Embedded Career is the Entry gate to anything which makes a machine intelligent using Electronics. Embedded system is a combination of hardware and software for a particular application. If one can understand the concept of Embedded system, It will be not difficult for that person to understand CPU based General purpose platforms e.g. PC . Embedded systems are being used in our daily life for many years.
Embedded Systems Journey
Do you remember when you started hearing word Automatic ? Automatic Gear iin Car, Semi or Fully automatic washing machine, Automated Teller Machine(ATM) , Automatic Toll System etc Who was doing the manual job here ? Embedded System .
Few years back, Another term was coined Smart . This initiated another set of embedded systems Smart Energy meter , Smart watch , Smart Bat, Smart Key chain , Smart board , Smart TV and a long list … So here Embedded Systems converted normal things to Smart things .
If we look into Automotive , The main functionality such as Engine control, Meters, Chasis , Safety, Air bags, Car Audio, Car Body etc . are based on ECUs . There may be more than 100 ECUs in a luxury car while in normal a handful of them. Here ECU stands for Electronic Control Unit which is an Embedded System to control electrical systems in a car.
Role of Networking
Now with availability of internet , Internet Of Things (IoT) converting buildings, neighborhood , City and in fact whole world to Smart. One of the critical requirement of IoT based system is Security of data. This led to concept like secure boot and need of framework for integrating cloud services with IoT enabled network. Application programmers need to just use API for accessing the services.
With the increase trend of open source software, reduction of memory and silicon devices , It is possible to build embedded system with RTOS or any other OS at reasonable cost. For example Raspberry Pi . The moment OS is supported for any system, hardware management responsibilities goes to OS itself and User applications just use system APIs to access the same.
The future of IoT is Artificial Intelligence (AI) . Embedded system professionals can easily adopt AI system machine as that will be also a computing device. AI basically simulates human brain . Similar to human being , AI system has to learn from the data received , apply its knowledge or algorithms , predict the outcome, correct/upgrade the knowledge base. Who will provide data to AI system ? IoT node . So still embedded professionals will be required .
Future is with Computer Vision and Machine Learning , Why should I learn Embedded ?
I do Agree that next generation is for Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Big Data etc Lets see the role of Embedded here :
Did you try face detection with OpenCV using Raspberry-Pi board ? You may create a complete product but what you will do if your competitor introduce a customize low cost product with same feature ? Someone has to work on the low-level drivers , board design , bring-up and integrate camera module . Here is the role of Embedded Engineer .
Same thing applies when you use micropython with OpenMV board for color tracking .
What are various Embedded Applications ?
- Aerospace and Defense
- Audio and Speech
- Home Appliances
- Intelligent Power
- Internet Of Things
- Motor Control
- Smart Energy/Metering
But where is the Job for Embedded System Engineer ?
There is no doubt that it takes time to get job in Embedded domain so it is basically individual choice, efforts and patience . Everyone try for IIT , Many students prepare for GATE and few go further for IAS exams even after knowing the challenges . If someone has good academic background and try for Embedded Career, It should not be that difficult. There are options for average students as well but no-one can guarantee for Job. If you are looking for Embedded System Job, following are some of the options to hunt for job :
Job Opportunities in India
- Direct link to regular job updates
- Direct link to career portal of different companies . We will keep updating based on input received.
Key Areas to Focus
- Digital Signal Processors (DSP)
- Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)
- Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
- Embedded System Board Design
- Software Development Tools
- Software Testing Tools
Here is very inspiring story of my ex colleague Daniel Beeker from Freescale/NxP . Daniel started his technical journey with Air Force electronics training followed by role as Test Repair Technician at Motorola, and now Daniel is the Senior Principal Engineer with NXP. I will highly recommend to watch Dan’s story to understand the value of basic science and practical knowledge in Engineering. I am grateful to Daniel for sharing this URL.
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