Embedded operating system definition
An embedded operating system is a specialized type of operating system designed to manage embedded systems (computer systems combining hardware and software to perform specific functions only). Unlike general-purpose operating systems, embedded operating systems are tailored to the specific requirements of the device they serve.
Types of embedded operating systems
- Single system control loops only have control over a single measured variable — for example, a smart thermostat. The user sets the desired value of the variable and the system makes decisions in relation to that variable based on the data it receives from sensors.
- A multi-tasking operating system is responsible for several functions at the same time. These embedded operating systems prioritize tasks based on installed algorithms that weigh the device’s current needs.
- Real-time operating systems need to process inputs within very strict time limits (usually as soon as they are received). Real-time operating systems are typically used when the timely execution of the function is of critical importance to other systems.
- Rate monotonic operating systems make use of a special task scheduling method known as “rate monotonic scheduling.” This method prioritizes tasks that take the least amount of time.
Uses for embedded operating systems
- Various systems in your car, such as automotive control systems and engine management systems.
- Industrial automation solutions like robots, programmable logic controllers, and other machinery.
- Smart consumer electronics like Smart TVs and Internet of Things devices.
- Medical imaging equipment, patient monitoring devices, and other medical machinery.