The use of computerized systems within the food processing industry regulated by the Food and Drug Administration FDA continues to increase. The use of computerized system technology is expected to continue to grow in the food industry as the cost of components decrease, as components are continually improved to withstand the rigors of the food processing environment, and as food companies continue to update production facilities, equipment and manufacturing processes in an attempt to produce high quality, high value products. New process design will strive to achieve safe quality products, while at the same time reducing production time and cost. The use of computerized control systems in the production of food products lends itself to fulfilling those goals.
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The Trajectory of Digital Computing
Because an embedded system typically controls physical operations of the machine that it is embedded within, it often has real-time computing constraints.
Embedded systems control many devices in common use today. Modern embedded systems are often based on microcontrollers i. In either case, the processor s used may be types ranging from general purpose to those specialized in certain class of computations, or even custom designed for the application at hand. A common standard class of dedicated processors is the digital signal processor DSP. Since the embedded system is dedicated to specific tasks, design engineers can optimize it to reduce the size and cost of the product and increase the reliability and performance.
Some embedded systems are mass-produced, benefiting from economies of scale. Embedded systems range from portable devices such as digital watches and MP3 players , to large stationary installations like traffic light controllers , programmable logic controllers , and large complex systems like hybrid vehicles , medical imaging systems, and avionics.
Complexity varies from low, with a single microcontroller chip, to very high with multiple units, peripherals and networks mounted inside a large equipment rack. The origins of the microprocessor and the microcontroller can be traced back to the MOS integrated circuit , which is an integrated circuit chip fabricated from MOSFETs metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors and was developed in the early s.
By , MOS chips had reached higher transistor density and lower manufacturing costs than bipolar chips. MOS chips further increased in complexity at a rate predicted by Moore's law , leading to large-scale integration LSI with hundreds of transistors on a single MOS chip by the late s. One of the very first recognizably modern embedded systems was the Apollo Guidance Computer , [ citation needed ] developed ca. At the project's inception, the Apollo guidance computer was considered the riskiest item in the Apollo project as it employed the then newly developed monolithic integrated circuits to reduce the size and weight.
An early mass-produced embedded system was the Autonetics D guidance computer for the Minuteman missile , released in When the Minuteman II went into production in , the D was replaced with a new computer that was the first high-volume use of integrated circuits.
Since these early applications in the s, embedded systems have come down in price and there has been a dramatic rise in processing power and functionality. An early microprocessor for example, the Intel released in , was designed for calculators and other small systems but still required external memory and support chips. In National Engineering Manufacturers Association released a "standard" for programmable microcontrollers, including almost any computer-based controllers, such as single board computers, numerical, and event-based controllers.
By the early s, memory, input and output system components had been integrated into the same chip as the processor forming a microcontroller. Microcontrollers find applications where a general-purpose computer would be too costly.
A comparatively low-cost microcontroller may be programmed to fulfill the same role as a large number of separate components. Although in this context an embedded system is usually more complex than a traditional solution, most of the complexity is contained within the microcontroller itself.
Very few additional components may be needed and most of the design effort is in the software. Software prototype and test can be quicker compared with the design and construction of a new circuit not using an embedded processor.
Embedded systems are commonly found in consumer, industrial, automotive, home appliances, medical, commercial and military applications. Telecommunications systems employ numerous embedded systems from telephone switches for the network to cell phones at the end user. Computer networking uses dedicated routers and network bridges to route data. Consumer electronics include MP3 players , mobile phones, video game consoles , digital cameras , GPS receivers, and printers.
Household appliances, such as microwave ovens , washing machines and dishwashers , include embedded systems to provide flexibility, efficiency and features. Advanced HVAC systems use networked thermostats to more accurately and efficiently control temperature that can change by time of day and season.
Transportation systems from flight to automobiles increasingly use embedded systems. New airplanes contain advanced avionics such as inertial guidance systems and GPS receivers that also have considerable safety requirements. Automobiles , electric vehicles , and hybrid vehicles increasingly use embedded systems to maximize efficiency and reduce pollution. Embedded systems within medical equipment are often powered by industrial computers.
