Embedded Computer Systems

While we often think of computers and laptops for everyday use, almost everything around us has an embedded computer system inside. They are made up of both hardware and software components and are used to make other devices perform specific tasks.

You'll find embedded computer systems in household appliances like TVs, washing machines, and furnaces, as well as in industrial equipment, medical devices, smartphones, and smartwatches. A typical may contain from 50 to 100 embedded microprocessors! Around 98% of all microprocessors are used in embedded systems, quietly doing tasks that make our lives easier and more efficient.

What can you do with Embedded Computer Systems?

There are several high-paying careers in the field of embedded computer systems:

  • Embedded Systems Engineers/Architects are responsible for designing and developing complex embedded systems. This role often requires a strong background in both hardware and software engineering.
  • Firmware Engineers focus on developing low-level software that operates directly on embedded systems. They work closely with hardware engineers to optimize system performance, especially in the automotive, aerospace, and Internet of Things industries.
  • Robotics Engineers specialize in designing and programming robots that utilize embedded systems. This field is rapidly expanding, particularly in industries like industrial automation, healthcare robotics, and autonomous vehicles.
  • Internet of Things Solutions Architects design and implement large-scale IoT systems. They design the overall system architecture, including embedded devices, cloud infrastructure, and data management.
  • Automotive Embedded Systems Engineers integrate complex, critical systems for safety, plus advanced features like autonomous driving and infotainment.
  • Test and Validation Engineers verify and validate embedded systems to ensure they meet the desired functionality, quality, and performance standards. They develop test plans, conduct testing, analyze results, and troubleshoot issues.

As technology continues to advance, the demand for professionals skilled in working with embedded systems is expected to grow.

What you'll study in Embedded Computer Systems

Learn about microcomputer architecture, digital electronics, microcontrollers, and microprocessors. Courses in programming languages like assembly, C, and C++ will be essential, as they form the foundation for embedded systems programming. Students will also study real-time operating systems, embedded system design methodologies, hardware-software co-design, and interfacing techniques. Additional subjects may include digital signal processing, sensor technologies, communication protocols, and system integration.

Contact the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

Send a message
502 E. Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258-0026