What is a Embedded Operating System : Block Diagram & Its Applications

Charles Stark Draper was an American Scientist (2nd Oct 1901 – 25th July 1987), developed the first embedded system that is Apollo guidance computer in 1965 at “MIT Instrumentation Laboratory”. The first embedded OS is real-time Vxworks, developed by wind river systems in 1987, Second embedded OS is Linux products, launched by Linus Torvalds in 1991 Oct 5 and some other OS are Apple IOS, Google’s Android IOS, and Apple Mac OS. Some of the best-embedded system companies are Delphi Automotive PLC in Chennai, Tata Elxsi in Thiruvananthapuram, Audrey Technologies in Kerala, Brisa technologies in Karnataka, Microwave Technologies in Bangalore. This article discusses an overview of the Embedded Operating System.

What is an Embedded Operating System?

Embedded Operating System is defined as a combination of hardware and software. An operating system is a software used for programming, it converts hardware language (binary language) into software language (C, C++, etc) and displays the output that humans can understand in the form of images, text, and sounds. The short form of the operating system is OS.

For example, a computer is designed using hardware components, but with only hardware, the system will not operate because the software is a must and should to run the system. The difference between hardware and software is we can see, touch and feel the hardware components but we can’t see, touch and feel the software.

Block Diagram of Embedded System

The block diagram of an embedded system consists of input devices, output devices, and memory.

 Input Devices: Input devices are used to send the data from the user to the system, here the user is the input. Some of the input devices are Keyboard, mouse, microphone, hard disk, sensors, switches, etc.

 Output Devices: Out devices show the result to the humans in the form of text, image or sounds. Some of the output devices are printers, monitors, LCD, LED, motors, relays, buzzers, etc.

 Memory: The memory is used to store the data. Some of the memory devices are SD card, EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory), Flash memory. The memory devices used in the embedded system are Non-volatile RAM, volatile RAM, Dynamic Random Access Memory), etc.

block-diagram-of-embedded system
block-diagram-of-embedded system

Windows Embedded Operating System

On Nov 10th, 1983 Microsoft windows announced by bill gates. There are three different types of windows operating systems are windows OS for mobiles, windows OS for Pc’s and windows OS for servers.


  Windows OS for Server

Some of the windows OS for servers are

  • Windows NT launched in 1993
  • Windows 2000 servers launched in 2000
  • Windows Server 2016

  Windows OS for Mobiles

Some of the windows OS for Mobile’s are

  • Windows 6.1 version released in 1st April 2008
  • Windows 6.5 version released in 2009
  • Windows 7 launched in 2011
  • Windows 8 and Windows 9
  • Windows 10 was announced on 21st January 2015

  Windows OS for Pc’s

Some of the windows OS for Pc’s are

  • Windows 1 released in 1985
  • Windows 95 released in 1995
  • Windows ME is launched in 2000
  • Windows 9 and Windows 10 are launched in 2015

Operating System

An Operating System is an interface between the users and the computer hardware. The short form of operating the system is OS. There are five different types of operating systems they are

  Real-time Operating System

  • The real-time operating system performs real-time applications.
  • The real-time OS is two types they are soft real-time and hard real-time.
  • Hard real-time meet a deadline but soft real-time doesn’t meet a deadline. This is the difference between hard and soft real-time.

  Multitasking Operating System

  • The multitasking OS allows users to perform more than one task.
  • The multitasking OS is of two types they are preemptive and cooperative.
  • Examples of multitasking: eating and watching TV simultaneously, chatting during classes, eating chocolates while walking, talking on a phone while walking, etc.

  Network Operating System

  • The short form of the network operating system is NOS.
  • It allows several multiple computers connected to a LAN (Local Area Network).
  • There is two type of network OS they are: peer to peer and client/server.
  • Examples of network OS: Windows 2000, Linux, Microsoft windows, etc.

  Distributed Operating System

  • The distributed operating system is defined as a collection of independent computers that are used to perform a single task jointly.
  • Examples of distributed OS: intranets, the internet, sensors networks, etc.

  Batch Operating System

  • It collects the input data into batches and each batch is processed as a unit.
  • Examples of the batch operating system: transactions, payroll system, bank statements, reporting, integration, etc.

Embedded Operating System Vs Desktop Operating System

The difference between embedded OS and desktop OS are shown in the below table

S.NO Embedded Operating System Desktop Operating System
1 The first embedded OS is Apollo guidance computer in 1965 The first desktop OS is NLC (On-Line system) developed in 1960
2 It is designed to run only a single task It is designed to run many tasks simultaneously
3 Boot time is faster compared to desktop OS Boot time is slower in desktop OS
4 Performance of the web browser takes less time to load the websites Performance of the web browser takes a long time to load the websites
5 It takes less time to run the applications It takes a longer time to run the applications
6 It uses only flash drives for storage It uses hard drives and flash drives for storage
7 Embedded OS cost is less Cost is expensive
8 It requires less storage compared to desktop OS It requires more storage
9 It has fewer application features It has more application features


Some applications of the embedded operating system are shown in the below

  • Mobiles
  • Washing machines
  • Televisions
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Dishwashers
  • ATM’s
  • Satellites
  • Vehicles


The Advantages of the embedded operating system are

  • Easy to design
  • Low cost
  • Good performance
  • Requires Less power
  • Small size
  • Reliable


Some of the disadvantages of the embedded OS are

  • It is difficult for troubleshooting
  • Data transfer from one system to another system is difficult
  • Systems can’t be changed once it is configured

Real-time Characteristics of Embedded System

The real-time characteristics of an embedded system are shown in the below

  • Reliability
  • Predictability
  • Manageability
  • Scalability
  • Compactness

An Embedded Operating System is a good technology which we are using in our daily life. Mostly will find embedded products in our daily life, because manufacture’s are designing the products based on this technology. Here is the question for you what type of operating system is used in cars?