What is an Embedded Processor?
An embedded processor is a microprocessor that is designed to be included in an electronic device to control the device’s functions. It is also known as a microcontroller or a system on a chip (SoC). The embedded processor is typically smaller, less powerful and less expensive than a general purpose computer processor. It is used in a wide range of devices, from simple products like home appliances and toys to complex systems like automotive electronics and medical equipment.
In general, an embedded processor performs three main functions: input/output (I/O) control, data processing, and memory control. It accepts input from sensors, switches, touchscreens or other devices and processes the input to determine the appropriate output. It then controls the output devices such as motors, displays or audio equipment. All of these functions are usually performed within the same physical chip.
One of the key advantages of an embedded processor is that it can be programmed to perform specific functions using software, making it highly customizable. This is different from a general purpose computer processor, which runs software applications that are written to run on a variety of different devices.
Embedded processors are also designed to be low power, as many devices that use embedded processors are battery powered. This makes them highly efficient and minimizes power consumption, which helps to extend the battery life of a device.
One example of an embedded processor is the microcontroller used in a digital camera. The microcontroller reads input from the user interface (buttons, touchscreen or rotary dial), processes the image from the camera sensor, and controls the display, flash, focus and zoom functions. Another example is the microprocessor used in a car’s engine management system. It reads data from various sensors around the engine and adjusts the fuel injection and ignition systems to optimize performance, reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
In summary, an embedded processor is a specialized microprocessor designed to perform specific functions in a device. It is highly customizable, low power and efficient, making it an ideal choice for use in a wide range of electronic devices.