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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
embedded system
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computer Hardware and software which forms a component of
some larger system and which is expected to function without
human intervention.
A typical embedded system consists of a single-board
microcomputer with software in ROM, which starts running
some special purpose application program as soon as it is
turned on and will not stop until it is turned off (if ever).
An embedded system may include some kind of operating system
but often it will be simple enough to be written as a single
program. It will not usually have any of the normal
peripherals such as a keyboard, monitor, serial connections,
mass storage, etc. or any kind of user interface software
unless these are required by the overall system of which it is
a part. Often it must provide real-time response.