What is an embedded system: explanation, definition, and examples

What is an embedded system: explanation, definition, and examples

How many times have you thought about the way traffic lights, alarms, and other systems work? Each of them is also related to programming. Developers with different specializations work together to create embedded software.

Get an answer to the question “What is an embedded system?” and learn its usage examples and development challenges below!

Definition of an embedded system

An embedded system is basically a connection between software and hardware. It is installed in almost all the technologies that surround you. These include traffic lights, mobile phones, remote controls, IoT tech, and all kinds of stuff.

Such a system can work online autonomously. Currently, there are nearly 50 billion devices that work on embedded software. It’s a huge number that grows daily. This also means that there is increased demand for embedded system development.

It is also necessary to note that AI and machine learning play a huge role here. They highly influence the way embedded systems are designed. Besides, new technologies always bring additional possibilities to existing ones.

What is an embedded system: explanation, definition, and examples


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The difference between an embedded and a general-purpose system

It is very easy to confuse these two options because they are truly very similar.

So, what is an embedded system? Here is a brief explanation:

  • It usually has one purpose.
  • It is a part of most modern electronics.

Some examples of an embedded system could be a central heating system, digital watch, or even a GPS system.

If we speak of general-purpose systems, they are a little bit different:

  • They can be reconfigured for an unlimited number of purposes.
  • It is part of some modern electronics.

Some examples of a general-purpose system are desktop computers and laptops. You could generally say that it’s a computer of some kind.

Where are embedded systems applied?

If you understand the way this technology works, it is easy to see that it can be applied in all areas. We shall cover some of them below.


Modern vehicles have multiple systems. One of them is the anti-lock braking technology that is built on embedded software. The same goes for air conditioning, ignition, windshield wipers, and others.


Automation is one of the core requirements for the industrial area. This involves a constant combination of repetitive actions. Thus, it increases efficiency and brings better results. Embedded software helps the machines in areas such as temperature control, machinery control, robotics, and others.


Any office involves a whole lot of technologies. You might not see that at once, but your printers, routers, security systems, and other devices all work on embedded software. Without it, you would definitely have a hard time at work.

Smart homes

If you want to watch a movie, you turn on the TV. Warming food requires a microwave oven. Boiling water needs a kettle. Fancy security systems use cameras. Do you get the point? Each of these technologies wouldn’t exist without embedded software.

Embedded system development

Embedded system programming is a complicated task that requires knowledge of certain programming languages and tech stacks. You would usually encounter C, C++, Java, and Python, although many other languages are acceptable as well.

If you want to develop an embedded hardware-software solution, you may expect the price to be around $50,000 for the whole project. However, the final cost depends on many factors, especially when you want to get a complex solution. Thus, you can contact the Global Cloud Team for a quote.

Where to find an embedded system development team?

Finding a decent team is very challenging. You generally have three options:

  1. Freelancers
  2. Agencies
  3. The Global Cloud Team.

While freelancers might seem to be the cheapest option, they often lack quality and systematization. This means that your project might get delayed, you could be scammed, or the product might not be what you’ve expected.

Agencies are a bit more reliable, although they charge higher rates. It’s a costly choice, and you must ensure that you work with the best teams. Finding such an agency is very hard because they are always busy.

Finally, the Global Cloud Team is the most reasonable choice in terms of quality and pricing. There are over 450 developers in the company, meaning that there always is space for a new project. Our experience is proven by the 100+ completed projects available on the website.

Create your embedded system now!

While you’re reading this text, your competitors are already developing their products. You already know the answer to “What is an embedded system?”, so why delay things? Contact the Global Cloud Team now!

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