Real-Time Embedded System
Embedded System

Real-Time Embedded System

To understand what a real-time embedded system is, let’s first define the embedded system.

An embedded system is a combination of Hardware and Software. It is more of an application oriented system. In short, it is dedicated to perform a single task.

 So, a real-time embedded system is a type of computer system with timing constraints. That is to say, a system which responds to external events or input stimuli in a timely fashion.

Embedded System

Types of Real Time Embedded Systems

There are two types of real time embedded systems. One is hard and second is soft.

  1. Hard Real Time Embedded System

Firstly, this type of system makes sure that all critical processes are completed within the given time frame.

This means that all delays in the system are strictly timed. It is implemented when it is crucial that no deadlines are missed.

Moreover, hard real time systems are useful in various areas such as missiles, airplanes etc.

2. Soft Real Time Embedded System

These are much less constrictive than hard real time systems. But, the basic premise is the same. That is to say, critical processes must be completed within a given period.

Performance is not totally degraded when deadlines are missed.

Moreover, soft real time systems are useful in various areas such as multimedia, scientific projects etc.

Applications of Real Time Embedded Systems

  • Vehicle control systems for automobiles, ships, railways, airplanes etc.
  • Telephone, radio, and satellite communications
  • Computer games
  • Systems with artificial intelligence and robotics
  • Building control systems that manage heat, doors, elevators etc.
  • Space operations such as spaceship launch and monitoring, space station control etc.
  • Process control for power plants, chemical plants, and consumer products such as soft drinks

Challenges of Developing Real-Time Embedded Systems

Embedded system is one of the most challenging areas of software engineering as it faces numerous design difficulties arising from business requirements.

1.Physical Constraints

It refers to hardware components.

Embedded engineers usually have to create a product that should satisfy the following conditions:

  • Definite device size
  • Spatial constraints for device installation
  • Limited memory and power consumption
  • Certain environmental conditions for device operation (temperature, humidity, pressure)

2. Timing Constraints

The essence of real-time systems is that they must respond to events within a predetermined time limit.

The toughest challenge for developers is to create a system that is able to meet deadlines in any situation.

3. Task Scheduling

Real-time operating systems comprise scheduling algorithms that are responsible for managing these constraints.

Therefore, quick responses to events directly depend on which scheduling algorithm you choose for your real-time embedded solution.

It contains 4 types of algorithm in  preventive and non-preventive algorithms:

  1. Priority scheduling
  2. Round-robin scheduling
  3. First come, first served (FCFS)
  4. Shortest job first (SJF)


In short, real-time embedded systems offer the predictability and performance that help embedded systems.

To clarify, we build the products that embedded systems developers need to change the world and protocol analyzers to reduce debug time. And it will help to get your product to market even faster. 

In this article, we have learnt about real-time embedded systems, its types and more.

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Nikita Shingade

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[…] embedded system is a computer that is integrated into a larger machine, such as a robotic arm’s […]