The Process for Designing Embedded Systems

A controller for a variety of other electrical devices is an embedded system. Both embedded hardware and software are employed. In embedded systems, microprocessors and microcontrollers are both employed. The microprocessor, which external processors and peripherals interface with, is a cr

What is an Embedded System Design?

The practice of integrating hardware and software for a single function across a larger territory is known as embedded system design. In order to design an embedded system, a microcontroller is required. The microcontroller, a key component of an embedded system, is based on Harvard architecture. Less space and energy are needed for the microcontroller's interaction with the external processor, internal memory, and i/o components. Microcontrollers are used in a variety of products, including washing machines and MP3 players.

Steps for Embedded Systems Design

Without a clear strategy, embedded systems design can be frightening. However, a methodical approach makes it simpler to split the design cycle into phases that can be managed, enabling efficient planning, execution, and collaboration.

Analysis of Requirements

The first and most crucial phase in the design of embedded systems is gathering, examining, and translating the product requirements into specifications. Each requirement must be specified in writing and thoroughly reviewed with the client or manager.

Other than the logic diagram and I/O count, there are other factors to take into account. Investigating usage and operational circumstances is necessary to determine the proper specs for the embedded system. An embedded system that functions indoors is very different from one that must dependably function in difficult conditions.


After requests are translated into specifications, hardware designers can start drawing schematics. The right microcontroller and extra circuit components must now be chosen by the design team.

The microcontroller serves as the brain of an embedded system. It is crucial to give careful thought to variables like CPU speed, memory, peripherals, power consumption, and cost before making a final choice.


After the schematic is complete, the PCB for the embedded system needs to be designed. PCB design is a delicate process that necessitates adhering to best practices for fabrication, dependability, and use.

PCB design is made more challenging when working with high-speed microcontrollers and/or mixed-signal circuits. EMI problems can arise in high-speed designs, and noise coupling must be avoided in mixed-signal systems as well as adequate ground separation.


After the PCB layout passes the DRC test and is error-free, the prototypes must be finished. Since so many vendors offer low-volume prototypes, this is not a problem.

Firmware Development

More than simply hardware is involved in an embedded system design. Firmware designers must program the hardware to life in order for it to operate. The process can be sped up by using the manufacturer's offered sample code and pre-existing driver libraries.

Firmware development still takes a lot of effort, and even a small error in a line of code might result in hours of troubleshooting.

Testing & Acceptance

Before it can be made or used, an embedded system design must pass stringent tests. In addition to passing functionality tests, the circuit must also pass reliability tests, particularly when operating near its limits.

User Interface Design

User interface design must take into account the user's demands, the environment, and the functionality of the system. As an illustration, there are various factors to take into account if we want to reduce the power consumption of a mobile phone.


In the computer, data communications, telecommunications, industrial control, and entertainment industries, embedded systems are also swiftly becoming a change-agent. Automatic methods are beneficial for all fields and will save both individuals and groups of people.