Embedded Programming

What Does Embedded Programming Mean?

Embedded programming is a specific type of programming that supports the creation of consumer facing or business facing devices that don’t operate on traditional operating systems the way that full-scale laptop computers and mobile devices do. The idea of embedded programming is part of what drives the evolution of the digital appliances and equipment in today’s IT markets.


Embedded programming is also known as embedded software development or embedded systems programming.

Techopedia Explains Embedded Programming

Some experts define embedded programming as the dominant methodology for microcontroller programming. Essentially, embedded programming involves programming small computers that drive devices. In terms of its practical implementation, embedded programming is useful in the design of software for automotive features, small facilities-handling devices like thermostats, handheld games or other small devices.

Experts also point out that embedded programming differs from full OS-based programming because developers have to take into account the limitations and structures of device hardware. This includes the microprocessor and circuitry. Designers will have to use the unique specifications of this hardware, in order to present an embedded programming solution that works. Experts also use the terms microcomputer and microcontroller to describe certain types of embedded programming. Again, this type of programming is an overall designation for development that will help small computers power objects and appliances that may someday be added to the growing Internet of Things, which will feature more of these tiny computers and allowing cars, home security systems, and many other kinds of functional systems and services to become part of the globally connected Internet.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.