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Embedded software refers to software that is embedded in electronic products to control their operations. Many electronic products we see in daily life, including such home appliances as rice cookers and refrigerators, automobiles, mobile phones and smartphones, as well as automatic ticket gates at stations, are controlled by embedded software.
In the 1980s, microprocessors became available to allow a variety of devices to be controlled by software. In line with this, progress has been made in the operating system (OS) software that controls equipment on a real time basis. On top of these, user needs have become increasingly diversified and complicated each year. As a result, embedded software is required to perform increasingly higher functions.
In general, embedded software is often developed exclusively for a specific device. This makes it difficult for the development of embedded software to take advantage of economies of scale compared with software developed for PCs and other general-purpose computers. Accordingly, research is under way to realize development of high-quality embedded software in a highly efficient manner.