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Embedded software's principal role is not information technology (i.e. it is not about information and the technologies related to providing information services), but rather the interaction with the physical world. It's written for machines that are not, first and foremost, computers. Manufacturers 'build in' embedded software in the electronics in cars, telephones, audio equipment, robots, appliances, toys, security systems, pacemakers, televisions and digital watches, for example. This software can become very sophisticated in applications such as airplanes, missiles, and process control systems.
Embedded software is usually written for special-purpose hardware: that is computer chips that differ from general-purpose CPUs[dubious ], sometimes using real-time operating system such as LynxOS, VxWorks, Linux (with patched kernel), OpenWrt, PikeOS, eCos, BeRTOS, ThreadX, Windows CE, Fusion RTOS, Nucleus RTOS, RTEMS, Integrity, QNX and OSE.
Communications protocols designed for use in embedded systems are available as closed source from companies including InterNiche Technologies and CMX Systems. Open-source protocols stem from uIP, lwip, and others.
Due to software bugs, the increased use of embedded software has, (arguably), led to an increased failure rate in automobiles. It is worth noting that the introduction of guidelines by the Motor Industry Software Reliability Association, (MISRA), to improve the quality and reliability of the embedded software in automobiles provided, possibly for the first time, a set of good practice guidelines for creating robust embedded code, these guidelines were initially aimed at C, (MISRA C), and have been extended to include C++, and a number of tools were developed to allow checking of compliance with the guidelines. These guidelines and tools have become widely accepted in a number of other industries, most especially those with a safety impact such as the Aviation industry.
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