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Embedded Systems Engineers


One of the first modern embedded systems was the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), which was installed on board command modules and lunar modules during the Apollo space missions (1963–72), including those in which astronauts landed on the moon. According to, the AGC “used a real-time operating system, which enabled astronauts to enter simple commands by typing in pairs of nouns and verbs, to control the spacecraft. It was more basic than the electronics in modern toasters that have computer controlled stop/start/defrost buttons. It had approximately 64Kbyte of memory and operated at 0.043MHz.”

The Autonetics D-17 guidance computer for the Minuteman Missile System was the first mass-produced embedded system. It was manufactured in the early 1960s. In 1966, a new version of the Minutemen System featured the first high-volume use of integrated circuits.

Today, it is estimated that 95 percent of computer chips produced are for embedded systems. In 2018, the global market for embedded systems technology reached $86 billion, according to Zion Market Research, a research services and consulting firm. Increasing need for embedded systems from the health care, automotives, and other end-user industries is fueling demand for engineers to design, develop, and troubleshoot such systems.

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