ERCIM News 75

Image ERCIM News 75 cover page

October 2008
Special theme:
Safety-Critical Software

This issue in pdf
(68 pages; 11.3 Mb)
Next issue
October 2014
Next special theme:
Software Quality
Call for the next issue
Get the latest issue to your desktop
RSS Feed

Keynote

Beware of the Computer: the Invasion of Embedded Systems

Gérard Berry, Chief Scientist, Esterel Technologies; Member of the ERCIM Advisory Board; Member Académie des sciences, Académie des technologies, and Academia Europaea.
Gérard Berry, Chief Scientist, Esterel Technologies; Member of the ERCIM Advisory Board; Member Académie des sciences, Académie des technologies, and Academia Europaea.

by Gérard Berry

Embedded systems are becoming ubiquitous. Most existing computers do not have a screen, a keyboard or a mouse. Instead, they are hidden in innumerable kinds of objects: automobiles, trains, aeroplanes, tractors and cranes, domestic appliances, medical devices, robots, telephones, cameras, TVs, music players, smartcards etc. Because of the flexibility and efficiency of information processing, computerized systems are progressively replacing manual, mechanical and hydraulic systems. For instance, railways and subways the world over are being gradually transformed: electronic signalling, switching and dynamic scheduling are becoming the rule. In the near future, computerized objects will communicate with each other without human intervention and will be networked. For instance, cars will talk to each other and to the road, which will itself communicate with the city in order to organize traffic. Autonomous sensors will detect forest fires or river floods. One can safely predict that there will be many more autonomous objects than human beings connected to our networks, including to the Internet.

Read more...