Emerging Trends and Challenges In Embedded System Design

An embedded system is hardware integrated with software, based on an MPU, and designed for specific functions and system functionalities.
Emerging Trends and Challenges In Embedded System Design

Table of Contents

An embedded system is a hardware system based on a microprocessor, integrated with software and designed to process specific functions or entire system functionalities. With the rapid development of technology and microcontrollers, embedded systems have also evolved in various forms. Embedded software is typically developed to handle specialized hardware in operating systems such as RTOS, Linux, and Windows, among others. Additionally, with the rapid adoption of embedded systems in machine learning, intelligent wearables, home automation, electronic design automation, and multi-core processing, the future of the embedded systems market looks very promising. The global embedded systems market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% from 2022 to 2031, reaching approximately USD 163.2 billion.

Overview of Embedded System Design

In general, an embedded system consists of hardware, software, and an embedded operating system. The hardware includes a user interface, memory, power supply, and communication ports. In the software part, machine-level code is created using programming languages such as C and C++. Real-time operating systems (RTOS) are the most complete operating systems commonly used in embedded systems. Embedded systems are typically classified into three categories, starting from small, medium, and complex types.

Designing an embedded system without a plan can be overwhelming. On the other hand, a systems approach helps to break the design cycle into manageable phases, allowing for proper planning, implementation, and collaboration.

The process of designing an embedded system includes the following steps:

Embedded System Design Process

Product Identification/Abstraction

It all starts with requirements analysis, which involves analyzing product needs and translating them into specifications. The number of inputs/outputs and logical diagrams are not the only considerations, but investigating usage and operating conditions can help determine the appropriate specifications for the embedded system.

Layout Design

Once the requirements have been translated into specifications, the hardware design team can start building the blueprint. At this stage, the design team must choose the appropriate microcontroller based on factors such as power consumption, peripheral devices, memory, and other circuit components, while keeping cost in mind.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

A PCB is a component that uses copper conductors to electrically connect various components and supports them mechanically. PCB design involves a brainstorming process where characteristics and functions, as well as best practices for reliability, must be followed. It becomes even more complex when using high-speed mixed-signal circuits, microprocessors, and microcontrollers. Common types of PCBs include single/double-sided, multilayer, flexible, and ceramic.

Prototype Development

Time is critical and plays a vital role when creating new products for specific market segments. Creating a prototype allows you to identify defects and design advantages early on. It helps to identify design flaws earlier, allows for the testing of ideas, determines product feasibility, and simplifies the design process.

Firmware Development

Writing code for embedded hardware (microprocessors, microcontrollers, FPGAs) instead of writing code for mature computers is called firmware development. Software that controls sensors, peripheral devices, and other components is called firmware. Firmware designers must use coding to bring hardware to life to make everything work smoothly. Utilizing pre-existing driver libraries and sample codes provided by the manufacturer will expedite the process.

Testing and Validation

Before authorized embedded system design can be used for production or deployment, it must undergo rigorous testing. In addition to functional testing, circuits must also undergo reliability testing, especially when running close to their limit conditions.

Trends in Embedded Systems

Technological trends are accelerating, and devices have developed unique qualities suitable for many categories and fields, including embedded systems. Due to its application-oriented approach and a focus on advanced development areas, considering various business domains and their applications, embedded systems, and devices will gain more popularity in the future. Let’s take a look at recent trends in embedded systems.

System-on-Chip (SoC) Solutions

System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions are another new trend in embedded system technology. Many companies offer embedded devices based on SoC solutions, and in these solutions, market delivery of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits is a popular solution. ASICs with excellent performance, small size, low cost, and IP protection are just such a solution. Due to its size, weight, and power performance, it is well suited to the needs of specific application systems.

Wireless Technology

The main goal of building wireless embedded software solutions is information transmission and reception. Wireless embedded systems play an important role in any environment where a physical connection is not possible, and the use of IoT peripheral devices and devices becomes crucial. With advancements in wireless solutions such as Z-Wave, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee, the applicability of embedded wireless systems has greatly increased.


Every system in use today is becoming increasingly automated. Each growth area has a degree of automation, primarily due to the development of computers, robots, and the progress of intelligent technologies such as AI and machine learning. The use of embedded devices accelerates the connection of multiple storage components and can easily connect with cloud technology, providing impetus for devices to expand cognitive processing quickly. Applications based on facial recognition and visual solutions have the advantages of image recognition and capture, image processing, post-processing, and real-time security alerts. For example, smart factories equipped with IoT and AI can significantly improve productivity by monitoring operations in real time and allowing AI to make decisions to prevent operational errors.

Low Power Consumption

Optimizing battery-powered devices for minimum power consumption and longer normal operation times presents significant challenges for developers. To monitor and reduce the energy use of embedded devices, many technologies/modules and design techniques are currently being developed, including Wi-Fi modules, and enhanced Bluetooth that uses less power when optimizing embedded systems at the hardware level.

Challenges in Embedded System Design

Embedded system design is an important component and is rapidly evolving; however, certain challenges need to be addressed, such as issues related to security, updating system hardware and software, power consumption, seamless integration, and validation and testing, all of which play a crucial role in enhancing system performance. When developing embedded systems, it is critical to avoid any unintended actions that may jeopardize user safety. Its design should ensure that life-saving functions do not fail in critical environments. In most cases, embedded devices are controlled using mobile applications, and in such cases, it is essential to ensure that there are no risks of data hijacking or leakage.

Embedded technology will continue to evolve, and manufacturers are now heavily relying on the use of embedded devices, from cars to security systems, from consumer electronics to smart home solutions, and so on. Undoubtedly, embedded systems may now be the most critical factor driving device cognition and performance advances.

The End
DiskMFR Field Sales Manager - Leo

It’s Leo Zhi. He was born on August 1987. Major in Electronic Engineering & Business English, He is an Enthusiastic professional, a responsible person, and computer hardware & software literate. Proficient in NAND flash products for more than 10 years, critical thinking skills, outstanding leadership, excellent Teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Understanding customer technical queries and issues, providing initial analysis and solutions. If you have any queries, Please feel free to let me know, Thanks

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