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Embedded Systems Development Offers Great Careers!!

Embedded Systems
“The first, not the last say make self sufficiency in defense and make use of our young engineers. “

In today’s world embedded system is becoming part and parcel of our day to day life. Gadgets such as Smartphone, auto lock car, A/C, fridge and set top box have ushered in a difference in our life. Embedded Systems is also playing a vital role in civilian and defense industries with remotely movable objects, driverless metro rail, cars and defense planes, missiles, among others. The other advanced embedded systems with ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) chips are also predominantly used to connect billions of people in the world through internet devices called routers, switches, storage servers in the cloud network.

Embedded Systems is clearly an emerging field which can provide abundant opportunities.

Key Technical skills Required
In the technical side, C and Data-structures form the core part of the Embedded Systems. The remaining modules of importance are - TCP/IP Network programming, Real Time Operating Systems, Linux operating system internals, Micro controllers and multicore processors. These topics provide a framework of understanding of various aspects of embedded systems. Such framework understanding will help to solve almost all the industry needs.

Any academic background like BE, B.Tech., ME, M.Tech., M.Sc. (IT, Elns, CS), MCA is sufficient to get into Embedded Systems domain provided that the individual has the passion to build next generation embedded products.

Approach to learn embedded systems
Focused approach is very much needed for learning embedded systems. Generally speaking Embedded Systems programming is hard, so you need to learn it in a systematic approach. Embedded is the root of every computing system in the world, if you understand it, you can understand anything and everything in the computing world.

Future of Embedded Systems
Embedded is the basement of every connected device in the world. Let me show this way.

Who controls our luxury living room? I mean all the devices that you use in living room like smart phone, smart TV, music system, laptop, desktop, ipad etc. – Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Who makes what?
Google – nexus phones, Moto G, Google TV, Google glasses, driverless car, tablet, streaming YouTube, android OS for phones etc.

Apple – iphone, Apple TV, iTunes streaming servers, tablets, iCloud storage etc.

Microsoft – windows, CE, Xbox, windows mobiles, tablets etc. – everything.

Also let’s look at these companies like - Google bought Motorola to enter smart phone market as well as chip design, Microsoft bought Nokia to enter mobile and router market - like this there are lot of major players in embedded system. Following are some of the big multinational corporations which are making big bet on

Intel, IBM, Cisco, Philips, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Texas instruments,
Juniper, Alcatel Lucent, Broadcom, Cavium, Brocade, Aruba and Dell.
There are more than 1000 big players and a lakhs of small and medium companies investing in embedded with communications and is the future of developing nations.

It is near certain that in near future every human being will use at least 5 devices like phone, iPad, laptop, smart TV and a smart integrated device in the car. It is also estimated that by 2020 the smart computing is going to transfer 50 trillion giga bytes of data over internet with connected internet devices like routers, switches, streaming servers, 3g/4g as well as 31 billion utility hand held devices connecting 4 billion people in the world.

Subjects to concentrate in engineering degree
As I said C and Data-structures form the ‘core’, I think C language is covered in first year for all branches because this forms the core of all the computer languages as well as systems that they use. Next comes to Data Structures (DS) subject, this also covered in 2nd year, 8051 and tcp/ip communications subject is also covered in 3 rd year. The problem I see here is all engineering graduates are neglecting core subjects of Unix, C, C++ and DS, as if they think it is tough area, no proper guidance and going to web browser technologies and making heavy competition in IT.

As they are neglecting core subjects, they are unable to understand complete system of computing and thus no innovative ideas. Also I think we need to update our engineering syllabus because we came to era of multitasking with multiple cores on a single chip, like it started from Pentium 4 to core 2 duel core, i3 3 core, i5 5 core, i7 7 core chip used in computers and multicore chips are predominantly used for advanced embedded systems.

My advice to all engineering graduates, be smart, think positive, have a goal, first of all learn core subjects like UNIX, C and C++ and then proceed to learning Java or .Net stream or any stream you like. Core subjects are important to see in and out of system as a whole. I also think by the time you cover core subjects in depth, you may get employment related to you professional degree as the problem is not unemployment but employable talent, employment opportunities are in abundance in the world.

Embedded Systems Educational Opportunities
Though there is a great career opportunities in future, not much institutional support has been offered in India to match the requirement. Following are some of the institutes that are offering advanced courses in Embedded Systems Development –
    • Episteme Soft Pvt Ltd
    • C-DAC
    • ThinkLABS
    • Ameya Centre For Robotics & Embedded Technology
    • India Institute of VLSI Design And Training

Job Nature
In general any product development company will have to develop hardware and software for that product. It means that to develop hardware it requires Hardware engineers to develop board, chip design engineers to develop ASIC, board support package engineers to develop boot loader means a software to test the factory developed hardware, Kernel engineers to develop micro kernel / customized kernel, device driver engineers to develop and customize devices, protocol engineers to develop different stacks like tcp/ip stack, Bluetooth stack, Wi-Fi stack, wimax stack, usb stack, 1394 stack, umts stack, VoIP stack, 3g/4g stack and so on. The products includes enterprise routers, switches, data center servers, hubs, modems, Wi-Fi access points, set top box, smart TV, portable consumer devices like MP3 players, PDA's, Mobile phones, gaming devices, and also Industrial automation systems.

So one can look to join in positions such as - Hardware designer, ASIC designer, Board Support Package developer, Protocol development engineer, industrial automation solutions developer and customized device drivers for a particular device, among others.

These roles provide exciting career opportunities in the embedded industry as of today.

Published date : 07 Apr 2015 05:05PM

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