purpose systems (PCs) are becoming smaller and smaller and the embedded systems become more and more powerful (and universally usable devices), the border between embedded systems and general purpose computers will wash out in future. Also a point of discussion would be to which section smart phones shall be assigned.
We can divide embedded systems into two sections
- Embedded systems w/o general purpose operating system (OS).
For this devices, a special target in FPC exists TARGET Embedded
- Embedded systems with a general purpose operating system
There are serveral operating systems commonly used in embedded systems
- Embedded Linux
- Embedded Windows