Embedded systems are used in transportation, fire safety, safety and security, medical applications and life critical systems, as these systems can be isolated from hacking and thus, be more reliable, unless connected to wired or wireless networks via on-chip 3G cellular or other methods for IoT monitoring and control purposes. In dealing with security, the embedded systems can be self-sufficient and be able to deal with cut electrical and communication systems.
A new class of miniature wireless devices called motes are networked wireless sensors. Wireless sensor networking, WSN , makes use of miniaturization made possible by advanced IC design to couple full wireless subsystems to sophisticated sensors, enabling people and companies to measure a myriad of things in the physical world and act on this information through IT monitoring and control systems.
These motes are completely self-contained, and will typically run off a battery source for years before the batteries need to be changed or charged. Embedded Wi-Fi modules provide a simple means of wirelessly enabling any device that communicates via a serial port. Embedded systems are designed to do some specific task, rather than be a general-purpose computer for multiple tasks.
Some also have real-time performance constraints that must be met, for reasons such as safety and usability; others may have low or no performance requirements, allowing the system hardware to be simplified to reduce costs. Embedded systems are not always standalone devices. Many embedded systems consist of small parts within a larger device that serves a more general purpose. For example, the Gibson Robot Guitar features an embedded system for tuning the strings, but the overall purpose of the Robot Guitar is, of course, to play music.
The program instructions written for embedded systems are referred to as firmware , and are stored in read-only memory or flash memory chips. They run with limited computer hardware resources: little memory, small or non-existent keyboard or screen. Embedded systems range from no user interface at all, in systems dedicated only to one task, to complex graphical user interfaces that resemble modern computer desktop operating systems.
More sophisticated devices that use a graphical screen with touch sensing or screen-edge buttons provide flexibility while minimizing space used: the meaning of the buttons can change with the screen, and selection involves the natural behavior of pointing at what is desired. Handheld systems often have a screen with a "joystick button" for a pointing device. Some systems provide user interface remotely with the help of a serial e. Ethernet connection. This approach gives several advantages: extends the capabilities of embedded system, avoids the cost of a display, simplifies BSP and allows one to build a rich user interface on the PC.
A good example of this is the combination of an embedded web server running on an embedded device such as an IP camera or a network router. The user interface is displayed in a web browser on a PC connected to the device, therefore needing no software to be installed.
Examples of properties of typical embedded computers when compared with general-purpose counterparts are low power consumption, small size, rugged operating ranges, and low per-unit cost. This comes at the price of limited processing resources, which make them significantly more difficult to program and to interact with. However, by building intelligence mechanisms on top of the hardware, taking advantage of possible existing sensors and the existence of a network of embedded units, one can both optimally manage available resources at the unit and network levels as well as provide augmented functions, well beyond those available.
Embedded processors can be broken into two broad categories. In contrast to the personal computer market, many different basic CPU architectures are used since software is custom-developed for an application and is not a commodity product installed by the end user. Both Von Neumann as well as various degrees of Harvard architectures are used. Most architectures come in a large number of different variants and shapes, many of which are also manufactured by several different companies.
Numerous microcontrollers have been developed for embedded systems use. General-purpose microprocessors are also used in embedded systems, but generally, require more support circuitry than microcontrollers.
Sometimes these boards use non-x86 processors. In certain applications, where small size or power efficiency are not primary concerns, the components used may be compatible with those used in general purpose x86 personal computers. Boards such as the VIA EPIA range help to bridge the gap by being PC-compatible but highly integrated, physically smaller or have other attributes making them attractive to embedded engineers.
The advantage of this approach is that low-cost commodity components may be used along with the same software development tools used for general software development. Systems built in this way are still regarded as embedded since they are integrated into larger devices and fulfill a single role. Examples of devices that may adopt this approach are ATMs and arcade machines , which contain code specific to the application. When a system-on-a-chip processor is involved, there may be little benefit to having a standardized bus connecting discrete components, and the environment for both hardware and software tools may be very different.
