Watchdogs are an important part of an embedded system. A number of years ago I performed a brief survey of the state of watchdogs with small satellites in mind. One of the primary factors of watchdog design for small satellites was that the system had to be highly reliable. Few space systems can be serviced while in flight with perhaps the exception of the Hubble Space Telescope. The great part about designing a watchdog that is highly reliable is that whether you are designing a spacecraft, medical device or toaster oven, best practices don’t care what industry the watchdog is used for.
The rate at which society expects products to be released and refreshed has been steadily decreasing over the last two decades. The result has left development teams scrambling to implement the most basic product features before the product launch date. Designing a new product from scratch takes time, effort and money that is often unavailable.
in Embedded Systems
Microcontrollers have proliferated into every nook and cranny of our daily lives from simple 8-bit devices that control our toaster ovens to powerful 32-bit DSP’s that provide us with the rich media and entertainment that we have all become accustomed to. Without microcontrollers, our lives would not only be less exciting but we would lose a level of control over our world that we can no longer live without. Billions of microcontrollers are sold each year with the number continually climbing.