The embedded processors that control airliner telemetry are radically different from those that control the quality of a cup of coffee produced by a sophisticated coffeemaker. These applications differ in both their complexity and their timing models. Accordingly, they require vastly divergent hardware solutions. For the simplest control applications, off-the-shelf microcontrollers are often quite suitable. Applications of higher complexity can exceed the capabilities of standard components in terms of performance, power consumption, or cost. Possibly, a configurable manufactured circuit might be adapted to the task. In cases where the application is highly specialized, or responsiveness is critical, a ...

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