Embedded Systems are computer systems, which are – embedded – in mechanic or electronic components and take over their control, data-/signal processing and the communication with the outside world. The size category of the computer units ranges from power-hungry industrial PCs, via consumer-type single board computers like the Raspberry Pi, up to specialized electronic boards, which have been specifically developed and optimized for your application.
An embedded system typically runs with a specifically tailored software for the respective system, which is called firmware. Often customized Linux or Windows versions are used, which provide the runtime environment for the actual application software. Self-developed programs can be installed and executed. Depending on the openness of the system concept there are more or less restrictive guidelines for the implementation and execution to ensure a minimum level of security and integrity.
Alternatively, lean Real Time Operating Systems [RTOS] may be used. These enable an even tighter interlinking between application software and hardware platform with the advantages of real-time capability, higher efficiency and security. Real-time operating systems are specifically designed for the use in embedded systems and offer a much smaller target for malware compared to standard consumer PC operating systems. The tec5 tecSaaS software is also based on a RTOS.
Small systems, which are e.g. part of a simple motor control, often do not even need an operating system. In this case the application tasks are processed in a super loop or state-machine.
The access typically takes place directly without any abstraction and driver level.
On a hardware platform as used by tec5 different hardware components are used. Today’s powerful programmable logic integrated circuits [FPGAs] enable e.g. the parallel processing of the spectral data stream in real-time. In contrast, micro controllers [MCU], which are optimized for a sequential processing, take over the static/mathematical evaluation of spectral data by means of an integrated floating point unit. Subsequently the results coming from the MCU can be submitted via real-time field buses like EtherCAT or PROFINET to the PCS, using ASICs [application-specific integrated circuits]. Various memory modules enable the storage of system configurations and application-relevant data on the unit.
The usage of such an optimized embedded platform allows us to design spectrometer based sensors for the stand-alone use in industrial in-line process control or for mobile use on vehicles. An additional processing unit [PC] is not required any more.
The tecSaaS platform developed by tec5 exactly provides the required modular hardware and software technologies for OEMs, allowing an efficient development of industrial or mobile sensors based on spectral sensing principles.
The tecSaaS platform
developed by tec5 provides the required modular hardware and software technologies, allowing an efficient development of industrial or mobile sensors based on spectral sensing principles.