Role Of Programming Languages in Embedded System

Programming: The overall embedded systems market has evolved considerably in the last few years.  This includes the technology and industries served.  With the advent of IoT and the Industrial IoT (IIoT), embedded systems technology has become an enabler for the rapidly expanding world of smart and connected IoT ecosystems.  The broad, diverse, and highly fragmented embedded systems market consists of software, development platforms, and hardware.  More industries, products, and services than ever now rely on embedded systems. The industrial market for embedded systems includes communications, automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, military systems, along with industrial controls and other sectors, including smart cities.

An embedded system is an electronic/electromechanical system designed to perform a specific function and is a combination of both Hardware and Software (Firmware). Embedded system are becoming an inevitable part of any product or equipment in all fields including household appliances, telecommunication, medical equipment’s and consumer products etc.


Embedded System Programming Languages

Embedded systems were in existence even before the IT revolution. During the first and second generation, embedded algorithms are developed in low level languages.

Advances in semiconductor also brings revolution in Embedded software using operating system, which is a real-time operating system that performs multiple tasks at a time. The embedded programs are programmed using in C/C++ , Phyton, and Java Scripts languages and are processed on operating systems like LINUX OS, Fusion RTOS, Nucleus RTOS, micro C/OS, OSE, etc. Selection of programming language plays a vital role in developing embedded software, which is based on certain factors as shown below,

  • Size: The amount of memory required by a program plays an important role, as embedded processors (microcontrollers) has a specific amount of ROM (Read Only Memory) based on its application.
  • Speed: The speed of program execution must be fast
  • Portability: Different processors can be compiled using one program.
  • Implementation is difficult
  • Maintenance is difficult.

As far as programming languages are concerned, these are the usual programming languages that you often use for building other software products. But if we want to implement these languages for programming embedded devices one should learn the syntaxes and procedures for using these programming languages. For Embedded Developers, IEEE has recently published a list of top programming languages. According to that list top 17 languages are:

  1. Python
  2. C
  3. C++
  4. Arduino
  5. Assembly                                                       
  6. Rust
  7. C#
  8. Verilog
  9. VHDL
  10. LabView
  11. Elixir
  12. Ada
  13. D
  14. Forth
  15. TCL
  16. LadderLogic
  17. Erlang

Among them Python, C, and C++ have secured top positions in the list. These languages are useful when it comes to embedded systems. Some uncommon software languages such as Elixir, and Ada are also used for programming embedded devices.


Why these Languages gain more popularity than other Programming Languages?

Python is popular in embedded systems programming.

  • It known for its writability, concise, readable coding style, and error deduction.
  • Python is more preferable in the case of 2nd and 3rd genration embedded systems specifically in real time applications and neural networks.
  • Trend of MicroPython is increasing these days due to its lean and efficient implementation in real time system.

C++ is popular as it is.

  • More safer than C because of its use of string literals, enumeration constants, templates etc.
  • Constructors and Overloading Functions in C++ are providing strength to embedded systems programming.
  • The object oriented nature of C++ is also quite useful for complex embedded systems programming.

Also Read: How IT helped Million of Students

Next-Generation special purpose products require next-generation microcontrollers with advanced resources on it. So, demand of Advanced High Level Language increasing commendably and these top seekers High Level Languages play a vital role in it.

Asst. Prof.
Department of IT.
TIMT, Jalandhar.

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