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Embedded measurement systems

An ”embedded system” is a computer that is designed for one purpose only (or possibly for a few purposes), like running a laundry machine or a digital camera for example. The computer system is referred to as “embedded” since it is integrated (“embedded”) into the system it controls. (Desktop and laptop computers are on the other hand not designed for a specific purpose; they are supposed to run anything from web browsers and word processors to advanced games and multimedia applications.) For these reasons, an embedded computer system is typically much less powerful; cost and power consumption are more important performance parameters than speed and disc space. While laptops and desktops are run by x86 CPUs, embedded systems are based on micro controllers, FPGAs or ASICs.

A “measurement system” has a sensor that monitors a physical quantity (like temperature) and transforms temperature into some electrical quantity (like voltage). The voltage is transferred into a digital format that can be understood by the computer and the computer will process this data in order to produce an estimation of the original physical quantity.

An “embedded measurement system” is a computer system that is designed to measure only one physical quantity (or a few). The research in embedded measurement systems at the department of Physics is most of all focused on “Instrument-on-Chip” with the purpose of implementing complex measurement systems into an FPGA or a microcontroller.

Page Manager: Måns Henningson|Last update: 9/16/2015

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