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Embedded computing isn't just about low-cost computing or timers and counters. It often involves much computation. However, that computation is of a very different nature than what we think of as traditional computer science. The unique characteristics of embedded computing provide both good and bad news. The bad news is that building embedded computing systems is fundamentally hard. Worse yet, it's hard in ways that we don't yet fully understand. We need new ways to think about computing to give us the tools we need to design clean, robust embedded systems. The good news is that the nature of embedded-computing problems gives us additional degrees of freedom that we can use to optimize our systems.