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Embedded Software

  1. John Linn

Published Online: 14 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse558

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Linn, J. 2007. Embedded Software. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 DEC 2007


Embedded software is commonplace. It is a defining constituent of the many products we use daily. More and more, products depend on electronics and software to implement the many new functions we demand. As a result, the complexity of embedded software is exploding.

Development of complex embedded software is a nonrecurring cost that must be amortized across sales of all products that use the software. Because of the high cost of developing software containing millions of lines of code, software reuse, in all its forms, is the only practical way to minimize this cost to the consumer.

The embedded software developer faces many special challenges. Among these challenges are quick time-to-market with hardware/software codesign, high-quality designs with high reliability, special design-for-test features enabling high test coverage, scalable modular designs incorporating many different CPUs and instruction sets, software architectures and computational models that address real-time applications, designs that support energy-efficient use of the underlying electronics, user-centric interfaces, and protection from the risks of computer hacking, terrorism, theft, and litigation.


  • embedded software;
  • software complexity;
  • software development process;
  • software development cost;
  • time-to-market;
  • software reliability;
  • software architecture;
  • energy-efficient software;
  • product liability;
  • digital security