One common design style uses a small system module, perhaps the size of a business card, holding high density BGA chips such as an ARM -based system-on-a-chip processor and peripherals, external flash memory for storage, and DRAM for runtime memory. The module vendor will usually provide boot software and make sure there is a selection of operating systems, usually including Linux and some real time choices. These modules can be manufactured in high volume, by organizations familiar with their specialized testing issues, and combined with much lower volume custom mainboards with application-specific external peripherals.
Implementation of embedded systems has advanced so that they can easily be implemented with already-made boards that are based on worldwide accepted platforms. These platforms include, but are not limited to, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. A common array for very-high-volume embedded systems is the system on a chip SoC that contains a complete system consisting of multiple processors, multipliers, caches and interfaces on a single chip.
Embedded systems talk with the outside world via peripherals , such as:. As with other software, embedded system designers use compilers , assemblers , and debuggers to develop embedded system software. However, they may also use some more specific tools:. As the complexity of embedded systems grows, higher level tools and operating systems are migrating into machinery where it makes sense. For example, cellphones , personal digital assistants and other consumer computers often need significant software that is purchased or provided by a person other than the manufacturer of the electronics.
Embedded systems are commonly found in consumer, cooking, industrial, automotive, medical applications. Household appliances, such as microwave ovens, washing machines and dishwashers, include embedded systems to provide flexibility and efficiency. Embedded debugging may be performed at different levels, depending on the facilities available.
The different metrics that characterize the different forms of embedded debugging are: does it slow down the main application, how close is the debugged system or application to the actual system or application, how expressive are the triggers that can be set for debugging e. Unless restricted to external debugging, the programmer can typically load and run software through the tools, view the code running in the processor, and start or stop its operation.
The view of the code may be as HLL source-code , assembly code or mixture of both. Because an embedded system is often composed of a wide variety of elements, the debugging strategy may vary.
For instance, debugging a software- and microprocessor- centric embedded system is different from debugging an embedded system where most of the processing is performed by peripherals DSP, FPGA, and co-processor. An increasing number of embedded systems today use more than one single processor core. A common problem with multi-core development is the proper synchronization of software execution. Real-time operating systems RTOS often supports tracing of operating system events. A graphical view is presented by a host PC tool, based on a recording of the system behavior.
The trace recording can be performed in software, by the RTOS, or by special tracing hardware. RTOS tracing allows developers to understand timing and performance issues of the software system and gives a good understanding of the high-level system behaviors. Embedded systems often reside in machines that are expected to run continuously for years without errors, and in some cases recover by themselves if an error occurs.
Therefore, the software is usually developed and tested more carefully than that for personal computers, and unreliable mechanical moving parts such as disk drives, switches or buttons are avoided.
Computer , device for processing, storing, and displaying information. Computer once meant a person who did computations, but now the term almost universally refers to automated electronic machinery. The first section of this article focuses on modern digital electronic computers and their design, constituent parts, and applications. The second section covers the history of computing.
Electronic waste – an emerging threat to the environment of urban India
The history of computing hardware covers the developments from early simple devices to aid calculation to modern day computers. Before the 20th century, most calculations were done by humans. Early mechanical tools to help humans with digital calculations, like the abacus , were called "calculating machines", called by proprietary names, or referred to as calculators. The machine operator was called the computer. The first aids to computation were purely mechanical devices which required the operator to set up the initial values of an elementary arithmetic operation, then manipulate the device to obtain the result.
Computer Hardware Engineers
Because an embedded system typically controls physical operations of the machine that it is embedded within, it often has real-time computing constraints. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today. Modern embedded systems are often based on microcontrollers i. In either case, the processor s used may be types ranging from general purpose to those specialized in certain class of computations, or even custom designed for the application at hand. A common standard class of dedicated processors is the digital signal processor DSP.
Chapter 7. Telecommunications, the Internet, and Information System Architecture. The electronic transmission of information over distances, called telecommunications, has become virtually inseparable from computers: Computers and telecommunications create value together. Components of a Telecommunications Network. Telecommunications are the means of electronic transmission of information over distances. The information may be in the form of voice telephone calls, data, text, images, or video. Today, telecommunications are used to organize more or less remote computer systems into telecommunications networks.
