Information and communication technologies (ICT) form the bedrock upon which tomorrow's innovative solutions are built. Embedded systems and global networks - like the internet and the data and services found there - are two major ICT motors driving technological advances being made in the INDUSTRIE 4.0 and SMART SERVICE WORLD environments.
Embedded systems are the intelligent central control units at work in most modern technological products and devices. Combining hardware and software with programmable or fixed-in capability, embedded systems are designed to manage device-specific functions.
They typically operate as information-processing systems "embedded" within an "enclosing" product for a set range of device-specific applications. These "connect" with the outside world using sensors and actuators; allowing embedded systems to be interconnected with each other and the online world.
Embedded systems already play a central - if almost hidden - role in all of our lives. More than 98 percent of all processors produced worldwide are deployed in regulator, control, and monitor functions in devices for all facets of daily life. For instance, they are there in everything from vehicle ABS and ESP systems, smart phone communication and information services, and ordinary domestic household devices to industrial production plant systems.