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Digital transformation is touching upon various physical objects, making them smart and powerful. The engine for such devices is embedded software that is an integral part of the rapidly developing IoT ecosystem.

This article is dedicated to the tools for embedded software development. We will explain what an embedded system is and what types of tools are needed to build one. You will also learn about the most popular embedded system software development tools currently available on the IT market.

Embedded Software - 

If traditional desktop software is written for computers, embedded software is integrated into non-computer hardware to control its functions. The hardware is represented by various monitoring devices, machines, sensors, wearables and practically every piece of modern electronics. Embedded technology, together with networks and information technologies, constitutes the Internet of Things systems and is widely used in medicine, manufacturing, appliances, the automotive industry, transportation and aviation.  

The core difference between desktop and embedded programming lies in their purposes. General computers are used for multiple purposes, which is why their software can be installed on numerous devices and can be easily reconfigured. Embedded software, on the contrary, serves a single purpose and is created specifically for a certain device it should run on.  

In addition, embedded solutions are developed taking into account environmental factors such as temperature or humidity that may influence devices and affect their performance.

An embedded system is a combination of a hardware module and a software module.

To assemble hardware, the following basic components are needed:

  • A power supply

  • SoM (System-on-a-Module)/SoC (System-on-a-Chip) — a combination of microprocessors, peripherals, memory, IO on a single board  

To create software, the following basic components are needed:

  • Operating systems (Windows CE, Yocto Linux, ThreadX, Nucleus RTOS)

  • Languages (C, C++, Python, JavaScript, etc.)

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