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As a technician involved with the processes controlled by PLCs, it is important to understand their basic functionalities and capabilities. What is a Programmable Logic Controller? A programmable logic controller PLC is a digital computer used for automation of electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or lighting fixtures. PLCs are used in many industries and machines. Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed or non-volatile memory. A PLC is an example of a real time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a bounded time, otherwise unintended operation will result. Figure 1 shows a graphical depiction of typical PLCs. Figure 1: Typical PLCs. PLC invention was in response to the needs of the American automotive manufacturing industry where software revision replaced the re-wiring of hard-wired relay based control panels when production models changed. Before the PLC, control, sequencing, and safety interlock logic for manufacturing automobiles relied on hundreds or, in some instances, thousands of relays, cam timers, and drum sequencers and dedicated closed-loop controllers.
That same year in Germany, engineer Konrad Zuse built his Z2 computer, also using telephone company relays. Their first product, the HP A Audio Oscillator, rapidly became a popular piece of test equipment for engineers. In , Bell Telephone Laboratories completes this calculator, designed by scientist George Stibitz. Stibitz stunned the group by performing calculations remotely on the CNC located in New York City using a Teletype terminal connected via to New York over special telephone lines. This is likely the first example of remote access computing. The Z3, an early computer built by German engineer Konrad Zuse working in complete isolation from developments elsewhere, uses 2, relays, performs floating point binary arithmetic, and has a bit word length. The Z3 was used for aerodynamic calculations but was destroyed in a bombing raid on Berlin in late Zuse later supervised a reconstruction of the Z3 in the s, which is currently on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Hundreds of allied bombes were built in order to determine the daily rotor start positions of Enigma cipher machines, which in turn allowed the Allies to decrypt German messages. The basic idea for bombes came from Polish code-breaker Marian Rejewski's "Bomba.
History of computing
In fact, calculation underlies many activities that are not normally thought of as mathematical. Walking across a room, for instance, requires many complex, albeit subconscious, calculations. Computers, too, have proved capable of solving a vast array of problems, from balancing a checkbook to even—in the form of guidance systems for robots—walking across a room. Before the true power of computing could be realized, therefore, the naive view of calculation had to be overcome. The inventors who laboured to bring the computer into the world had to learn that the thing they were inventing was not just a number cruncher, not merely a calculator. For example, they had to learn that it was not necessary to invent a new computer for every new calculation and that a computer could be designed to solve numerous problems, even problems not yet imagined when the computer was built. They also had to learn how to tell such a general problem-solving computer what problem to solve. In other words, they had to invent programming. They had to solve all the heady problems of developing such a device, of implementing the design, of actually building the thing.
This limitation is rather fundamental, because the fastest possible speed for information transmission is of course the speed of light, and the speed of an electron is already a substantial fraction of this. Where we hope for future improvements is not so much in the speed of computer devices as in the speed of computation. At first, these may sound like the same thing, until you realize that the number of computer device operations needed to perform a computation is determined by something else--namely, an algorithm. So further improvement in algorithms offers a possible route to continuing to make computers faster; better exploitation of parallel operations, pre-computation of parts of a problem, and other similar tricks are all possible ways of increasing computing efficiency.
Hardware refers to all of the physical parts of a computer system. For a traditional desktop computer this comprises the main system unit, a display screen, a keyboard, a mouse, and sometimes a orinter. Speakers, a webcam and an external hard drive for back-up storage are often also included. The following gives a basic overview of personal computer PC hardware, with the focus being on desktop computers.
Did you ever wonder how many computers and computing devices there are in the world? According Gartner Research, there were 2 billion PCs in the world as of And this figure did not include handheld devices like tablets and smartphones. If you move forward in time 7 years to , the number of connected computing devices exceeded the global population for the first time in history.
A computer is a programmable device that can automatically perform a sequence of calculations or other operations on data once programmed for the task. It can store, retrieve, and process data according to internal instructions. A computer may be either digital, analog, or hybrid, although most in operation today are digital.