Can a computer mouse (optical) be considered an embedded device? Does it adhere to the definition of an embedded system?
Is there any good reference for how a computer mouse is made?
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An embedded system is a computer which is found inside another device to serve a specific purpose. Old mice (with balls) did not have all the components of a computer inside them, so they were equipped with logic devices but not a computer and if you don't have a computer it can't be an embedded system.
The definition of a computer I'm using is of a device that can be programmed with some form of CPU, memory and perhaps some I/O. Other definitions exist and are more or less similar.
Modern optical mice have a processor integrated into an ASIC that drives a camera that takes pictures of a surface, records them to memory, and compares them against newer pictures and decides in which direction the device was moved. This qualifies as an embedded system so a modern mouse is an embedded system.
The fact you connect it as a peripheral is not contradictory.
An optical mouse is an embedded system. Because it is meant for a specific (not general purpose) or dedicated function or use.