7 May 2022


Embedded Systems versus Operating Systems

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Coursework

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Embedded systems are parts of a computer system that are dedicated to a particular task, and functions within the larger computer systems with constraints on functionality. Some of the unique properties of embedded systems are that they have lower power consumption, small sizes and a limited number of functionalities (Alippi, 2014). Embedded systems are now parts of many systems in use today.

Embedded systems are part of a larger system, and therefore will be pre-engineered to perform specific tasks. Therefore, size reduction and cost of making the device becomes less as the functionality ranges reduce. As a result, the reliability of the product and its longevity is assured. Some embedded systems can be mass produced. This way, the manufacturer can benefit from the economies of scale. Such uses included wrist watches, MP3 players, and DVD players among others. On the other hand, traffic lights, factory controllers, MRI machines are complex systems that use embedded systems for certain control functions (Barr, 2009).

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In contrast to a normal operating system, there are some differences that are present between both systems that could differentiate the two. For example, an operating system can be made for a number of functionalities that are quite different while an embedded system can only be made custom to a particular function or limited number of function. As a result, an operating system can receive data from different functions and process it, while the embedded system can only process data from the specific data set that it is programed to receive. For example, a car’s embedded system cannot process data from a clock’s embedded system, but an operating system can interpret both. Therefore, an operating system will majorly be differentiated from an embedded system on the range of functionalities that each could perform.


Alippi, C. (2014). Intelligence for Embedded Systems. New York: Springer Publishers.

Barr, M. (2009). Real Men Program in C . Retrieved from Embedded.com: http://www.embedded.com/electronics-blogs/barr-code/4027479/Real-men-program-in-C .

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Embedded Systems versus Operating Systems.


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