Real-Time PC

August 2nd, 2016 by

A real-time PC is a PC than can enable the user to acquire sufficient and immediate response with regards to scheduled tasks. It also enables the user to keep up with external processes. For instance, if the PC is programmed to provide information about the weather, it will be able to provide consistent reports according to actual changes in the weather. The phrase, real-time refers to a computer that delivers timing in accordance with what is considered a reality in the judgment of humans rather than machines.

For every real-time computing system, it must be fitted with a real-time OS. The importance of a real-time operating system is that it can offer predictable services to various applications. Real-time operating systems are ideal for streamlining real-time scheduling policies, run-time monitoring and inter-process data exchange. There are various kinds of RTOS including, IntervalZero, VxWORKS, RT-March, Lynx and Solaris, among others.

A real-time PC can be used in a wide range of industrial automation systems like, Air Traffic Control Systems, Command Control Systems, and Networked Multimedia Systems among others, where predictability is of great significance.  Another important factor in real-time systems is that the correctness of the given results is not only based on the logical computation results but also the physical instant at which they are delivered.

It should also be noted that real-time computing systems can be categorized into various classes based on the views of the user. For example, the classification can be based on external and internal factors of the computer system. But, the emphasis is usually placed on either hardware or software real-time computers.

In the development of a real-time computing system, the main aspect of concern is predictability of the system behavior. This is often attained through static or dynamic scheduling of real-time commands to meet the set deadlines. Static schedules tasks only at the time of compilation then goes offline while dynamic remains online and is based on schedulabilty test to determine whether particular commands can be executed within the set deadlines.

The concept of real-time PC is becoming more popular across a variety of industries, and has great  potential to expand further into many other domains.

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