Updated: 08/16/2021 by Computer Hope

Embedded may refer to any of the following:

1. When referring to HTML, the <embed> tag is used to designate an area for interactive content (plug-in) or an external application.

2. With computer hardware and software embedded describes an object, software, or hardware that's independent and does not need an external program or device to run. An example is an embedded operating system, which is software included in many specialized devices.

An embedded system or special-purpose computer is a computer with a processor and memory with input and output capability that's part of a larger system. For example, all modern cars have several embedded systems designed to control a specific part of a car (e.g., cruise control).

Unlike a general-purpose computer and specialized computer, special-purpose computers are designed for a specific task, making them easier to develop and manufacture, and are cheaper.

Examples of embedded systems

Below are examples of where embedded systems are found. These examples are only a small fraction of devices using an embedded system. Today, if the device you're using has any intelligence, it's using an embedded system.

  • ATMs
  • Cars
  • Cash registers
  • Cell phone and Smartphones
  • DVD and Blu-ray players
  • Home appliances, like dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, and washing machines
  • Manufacturing robots
  • Medical equipment
  • Printers, copiers, and fax machines
  • Security cameras
  • Smoke detectors
  • Televisions
  • Traffic lights
  • Ventilating systems

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