Thursday, February 22, 2018
Welcome to the "Embedded Internet" Web Site

This site is dedicated to the "Embedded Internet" subject and the "Embedded Internet" book.  Here, you will find information such as news, updates, book's errata, and the Getting Started Guide.

A forum is implemented for those readers who need help about the Labs setup, Labs exercises, as well as any question or comment about the book or the "Embedded Internet" matter.

We hope you enjoy the site!

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Why Embedded Internet?

Why the "Embedded Internet" book?

Why Embedded Internet?

Embedded Systems are part of our lives. We can find them in several applications, like home appliances, industrial plants, medical equipments, communication devices, and automotive applications, among others.

Some embedded systems are generally located remotely from people that service or operate them. In such cases, tasks like monitoring their operation, checking their performance, collecting data, or upgrading the application software can be a costly and time-consuming process. Also, some applications could get great benefits if they could remotely report their status, get remote data to process, or even send remote messages to have their administrator informed about some incidents.

Many applications require huge memory and processing power necessary to run complex algorithms that generate certain results. Due to embedded systems limited resources, those kinds of applications are restricted to only certain microcontrollers' families. If we provided internet-connectivity to those embedded systems, they could use the internet resources, so these complex algorithms could be resolved remotely in external servers. In this way, with few resources we could get great results using "external intelligence" stored in Internet.

The demand for internet-connected products is growing. Internet is seen as the most cost-effective way of remotely monitoring and controlling embedded systems. As internet has grown, it has become the world's low-cost network, allowing data to be passed relatively cheaply across continents. So, there is no doubt at all, that while the embedded system applications are still growing, the internet-connected embedded systems are the next step, in the near future. With this object in mind, we need to develop embedded programmers with "Embedded Internet" skills for the next years.

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Why the "Embedded Internet" book?

As the embedded system market will grow even more in the next years, some of these systems will require extending their functionality through the internet connectivity. And this approach will demand special skills in the embedded systems programmers.

In Desktop applications development and some appliances, where reduced implementations of the Desktop's operating systems have been installed (PDAs, Cellular Phones, Set-Top Boxes, etc), the internet connectivity is easy with the help of the operating system and their ready TCP/IP Stack implementations.

Nevertheless, this is not true in small embedded systems, where we would need to develop a particular solution "from the ground". Although some TCP/IP Stack implementations exist to be used in embedded systems, not all of them suite very well our specific processor architecture and/or memory restrictions. Also, some of them require a specific Real Time Operating System use, imposing more restrictions. In addition, some commercial TCP/IP Stacks implementations require an initial and possible a "royalty per use" payment.

However, some TCP/IP Stack open (and free) implementation exist, which may be used "as is" or as a starting point for a stack development. In the case of "ready" stack implementations, a basic TCP/IP knowledge is required in order to troubleshoot when network problems arise. In the case of new stack development, more than a basic TCP/IP knowledge will be needed.

Then, whatever the way embedded systems designers take; they will have to acquire special skills that will create a gap in the market, which we are addressing with this book, facilitating from a theoretical and practical point of view, all the necessary knowledge to obtain the internet connectivity for the embedded systems. The fact that these connectivity abilities will be required for many of the future applications, make it necessary to incorporate them in the courses of electrical engineering and computer sciences.

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