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Safety, and Reliability Concerns and Risk

1(a) Are safety and reliability concerns more or less important in an embedded application when compared to a non-embedded system? Why or why not?

1(b) What is risk? Give several examples of low and high risk embedded applications. Identify several embedded applications that may either be high or low risk depending on their operating context.

2(a) You have learned that the processes of debugging, troubleshooting, and testing have similar goals, but occur at different times during a product's lifetime and process with a different set of premises. How do the strategies and goals of each of these differ?

2(b) Some say that design should be a top-down process while debug and test should be bottom-up processes. What is meant by these two processes?

3(a) Identify and discuss possible problems that might arise when data or signals must be exchanged with the outside world compared to a similar exchange inside of the processor.

3(b) What are the respective advantages and disadvantages of the asynchronous and synchronous communication modes from a reliability perspective?

4. Give several examples of devices that produce analog signals that might serve as inputs to an embedded application. What kind of signal, voltage, current, or some other type might come from such devices? Briefly explain the measurement technique used in each case.

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1(a) Are safety and reliability concerns more or less important in an embedded application when compared to a non-embedded system? Why or why not?

Embedded Systems are those systems that are designed to perform some specific task. The design of these systems is a complex process, which requires the integration of common design methods both in hardware and software to fulfill functional and non-functional requirements for the safety-critical applications. One of the design requirements for embedded systems is to show reliability in all modes of operation and under worst conditions.

Most of the time, the embedded systems are described as "safety-critical" due to the nature of applications which include considerable consequences of failures. Failures in such systems could result in critical situations that may lead to serious aftermath e.g. injury, loss of life, or unacceptable damage to the environment. Therefore, safety and reliability often are more important issues in embedded system applications than performance.

For non-embedded systems there is lesser emphasis on reliability as compared to performance because they are not meant to support critical applications. There are extensive reliability analysis techniques that can be used as an example to demonstrate it. As a rule of thumb, choice of components for embedded applications takes into account low failure rate and higher values of mean time between failures (MTBF) as compared to non-embedded systems.

1(b) What is risk? Give several examples of low and high risk embedded applications. Identify several embedded applications that may either be high or low risk depending on their operating context.

Ensuring safety in the design of a safety-critical embedded application involves a lot of analysis and testing. Since safety property is determined by the possible failures that can lead to a hazardous situation, one of the mostly used techniques is hazard analysis which is at the heart of any safety-critical system. Hazard analysis is an iterative method that is carried out throughout all the development phases with purpose to identify the unsafe states, evaluate the risk of the hazards, and to identify the necessary measures that can be taken to deal with these hazards.

System safety is related to the risk of failure in a system and the analysis, techniques and procedures ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses safety and reliability concerns and risk.

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